Modern Physics

Difference Between Stress and Strain in Tabular Form

The basic difference between stress and strain is that stress is the deforming force per unit area. Its unit is the same as pressure which is N/m²,While strain is the apparent change in the shape, volume or length of object caused due to stress is called strain. Strain has no unit.


It is defined as the force applied to the unit area to produce a change in the shape, volume or length of a body. Mathematically it is expressed as:

stress formula

The SI unit of stress (σ) is newton per square meter (Nm-2), which is given the name pascal  (pa).

Types of stress

Stress may cause a change in length, volume, and shape.

  • Tensile stresstensile stress

When stress changes the length, it is called tensile stress.

  • Compressional stress

When stress changes its volume, it is called compressional stress.

  • Shear stress

When stress changes the shape, it is called shear stress.


The strain is a measure of the deformation of a solid when stress is applied to it. In the case of deformation in one-dimensional strain is defined as the fractional change in length. If Δl is the change in length and l is the original length, then strain is given by:

strain formula

Types of strain

Since strain is the ratio of lengths, it is dimensionless, and therefore, has no units.

Tensile strain

If the strain is ε is due to tensile stress σ, it is called tensile strain.

tensile strain formula

Compressive strain

If the strain is produced as a result of compressive stress, it is called compressive strain.

Volumetric strain

When the applied stress changes the volume, the change in volume per unit volume is known as volumetric strain.

volumetric strain formula

Shear strain

When the opposite faces of a rigid cube are subjected to shear stress.

shear strain formula

Stress Vs Strain

      Stress                         Strain
Stress is the restoring or deforming force per unit area.The strain is the change in shape per original shape.
Its formula is  σ = F/AIts formula is  ∈ = ΔL/L
Its unit is N/m²It has no unit

Relation between stress and strain

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