1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data "The axial load for a given test sample carries 1590 N. Calculate tensile stress at sections (1) and (2) assuming the sample thickness is 5mm. (Rectangular cross section). http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/121/tensilestressby1.th.jpg [Broken] 2. Relevant equations normal stress = P/A Pallow = (normal stress)allow * A 3. The attempt at a solution This is a new one for me. All the previous homework problems involved a prismatic bar (a bar of uniform cross-section) and not this 'necked' bar. Since P are pulling forces, the bar is in tension. I know my first step would be to convert 5mm into meters = 0.005m But then I'm sorta lost. Do I just use the normal stress equation above for each section; 1 and 2? Keeping P = 1590N and then changing A for section 1 to 30mm = 0.03m, and for section 2 to 10mm = 0.01m? But then where does 5mm come into play? Thanks for all the help.