Limit load determination of mechanical components and structures by the mα-tangent method is proposed herein. The proposed technique is a simplified method that enables rapid determination of limit loads for a general class of mechanical components and structures. The method makes use of statically admissible stress field based on a linear elastic finite element analysis to estimate the limit loads. The method is applied to a number of mechanical component configurations and the results compare well with those obtained by the corresponding elastic-plastic finite element analyses results.

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