Mechanical Comprehension Flash Card Set 742192

Cards 10
Topics Building Loads, Force Lines of Action, Inertia, Mechanics, Modulus of Elasticity, Potential Energy, Second-Class Lever, Static Friction, Structural Loads

Study Guide

Building Loads

Dead load is the weight of the building and materials, live load is additional weight due to occupancy or use, snow load is the weight of accumulated snow on a structure and wind load is the force of wind pressures against structure surfaces.

Force Lines of Action

Collinear forces act along the same line of action, concurrent forces pass through a common point and coplanar forces act in a common plane.


The more mass a substance has the more force is required to move it or to change its direction. This resistance to changes in direction is known as inertia.


Mechanics deals with motion and the forces that produce motion.

Modulus of Elasticity

The modulus of elasticity measures how much a material or structure will deflect under stress. Stretch modulus is longitudinal stretch (like stretching raw bread dough), shear modulus is longitudinal deflection (like the horizontal displacement of a stack of magzines when a heavy object is placed upon them), and bulk modulus is compression of volume (like the compression of a loaf of bread under a heavy can at the bottom of a grocery bag).

Potential Energy

Potential energy is the energy of an object by virtue of its position relative to other objects. It is energy that has the potential to be converted into kinetic energy.

Second-Class Lever

A second-class lever is used to increase force on an object in the same direction as the force is applied. This lever requires a smaller force to lift a larger load but the force must be applied over a greater distance. The fulcrum is placed at one end of the lever and mechanical advantage increases as the object being lifted is moved closer to the fulcrum or the length of the lever is increased. An example of a second-class lever is a wheelbarrow.

Static Friction

Static friction is friction between two or more solid objects that are not moving relative to each other. An example is the friction that prevents a box on a sloped surface from sliding farther down the surface.

Structural Loads

A concentrated load acts on a relatively small area of a structure, a static uniformly distributed load doesn't create specific stress points or vary with time, a dynamic load varies with time or affects a structure that experiences a high degree of movement, an impact load is sudden and for a relatively short duration and a non-uniformly distributed load creates different stresses at different locations on a structure.