The main objective of a basic mechanics course should be to develop in the engineering student the ability to analyze a given problem in a simple and logical manner and to apply to its solution a few fundamental and well-understood principles. This text is designed for the first course in mechanics of materials—or strength of materials—offered to engineering students in the sophomore or junior year. The authors hope that it will help instructors achieve this goal in that particular course in the same way that their other texts may have helped them in statics and dynamics.
In this text the study of the mechanics of materials is based on the understanding of a few basic concepts and on the use of simplified models. This approach makes it possible to develop all the necessary formulas in a rational and logical manner, and to clearly indicate the conditions under which they can be safely applied to the analysis and design of actual engineering structures and machine components.
Free-body diagrams are used extensively throughout the text to determine external or internal forces. The use of “picture equations” will also help the students understand the superposition of loadings and the resulting stresses and deformations.
Each chapter begins with an introductory section setting the purpose and goals of the chapter and describing in simple terms the material to be covered and its application to the solution of engineering problems. The body of the text has been divided into units, each consisting of one or several theory sections followed by sample problems and a large number of problems to be assigned. Each unit corresponds to a well-defined topic and generally can be covered in one lesson. Each chapter ends with a review and summary of the material covered in the chapter.