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## What is a Distributed Load?

A load applied across a length or area instead of at one point

A distributed load can be equated with a concentrated load applied at a specific point along the bar

Geometry Method
The magnitude of the resultant force is equivalent to the area under the curve of the distributed load
10 kN/m

1m

3m

2m

F r b * h 10 kN F r 30 kN

* 3m

Geometry Method
10 kN/m

The location of the resultant force is at the center of mass of the distributed load.
x x0 1 2 b 1m 1 2 * 3m

1m

3m

2m

30 kN

x 2 .5 m

2.5 m

## Geometry Method Example

For a triangular distributed load, the magnitude of the resultant force is the area of the triangle, *b*h
5 kN/m

4m

4m

Fr

1 2

b * h . 5 * 5 kN

* 4m

F r 10 kN

## Geometry Method Example

For a triangular distributed load, the location of the resultant force is 1/3 of the length of the load, from the larger end 1 1
x x0 x 4 3 b 0m 3 3
1.33 m 5 kN/m

4m

4m

10 kN

* 4m

Integral Method
w( x) x
1 2

The magnitude of the resultant force is given by the integral of the curve defining the force, w(x)

5m

2m
5m

Fr Fr

5m

x0

w ( x ) dx
3 2

x0

1/ 2

dx

2 3

[x

]0

5m

F r 7 . 45 kN

Integral Method
w( x) x
1 2

kN / m

The location of the resultant force is given by the centroid of the area under the curve 3 L 5m 2
x

5m

2m

w ( x ) xdx w ( x ) dx 2

0 L

dx
7.45 kN

7 . 45
5 2

0 5m

[x

5 * 7 . 45 x 3 .0 m

]0

3m

## Integral Method Example

For a vertical bar, simply integrate with respect to y instead of x
Fr Fr

5m y0

w ( y ) dy
3 5m

5m y0

5m

y dy

w ( y ) y kN / m
2

1 3

[ y ]0

F r 41 . 7 kN

2m

## Integral Method Example

For a vertical bar, simply integrate with respect to y instead of x
y

w ( y ) ydy
L

5m

y dy 41 . 7

3.75 m 41.7 kN

w ( y ) dy 1 [ y ]0
4 5m

4 * 41 . 7 y 3 . 75 m

References
Vector Mechanics for Engineers: Statics (Beer, 9th ed) Distributed Load on Beams
www.engr.uky.edu/statics/Content/Chapter.../Chapter%205%20D. doc