Topic – Tension and Compression

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Tension and Compression


When you pull an elastic band, it stretches. Each hand pulls in a different direction.
The elastic gets longer.

Tension is a pulling force that makes part of a structure longer.


Compression is a pushing force. You see compression when you push down on a sponge. Compression makes objects shorter in the direction that you push.

Compression is a pushing force that makes part of a structure shorter.

Compression and Tension in Structures

It is easy to see how tension changes an elastic band. You can see the elastic stretch. It is also easy to see a sponge get compressed. Compression and tension change structures, too. But the change is so small that the change is hard to see.

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