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Interpreting load paths and stress trajectories in elasticity

D.W. Kelly (School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
M.W. Tosh (School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 1 March 2000

Abstract

Design engineers use the term load path to describe, in general terms, the way in which loads path through a structure from the points of application to the points where they are reacted. In contrast, stress trajectories are more clearly identified by the direction of the principal stress vectors at a point. The first author proposed a simple definition of the term load path in 1995 and proposed procedures to determine load paths from two‐dimensional finite element solutions. In this paper, the concept of load paths will be further explored and related to stress trajectories and Michell structures. The insight given when determining the load transfer near a pin‐loaded hole will be demonstrated. In addition a cantilevered beam will be considered and an introduction to plotting load paths in three‐dimensional structures is given.

Keywords

Citation

Kelly, D.W. and Tosh, M.W. (2000), "Interpreting load paths and stress trajectories in elasticity", Engineering Computations, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 117-135. https://doi.org/10.1108/02644400010313084

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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