Elasticity pp 91-108 | Cite as

Body Forces

  • J. R. Barber
Part of the Solid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (SMIA, volume 172)


A body force is defined as one which acts directly on the interior particles of the body, rather than on the boundary. Since the interior of the body is not accessible, it follows necessarily that body forces can only be produced by some kind of physical process which acts ‘at a distance’. The commonest examples are forces due to gravity and magnetic or electrostatic attraction. In addition, we can formulate quasi-static elasticity problems for accelerating bodies in terms of body forces, using D’Alembert’s principle (see §7.2.2 below).

We noted in §4.3.2 that the Airy stress function formulation satisfies the equilibrium equations if and only if the body forces are identically zero, but the method can be extended to the case of non-zero body forces provided the latter can be expressed as the gradient of a scalar potential, V .


Body Force Stress Function Angular Acceleration Constant Angular Velocity Boundary Traction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied MechanicsUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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