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Testing Fundamental Loads

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Students will conduct several simple lab activities to learn about the five fundamental load types that can act on structures: tension, compression, shear, bending, and torsion. In this activity, students break foam insulation blocks by applying these five fundamental load types (tension, compression, shear, bending and torsion). Students will study carefully each type of fracture pattern (break in the material) and make drawings of the fracture patterns in their notes in order to learn the telltale marks of failure due to each fundamental load type.

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  • (2010), "Testing Fundamental Loads,"

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