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factor of safety

the ratio of the maximum stress that a structural part or other piece of material can withstand to the maximum stress estimated for it in the use for which it is designed.
Also called safety factor.
Origin of factor of safety
1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for factor of safety
  • For such materials it may be pointless to increase the factor of safety.
  • Design is based upon the factor of safety for overturning of an individual block.
  • It would be equally unwise to design an onsite wastewater treatment system without including an adequate design factor of safety.
  • The minimum factor of safety may not be less than four for existing installations.
  • The designer must determine what factor of safety should be used for a particular application.
  • Freeboard is a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above a flood level for purposes of floodplain management.
British Dictionary definitions for factor of safety

factor of safety

the ratio of the breaking stress of a material or structure to the calculated maximum stress when in use Also called safety factor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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