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Dividing the load at failure by the original cross sectional area determines the value. In all other cases, the coordinate system is defined by the directionality of the material. For example, instead of asking the question, “What is the fracture strength of this alloy?” the engineer should become accustomed to asking the question, “What is the probability of failure of this alloy under these given circumstances?” It is often desirable to specify a typical value and degree of dispersion (or scatter) for some measured property; such is commonly accomplished by taking the average and the standard deviation, respectively.

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