This chapter's main objective is to provide a review of and insight into the stress analysis of variously loaded simple structural members that appear in diverse forms in structures and machines. The three types of common structures are illustrated. Discussions will include both statically determinate and indeterminate bars and beams and pressure vessels. The mechanics of materials approach is employed, where simplified assumptions related to the deformation pattern are made so that strain distributions for a cross section of a member can be determined.

Basic formulas are introduced with the emphasis placed on the underlying assumptions used in their derivations. Material failure criteria and applications are considered. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the analysis of strain energy and displacement using a common energy method. Although only simple structural elements are discussed here, it will be observed later that these same topics are also important to plates and shells. Analysis of any member requiring determination of displacement involves all three principles outlined in the previous chapter.