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I have recently studied Elasticity in materials. There was a question about breaking stress that if the area along which a linear force is applied is doubled, then what happens to the breaking stress. The answer was that it becomes twice. However, in some other question it was asked on what factor does the breaking stress. The answer given was only the nature of the material. So on what factors does it actually depend? Nature of material, cross-sectional area, shape of the object etc.

Also, when does a material break when some force is applied to it? Is it when a particular stress limit is reached, or when a particular strain limit is reached or when stress/strain approaches a definite value?

All questions here deal with the Young's Modulus (longitudinal stress and strain).

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Breaking stress is an intrinsic property of a material. It depends on nothing but the nature of the material. In the first part you may have been asked about the breaking 'force' or something like that; breaking stress is fixed.

A material breaks when both the 'stress on it' and 'strain in it' increases (in fact both are related by the modulus of elasticity). But since what 'we' can control is stress, we usually talk about breaking stress and not worry about anything like breaking strain.

Hope this helps!

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