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**Summary:**How much weight can the bars support?

Three one-meter-long bars with cross-section area A = 1 square centimeter support a rigid plate of weight W. For steel, E = 200 GPa and S = 400 MPa. Determine the maximum weight W the bars can support for three cases:

(i) all three bars are exactly 1m long

(ii) the outer bars are exactly 1m long but the middle bar is 0.999m

(iii) the outer bars are exactly 1m long but the middle bar is 1.001m

The configuration: the three bars are upright, side by side like this l l l with the weight being a big block on top of them.

How do I use the elongation = NW/EA to find the weight the bars can support? How does strength factor into that equation? And doesn't S = W/A?

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