Strain energy

Strain energy

In a molecule, strain energy is released when the constituent atoms are allowed to rearrange themselves in a chemical reaction or a change of chemical conformation in a way that:

* angle strain,
* torsional strain,
* ring strain and/or steric strain,
* Allylic strain, and
* pentane interferenceare reduced [March's Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure Michael B. Smith, Jerry March Wiley-Interscience, 5th edition, 2001, ISBN 0-471-58589-0] .

For example, the heat of combustion of cyclopropane (696 kJ/mol) is higher than that of propane (657 kJ/mol) per methylene unit.

Compounds with unusually large strain energy include tetrahedranes, propellanes, cubanes, fenestranes and cyclophanes.

In view aspect of Mechanics: Strain Energy

The external work done on an elastic member in causing it to distort from its unstressed state is transformed into strain energy which is a form of potential energy. The strain energy in the form of elastic deformation is mostly recoverable in the form of mechanical work.

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