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In structural design, torsional moment may, on occasion, be a significant force for which
provision must be made. The most efficient shape for carrying a torque is a hollow circular shaft;
extensive treatment of torsion and torsion combined with bending and axial force is to be found
in most texts on mechanics of materials.
When a simple circular solid shaft is twisted, the shearing stress at any point on a transverse
cross-section varies directly as the distance from the center of the shaft. Thus, during twisting,
the cross-section which is initially planar remains a plane and rotates only about the axis of the
shaft.
Torsion members are frequently encountered in structures and machines. A structural member
may need to resist torques induced by a load, such as wind or gravity. Machinery examples
include motor vehicle drive shafts, torsion bar suspensions, ship propeller shafts, and centrifugal
pump shafts. In the analysis of torsionally loaded members, we are primarily concerned with the
torsion stress and the angle of twist on the shaft. In our laboratory experiment, the primary
emphasis is on the recognition of torsion on the usual structural members, how the torsion
stresses may be approximated and how such members may be selected to resist torsion effects.