Factor of Safety - Definition
Factor of Safety is a measure of amount of extra strength designed into a structure to withstand expected stress to have an increased level of safety.
Sum of weights building has to carry are called loads. Loads that change in the amount of force over time or change with position are called live loads. Loads that aren't mobile or maintain influence over a given area for long periods are called dead loads. These loads are known as stresses.
Factor of Safety Formula
You can find the factor of safety of a building by dividing the maximum strength of structure with the intended design load. We can express it using the formula
Factor of Safety = Maximum Strength/ Design Load
For a structure to be considered safe factor of safety needs to be greater than 1. If it is equal to 1 the factor of safety is equal to the structure's maximum strength is equal to determined design load. If it is less than 1 the building can fall at any time even before reaching the design load.
We can rearrange the equation to determine maximum strength formula and we have the equation as
Maximum Strength = Factor of Safety * Design Load
Maximum Strength can be obtained by multiplying the factor of safety with intended design load.
How to Calculate Factor of Safety?
Factor of Safety can be determined using the simple guidelines provided below. They are as follows
- Firstly determine the factor of safety and design load.
- Then, use the formula Factor of Safety = Maximum Strength/ Design Load and substitute the known paramters in it.
- Simplify the equation and find the safety factor.
Question: Calculate the Factor of Safety if maximum strength and design load are 250N and 15 N?
Maximum Strength = 250N
Design load = 15N
We know formula to determine factor of safety is Maximum Strength/ Design Load
Substitute the inputs in the above formula we get the equation as follows
Factor of Safety = 250/15 = 16.667N
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FAQs on Factor of Safety Calculator
1. What do you mean by Factor of Safety?
Factor of Safety expresses how strong a system is than it is for a intended load.
2. What is the formula for factor of safety?
Factor of Safety Formula is given by Factor of Safety = Maximum Strength/Design Load.
3. How do you calculate factor of safety?
We can calculate the factor of safety by dividing the maximum strength of a structure with the intended load.
4. Can Factor of Safety be more than 1?
For a structure to be safe factor of safety needs to be greater than 1.