What is Mechanics of Materials?

Finite Element Model
Fig. 1: Finite Element Model of a Oil Rig during an EQ

Wikipedia defines the Mechanics of Materials (aka Strength of Materials, Mechanics of Deformable Bodies, Mechanics of Solids) as: Strength of materials is the scientific area of applied mechanics for the study of the strength of engineering materials and their mechanical behaviour in general (such as stress, deformation, strain and stress-strain relations). Strength is considered in terms of compressive strength, tensile strength, and shear strength, namely the limit states of compressive stress, tensile stress and shear stress respectively.

Mechanics of Materials takes the knowledge you learned in statics and extends the equilibrium analysis to deformable bodies. This requires knowledge of:

  • Consideration of the behavior of the material. For example, wood will act differently than steel which will act differently than concrete in structures.
  • Consideration of the Forces/Stresses acting on the member.

Subjects to help understand the Strength of Materials:

Finite Element Model
Fig. 2: Finite Element Model of a loaded Endplate



Electrical Engineering


General Engineering




Water Resources


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