What is the modulus of elasticity of steel?

Modulus of elasticity is a property that measures the resistance of materials towards deformation under load. Modulus of elasticity, also known as Young’s modulus is the coefficient of proportionality between the “strain” and the “tensile stress” when the material is pulled. In general, a material with a larger value for the elastic modulus has higher tensile stress or rigidity. On the contrary, materials with low elastic modulus can be easily deformed.

Materials with high Young’s modulus indicate that they are inelastic and stiff while materials with low Young’s modulus are elastic and can be easily deformed.

The modulus of elasticity of steel is 200 GPa (29,000,000 psi).

By understanding the modulus of elasticity of steel, we can claim that steel is more rigid than wood or polystyrene, as it has a tendency to experience deformation under an applied load.

This value of modulus of elasticity of steel indicates that steel has a high bearing limit and can withstand increased pressure when used as a segment. In addition to this, it can be seen that structures with steel would be more grounded.

Solved Example

A steel wire of radius 0.5 mm and length 3 m is stretched by force 49 N. Calculate a) longitudinal stress b) longitudinal strain c) elongation produced in the body.


Stress can be calculated using the following formula:

F/A = mg/(πr2)

Substituting the values in the equation, we get

Stress = 6.238 × 107 N/m2

Now that we know that the modulus of elasticity of steel is 2.1 × 1011, we can calculate the longitudinal strain using the following relation as :

Y = Stress/Strain

Strain = Stress / Y

or Strain =\((6.238\times 10^7)/(2.1\times 10^{11})\)

Solving, we get

Strain = 2.970 × 10-4

Using the following relation, we can identify the elongation produced:

Strain = l/L

Rearranging, we get

l = Strain × L

Substituting the values and calculating, we get

l = 8.91 × 10-4 m

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