# If a material is built to handle tension, would removing the tension damage it?

If an object is designed to cope with large forces such as tension, would removing these forces risk damaging the object?

For example: The neck of a guitar is built to handle the tension of steel strings (~800 Newtons), if you removed/reduced the tension (removed the strings) for a long period of time would this risk damaging the guitar neck?

-
Check the hysterisis curve. Loading and unloading of stress does not take place in the same line. It is a hint. :-) – Sagnik Jan 18 '14 at 13:04

This answer is specifically about guitars because I have guitar building and repair experience. The strings and the truss rod are under tension so the neck itself is mainly under compression. There is some tension on the back side of the neck due to neck relief (forward bow of neck) but not much. Necks are made from wood from the trunk, a material 'built' to handle the compressive stress from the weight of the tree.

A very basic calc. to demonstrate this:

Compressive yield strength parallel to grain for the most common guitar neck wood (maple) = 21.5 M Pa Approximate Cross sectional area = 0.0007 m ^2

F = PA = (21.5 M Pa) * (0.0007 m^2) = 15 Kilo Newtons.