In the elastic theory of bending, as discussed in previous chapters, the method of design has been to calculate the maximum stresses occurring, and to keep them within the limits of working stresses in tension and compression, the working stresses being obtained by dividing the yield (or ultimate) stress by a factor of safety. However, mild-steel structures do not fail as soon as the edge stress at any cross-section reaches the yield point, and will continue to withstand the load as long as a central core of the section remains in the elastic state.
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