ME 201 — Solid Mechanics


Solid mechanics is the branch of mechanics that concerns the behavior, especially deformation, of solid matter under external actions. This course is the most basic one that a mechanical engineer ought to do. The mechanics studied in high school is generally for rigid bodies. In this course, one studies the mechanics of deformable bodies. This course gives a basic introduction to the concepts of stress, strain, axial force, shear force, bending moment, bending and torsion for elastic bodies.

The branch of solid mechanics is a part of a larger branch called continuum mechanics: (image courtesy: Wiki-images)

Course Contents:

  • Fundamentals of mechanics of deformable solids – Introduction, analysis of axial and shear loaded components.
  • Castigliano’s theorem.
  • Beams – shear force and bending moment diagrams.
  • Stress, strain, and their relationships.
  • Thermal stress, fatigue and creep. Mohr circle.
  • Stresses in beams.
  • Torsion.
  • Thick cylinders and rotating discs.


  • Mechanics of solids has direct applications in product development. In any industrial or research based application, whenever one is required to develop a product or even a small machine part design of any component should be done so that the maximum stress is minimized. For this, one must have a clear understanding of the stresses and strains on the body. This course will develop the basics of calculating the stresses/ strains for different types of bodies and forces.
  • Any future courses which need this course as an official or unofficial pre-requisite –
    • ME 202 Strength of Materials
    • ME 423 Machine Design
    • ME 601 Stress Analysis
    • ME 602: Fatigue, fracture and failure analysis
    • ME 616 Fracture Mechanics
    • ME 734: Vibro Acoustics


While it is a good practice to refer to textbooks or video lectures besides your class notes, it is also important to remember that these sources may not be flawless. Reference material should only be used as a tool to strengthen concepts and not as a substitute for your class notes.


  • S. H. Crandall, N. C. Dahl and S. J. Lardner : An Introduction to Mechanics of Solids, Tata McGraw Hill, 1978.

  • E. P. Popov, Introduction to Mechanics of Solids, Prentice Hall, 1973.

  • J. Case and A. H. Chilver, Strength of Materials and Struct., Edward Arnold, Bath, 1980.

  • L. S. Srinath et al., Strength of Materials, Macmillan India, 1997.

Internet Resources:

Interesting Links:

  • Applications and videos
  • Modern research in Solid Mechanics:
  • Oscillatory fracture paths in thin elastic sheets:
  • Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse:
  • Shape Memory Alloys:
  • Simulation of the mechanics of a cricket ball hitting a helmet:
  • Crash Simulations:
    • Car:  
    • Helicopter Blade:
  • Wheel in cornering fatigue test:
  • Bullet Impact:
  • Tensile Tests:
    • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) video of leather tensile test:
    • SEM video of glass laminate tensile test
    • Cadmium Single crystal fracture SEM video:
    • Steel:
    • Brass:
    • Steel Cable:
  • Compression Tests:
    • Steel Pipe:
    • Concrete:
  • Impact Test:
  • Buckling:
    • Concepts:
    • Cylinder Shell Buckling:
  • Reinforced Concrete Beam bending:  
  • Crack Propagation:

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