Difference Between Stress and Pressure

The main difference between Stress and Pressure are many, however they are both words that are commonly mistaken for one another. Pressure can mainly be defined as the amount of force that is exerted per unit area. Stress on the other hand refers to the amount of force exerted per unit area, experienced by a material. This is termed as stress and it is uniquely more different than pressure. Stress even varies from pressure as there are different types of stress.

Difference between Stress and Pressure

Understanding the major differences between stress and pressure one can know the key separating points between one and the other.  We know that pressure is an external quality that affects the object from the outside while stress affects the object from the inside. In order to understand the effects of stress better it is important to understand, the relationship between stress and strain.

Difference between Stress and Pressure

Stress

Pressure

Stress can be defined as the amount of force being exerted per unit area.

Pressure can be defined as the amount of force applied per unit area.

Stress can be represented as (strain) / (Young’s modulus)

Pressure can be mathematically represented as (force) / (area)

Stress can only be exerted on solids.

Pressure on the other hand can be exerted on both liquids and gases.

Stress on the other hand can be either a positive or a negative force, this can be represented as Stress= – F/A.

Pressure is a positive unit and can be represented as F/A

Stress is a unique property of the material.

Pressure on the other hand is a unique property of thermodynamics.

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Practise This Question

Penguins huddling: To withstand the harsh weather of the Antarctic, emperor penguins huddle in groups. Assume that a penguin is a circular cylinder with a top surface area a =0.26 m2 and height h = 90 cm. Let Pr be the rate at which an individual penguin radiates energy to the environment (through the top and the sides); thus NPr is the rate at which N identical, well-separated penguins radiate. If the penguins huddle closely to form a huddled cylinder with top surface area Na and height h, the cylinder radiates at the rate Ph. If N = 1000, by what percentage does huddling reduce the total radiation loss?