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ZUG3032 – Strength of Material under Complex Loading Conditions

Undergraduate – Module

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this module is offered.


Business, Engineering and Technology


South Africa
On-campus block of classes

  • Semester 1, 2020 (Mainstream Programme)
  • Semester 1, 2021 (Extended Programme)

12 credits, NQF Level 7


The module describes strength of materials in terms of elastic failure theories and strain energy. Understanding the mode of failure of structural components is critical to safe designs of these components. The module also covers failure analysis of safety critical components like pressure vessels and deformation behaviour of materials under complex loading conditions. This loading is also being increased to take material beyond the elastic limit and into plastic region. The FEA is being introduced as a tool to determine the material stresses of complex structures under combination of various loading conditions.


On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

1Understand combined loading conditions
2Perform calculation of the stresses
3Determine point of component failure.
4Determine material behaviour under inelastic deformation
5Understand the stresses developed in various components
6Applying Finite Element Analysis in stress analysis
7Understanding the principles of beam deflections


Coursework assessment: 30%
Examination: 70%

Workload requirements

The integrity of designed structural components depends on the thorough understanding of the failure theories and the deformation behaviour of selected material when subjected to design loads. This module aims at assisting engineers to determine whether the mechanical components will behave safely once they start operating under specified loading conditions, irrespective of their complexity.There will be a combination of lectures, that will include interactive elements, assignments and class tests. All outcomes will be assessed by means assignments, class tests and a final examination.

Chief examiner(s)





Strength of Material under Simple Loading Conditions


Basic Concepts in Structural and Machine Design