Physical compression

Physical compression

Physical compression is the result of the subjection of a material to compressive stress, resulting in reduction of volume. The opposite of compression is tension.

Explanation

Compression has many implications in material science, physics and structural engineering, for compression yields noticeable amounts of stress and tension.

By inducing compression, mechanical properties such as compressive strength or modulus of elasticity, can be measured. Scientists may utilize press machines to induce compression.

In engines

Internal combustion engine

In internal combustion engines it is a necessary condition of economy to compress the explosive mixture before it is ignited: in the Otto cycle, for instance, the second stroke of the piston effects the compression of the charge which has been drawn into the cylinder by the first forward stroke.

Steam engines

The term is applied to the arrangement by which the exhaust valve of a steam engine is made to close, shutting a portion of the exhaust steam in the cylinder, before the stroke of the piston is quite complete. This steam being compressed as the stroke is completed, a cushion is formed against which the piston does work while its velocity is being rapidly reduced, and thus the stresses in the mechanism due to the inertia of the reciprocating parts are lessened. This compression, moreover, obviates the shock which would otherwise be caused by the admission of the fresh steam for the return stroke.

ee also

* Buckling
* Strength of materials
* Compression member
* Rarefaction


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