# Homework Help: Direction of shear stress

1. Jul 30, 2016

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
In my book, I was told that when an element is subjected to pure shear stress, equalibrium required that equal shear stress must be developed on four sides of the element...these stresses must be direct toward or away from opposite corners of element..

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution
i think that is wrong.... Why must them direct toward or away from opposite corners of element..?
there's no reason why they must be direct toward or away from opposite corners of element..

2. Jul 30, 2016

### PhanthomJay

From equilibrium considerations, which way would you have them point?

3. Jul 30, 2016

According to the book, the shear stress should have pointed this way(above), IMO, they can also point as this way (below) , which means it can be anticlockwise or clockwise direction

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4. Jul 31, 2016

### PhanthomJay

The above is the convention for positive shear. Reversing it is negative shear.

5. Jul 31, 2016

do you mean when the orientation is clockwise or anticlockwise . they are considered as negative shear?

6. Jul 31, 2016

### Nidum

No .

The shears have to be in pairs pointing to opposite corners of the square to maintain equilibrium . If they are all going clockwise or all anticlockiwise then they would generate a torque which would rotate the square about it's centre .

7. Aug 3, 2016

that's weird . I have an example here , stating that shear stress in clockwise direction is positive ....

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8. Aug 3, 2016

### Nidum

9. Aug 3, 2016

10. Aug 3, 2016

### Nidum

The notes are correct but all they do is tell you the direction conventionally taken as positive for shear stress .

Perhaps you have not understood that pure shear stress that you have asked about is a special case ? Note word irrotational in the above Wikipedia article .

11. Aug 3, 2016