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Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

Project Description:
This project will use a standard Warren bridge truss constructed of wood. We need to know the forces that will occur in the members under a typical loading in order to size them correctly. FEATURES: Gen. Standard Models Service Cases Nodal Loads Custom Load Combinations Graphical Results Flyover Creating a Report

Setting up the Project:

Upon starting VisualAnalysis, you are presented with the VisualAnalysis Startup Wizard. This wizard presents you with a number of options. Choose the Start a New project radio button and choose Finish.

Visual Analysis Startup Wizard

VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

Tutorial Examples 1

Following the procedure discussed in the 2D Tutorial, select Plane Truss as the structure type and click Next. Title the project "Wood Truss Tutorial 1" and select US k-ft as the unit style. Something to note in VisualAnalysis is that if a "truss" structure type is selected it follows the true definition of a truss (i.e. all connections are pinned, no member loads, only nodal loads, etc.).

Basic Level Users: The Basic level of VA does not have support for Automatic Generation, but you can sketch the model graphically instead. The geometry of the truss is shown below. Each of the bottom chord members is 10 ft long for a total length of 40 ft. The vertical members are 10 ft, and the remaining members may be drawn in between the existing nodes. Standard & Advanced Level Users: In the Automatic Generation dialog, select "Yes, launch the Generate Standard wizard" and click Finish. The Generate Standard wizard should immediately appear. Expand the Trusses section and select Warren Truss (X-Y), with Verticals. The starting point is (0,0), the truss length is 40ft, the truss height is 10ft, and the truss should have 2 panels.

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VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

Changing the Generated Model

The bridge supports must be specified for our model to be stable. The left support should be pinned and the right support should be fixed in the Y direction only. For the member shapes choose database shapes and specify NDS Wood\Dimension Lumber (Std. Dressed) SS4x8. Set the material for all of the members to Wood\Visually Graded Dim.\No.1\Douglas Fir-Larch.

Loading the Structure

VisualAnalysis always creates the default service load cases set under the Load Cases tab of Tools | Customize Behavior. For this example however, we will create three new service cases; Truck Position 1, 2, and 3 using the Load | New Service Case command. A 5 kip force will be applied at each position for this example. Name the case Truck Position 1 and Click Next. Select Live loads as the Source of loads and Click Finish.

VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

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Now, the nodal load must be placed. A nodal load can be placed in a few ways. Using the Load | New Nodal Loads command, make sure the Load case is Truck Position 1, select node 2 (or corresponding node). Click the Load tab and enter a -5 K force in the Y direction. Click OK to apply the load for the Load Case. The nodal load can also be applied by selecting the node, right-clicking and selecting Apply Nodal Load.

Truck Position 1 Service Case 1

Create the nodal loads for Truck Positions 2 and 3 following a similar procedure.

Next, setup a final Equation Case that combines all three truck load cases using Load | New Custom Combination. Name the combination Traffic Jam and Click Next. Now, select the 3 service cases (Truck Positions 1,2 and 3) and Click Next. Leave the Case factor as 1 or 100% of the 5 kip load. Click Finish.

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VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

Traffic Jam Equation Case 1

Creating the three separate service load cases at various locations on the bridge model effectively models vehicle or dynamic loading. Using the equation cases allows you to setup any combination of service cases with any factor you want. For more information on moving loads or time history analysis see the VisualAnalysis Advanced documentation.

Analysis and Results

Before performing an analysis, select Analyze | Check Model for Errors to make sure there are no outstanding problems. If our model is good, you should get a message idicating there are no problems. If there is a problem, you will get a report directing you to the potential problems and how they might be fixed. With a good model you are now ready to proceed with the analysis. Under Analyze | Analysis Options, select Perform 1st order analysis only and uncheck Calculate dynamic mode shapes. Then, analyze the structure.

VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

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The view above shows the resulting deflected shape of a truck in position one. All truss forces can be viewed by going to the Filter tab in the Project Manager and changing the Results field under Members. Another feature available in VA is Flyover Data. Flyover Data works in both a Model View and a Result View. It is controlled on a per project basis on the Filter tab of the Project Manager and can be set for every project under Tools | Customize on the Filter tab. The figure below shows the flyover data displaying the axial force.

To quickly create a report, double-click on any one of the truss members. To view all of the members, go into Report Properties. Under Object Options select All Objects. Returning to Report Properties, select Member Extreme Results.

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VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

The maximum axial compressive force in the truss occurs in the outer diagonals at 10.606 kips. A manually calculated static analysis confirms this exact value. Note: The properties of the report created will be saved as a default "Quick Report" style. For your next project simply double-click on a member and a report with these properties will be created.

VisualAnalysis Tutorial 1: Wood Truss

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