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# Forces

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• 1. Forces LabForces Lab | Materials Lab | Loads Lab | Shapes LabAbout This LabThis lab simplifies the real-life forces and actions that affect structures, in order to illustrate key concepts.IntroForces act on big structures in many ways. Click on one of the actions at left to explore the forces at work and to see real-life examples.Squeezing (Compression)Compression is a force that squeezes a material together. When a material is in compression, it tends to become shorter.Compression: See It In Real LifeThe lower columns of a skyscraper are squeezed by the heavy weight above them. This squeezing force is called compression.Stretching (Tension)Tension is a force that stretches a material apart. When a material is in tension, it tends to become longer.Tension: See It In Real LifeThe weight of the roadway and all the cars traveling on it pull on the vertical cables in this suspension bridge. The cables arein tension.BendingWhen a straight material becomes curved, one side squeezes together and the other side stretches apart. This action iscalled bending.Bending: See It In Real LifeThe top side of the metal bar is pulled apart in tension, and the bottom side is squeezed together in compression. Thiscombination of opposite forces produces an action called bending.Sliding (Shear)Shear is a force that causes parts of a material to slide past one another in opposite directions. ÝShear: See It In Real LifeDuring an earthquake, parts of this roadway slid in opposite directions. This sliding action is called shear.Twisting (Torsion)Torsion is an action that twists a material.Torsion: See It In Real LifeIn 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge twisted violently in strong winds and collapsed. The twisting force that tore this bridgein half is called torsion. Ý