What stresses does a strut induce whilst under typical loading arrangements?

Your question is indeterminate, but I'll take a shot: typically a strut will be under either tension or compression. It works best under tension (the forces are pulling on the ends) because under compression (forces pushing on the ends) you have to worry about buckling. To picture that, take a straw and pull on it: pretty strong. Now push on it: it will bend and collapse fairly easily.

This excercise also points out the direction of typical strut forces: they will mainly be along the length of the strut. So by examining the strut you can determine qualitatively the direction of the forces.

There may also be some twisting forces if the strut is badly designed.
thats why strain guages were invented, look up load cells

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