
Unit 62: 
Strengths of Materials 


Unit code:

K/601/1409



QCF level:

5



Credit value:

15






• Aim
This unit will enable learners’ to use stress analysis techniques to
determine the behavioural characteristics of engineering components and
materials.
• Unit abstract
This unit will introduce learners to the theoretical and experimental
methods of complex stress analysis, together with the theories of elastic
failure. Appropriate use of these can be made throughout the unit to determine
operational factors of safety. Learners will investigate the theoretical
behaviour of structural members under load and will verify the characteristics
by experimental testing. They will then analyse loaded structural members from
considerations of strain energy and again carry out experimental verification
of the analysis.
• Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this unit a
learner will:
1 Be able to determine the behavioural
characteristics of engineering components subjected to complex loading systems
2 Be able to determine the behavioural
characteristics of loaded beams, columns and struts
3
Be able to
determine the behavioural characteristics of loaded structural members by the
consideration of strain energy.
Unit content
1
Be able
to determine the behavioural characteristics of engineering components
subjected to complex loading systems
Complex stress: analysis of twodimensional stress systems eg determination of
principal planes and stresses, use of Mohr’s stress circle; combined
torsion and thrust; combined torsion and bending
Complex strain: Mohr’s strain circle; experimental strain analysis using electrical
resistance strain gauges
Theories of elastic failure: maximum principal stress theory; maximum
shear stress theory; strain energy theory and maximum principal strain
theory
2
Be able
to determine the behavioural characteristics of loaded beams, columns and
struts
Simply supported beams: use of Macaulay’s method to determine the support
reactions, slope and deflection due to bending in cantilevers and simply
supported beams with combined concentrated and uniformly distributed loads
Reinforced
concrete beams:
theoretical assumptions; distribution of stress due to bending
Columns: stress due to asymmetrical bending; middle third rule for rectangular
section columns and walls; middle quarter rule for circular section
columns
Struts: end fixings; effective length; least radius
of gyration of section; slenderness ratio; Euler and RankineGordon
formulae for determination of critical load
3 Be able to determine the behavioural
characteristics of loaded structural members by the consideration of strain
energy
Strain energy: strain energy stored as a result of direct loading, shear loading,
bending and torsion
Elastic
deflections: elastic
deflection of struts and ties when subjected to gradually applied loads;
elastic deflection at the point of loading for cantilevers and simply supported
beams when subjected to a single gradually applied load; application of
Castigliano’s theorem to determine deflection eg beams, brackets, portal frames
and curved bars when subjected to gradually applied loads; elastic deflection
of torsion bars and transmission shafts subjected to a gradually applied torque
Shock loading: elastic deflection and stress induced in struts and ties when
subjected to suddenly applied loads and impact loads
Learning Outcomes and assessment criteria

Learning outcomes

Assessment criteria for pass




On successful completion of

The learner can:




this unit a learner will:












LO1 Be able to determine the


1.1

analyse twodimensional stress systems
making



behavioural
characteristics of



appropriate use of Mohr’s stress circle



engineering
components


1.2

carry out experimental strain analysis
using electrical



subjected
to complex loading







resistance strain gauges




systems














1.3

apply the appropriate theory of elastic
failure to






loaded components to determine operational
factors






of safety









LO2 Be able to determine the


2.1

determine the support reactions, slope and



behavioural
characteristics of



deflection of simply supported beams



loaded
beams, columns and


2.2

determine the distribution of stress in the
materials



struts







of reinforced concrete beams












2.3

determine the stress distribution in
columns and






walls which are subjected to asymmetrical
bending





2.4

determine the appropriate critical load for
axially






loaded struts





2.5

carry out tests to validate critical load
calculations









LO3 Be able to determine the


3.1

determine the strain energy stored in a
member due



behavioural
characteristics of



to direct loading, shear loading, bending
and torsion



loaded structural members by


3.2

determine the elastic deflection of loaded
members



the consideration
of strain







making appropriate use of Castigliano’s
theorem




energy














3.3

carry out tests to validate deflection
calculations





3.4

predict the effects of shock loading on
struts and






ties.








Guidance
Links
This unit is
intended to provide progression from Unit 2: Engineering Science and Unit
4: Mechanical Principles.
Essential requirements
Centres need to provide access to laboratory
facilities so that learners can investigate the effects of loading on
structural members and engineering components.
Employer engagement and vocational contexts
The delivery
of this unit will benefit from centres establishing strong links with employers
willing to contribute to the delivery of teaching, workbased placements and/or
detailed case study materials.
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