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MECE 2420U Solid Mechanics

Laboratory Manual

Winter 2014

Page 1 of 8

Lab Objectives

In this experiment the concept of bending moment and its calculation along a straight

beam is investigated. Measurements are performed to improve the understanding of the

concept and to gain experience in the use of modern bending moment testing machine.

The bending moment test is performed to study how the bending moment varies with

variation of the

Load magnitude

Load distribution

It also helps students to find out how the bending moment can be measured in a point

along the beam.

Background

Members that are slender and support loadings that are applied perpendicular to their

longitudinal axis are called beams. In general beams are long, straight bars having a

constant cross-sectional area. Because of the applied loadings, beams develop an internal

force called shear force and an internal moment known as bending moment. In general

both shear force and bending moment vary from point to point along the beam, as shown

in Figure 1.

Shear force and bending moment are calculated at each point using the following

procedure.

1. Determine all the reactive forces and couple moments acting on the beam.

2. Section the beam perpendicular to its length at the desired point and draw the free

body diagram of one segment. Make sure that V (Shear Force) and M (Bending

Moment) are shown acting in their positive sense, in accordance with the sign

convention given in Figure 2.

3. The shear force is obtained by summing the forces perpendicular to the beams

axis and the bending moment is obtained by summing the moments about the

sectioned end of the segment.

In order to properly design a beam, it is important to know the variations of the shear

force and the bending moment along its axis in order to find the points in which these

values are maxima.

Winter 2014

Page 2 of 8

Both of these important parameters at each point vary by changing the magnitude and the

distribution of the applied loads. This test is being preformed to study the effects of the

magnitude and distribution of the applied loads on the bending moment value at a

specified point.

Equipment

The bending moment machine, shown in Figure 3, used in this laboratory consists of a

beam fitted into the structure test frame. The structure test frame is a sturdy aluminum

frame, which stands on a workbench. Loads are applied to the beam using hangers, which

hold various masses.

The Digital Force Display electronically measures and displays forces during

experiments. It is conveniently fixed to the test frame. All the equipment connects to a

computer by means of an Automatic Data Acquisition Unit and software (STR2000).

The beam is cut by a pivot. To stop the beam collapsing a moment arm bridges the cut

on to a load cell thus reacting (and measuring) the bending moment force. A digital

display shows the force from the load cell.

The beam geometry and hanger positions are shown in Figure 4. Hanger supports are 20

mm apart, and have a centre slot that positions the hangers. The moment arm is 125 mm

long. The beam hangs from the top member of the test frame, rather than sitting on the

bottom, so the supports do not interfere with loading positions.

Since the load cell has almost zero deflection, no compensation in the level of the beam is

needed for an increase in force. Thus, the beam remains perfectly horizontal regardless of

load. All pivots run on sealed ball races, the left support allows rotational and horizontal

movement while the right support allows rotation only.

Winter 2014

Page 3 of 8

The masses supplied with the equipment give maximum flexibility and ease of use.

Figure 5 shows a hanger loaded with masses. Use the clips provided to hold the masses

on the hangers.

There are one-hundred-and-fifty 10-gram masses and five 10-gram weight hangers. This

allows any load, in increments of 10-grams, to be made up to maximum 500-grams.

Alternatively, one hanger can be made up into 100-grams, 200-grams, 300-grams, 400grams or 500-grams.

Winter 2014

Page 4 of 8

Safety Instructions

There is a risk of electric shock. Always unplug first.

During test do not touch any parts of the test apparatus except the designated

handles.

IMPORTANT! Never attempt any form of machine maintenance.

IMPORTANT! Never attempt to apply any excessive load over than the designed

loads; it may cause damage to the load cell and also plastic deformation in the

beam.

Test Procedure

In order to find out how the bending moment varies with the variation of the magnitude

of the applied load, and its distribution along the beam, two experiments are designed.

The steps of both experiments are illustrated in the following sections.

Bending moment variation at the point of loading (part 1)

In this experiment the bending moment is measured at Cut position when the loading is

applied in the same position (Cut), as shown in Figure 6. The steps of the experiment

are as follows:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Make sure that the beam is load-less and in its horizontal position.

Turn on the load digital force displayer.

Make sure that the digital force displayer displays zero force.

Hang the load hanger exactly in the Cut position (according to Figure 6).

Put proper masses to get loads according to the first column of the following

Table 1.

6. Read the force displayed by the digital force displayer and write it, in the third

column of Table 1, for each case.

7. When you finished recording the data, depart the hanger and prepare for the next

experiment.

Winter 2014

Page 5 of 8

In this experiment the bending moment is measured at Cut position and loadings are

applied in some other points along the beam. Three load cases according to Figure 7,

Figure 8, and Figure 9 are considered. The steps of the experiment are as following:

1. Make sure that beam is load less and in its horizontal position.

2. Turn on the load digital force displayer if it is off.

3. Make sure that the digital force displayer displays zero force.

4. Hang the load hanger exactly according to the position shown in Figure 7.

5. Put proper masses to get load according to the load shown in Figure 7.

6. Read the force displayed by the digital force displayer and write it in the first

row forth column of Table 2.

7. Remove the load hanger.

8. Hang the load hangers exactly according to the positions shown in Figure 8.

9. Put proper masses to get loads according to the loads shown in Figure 8.

10. Read the force displayed from the digital force displayer and write it in the

second row forth column of Table 2.

11. Remove the hanger W1 and read the force and then hang W1 and remove the

hanger W2. Check if the summation of these two cases is equal to the force you

read in step 10.

12. Remove the load hangers and hang them according to Figure 9 with the shown

loads.

13. Read the force displayed from the digital force displayer and write it in the third

row forth column of Table 2.

14. Repeat the step 11 similarly.

Winter 2014

Page 6 of 8

Bending moment variation at the point of loading (part 1)

1. Using the obtained readings calculate experimental bending moment by the

following formula: Experimental bending moment = Force x Moment arm length

2. Using the above formula calculate the experimental bending moment for each

case and fill in the forth column of Table 1.

3. Using the equilibrium equations F = 0; M= 0determine the values of RA and

RB for each case.

4. Using the method discussed in Section 2 calculate the bending moment for each

case and fill in the fifth column of Table 1.

5. Draw the load (vertical axis) vs. experimental and theoretical bending moments

(horizontal axis) as it is drawn in for some typical results.

Winter 2014

Page 7 of 8

1. Using the obtained readings calculate the experimental bending moment from =

Force x Moment arm length.

2. Using the above formula calculate the experimental bending moment for each

load case and fill in the fifth column of Table 2.

3. Using the equilibrium equations determine RA and RB for each load case and fill in

the sixth and seventh column of Table 2.

4. Using the method discussed in Section 2 calculate the bending moment for each

case and fill in the eighth column of Table 2.

Lab Report

A full report would usually require a brief outline of the steps taken in performing the

experiment and of precautions taken to minimize errors. Your report should contain the

following items:

1. A record of all measurements made on the test specimens

2. Tabulated needed values of Tables 1 and 2 for each load case

3. A figure showing variation of the load vs. bending moment for part 1.

4. Answer of two following questions:

a. What are the probable sources of difference between the theoretical and

experimental values of the bending moment?

b. Concerning to your experience done in part 2, what is your comment

about The bending moment at the cut is equal to the algebraic sum of

the moments caused by the forces acting to the left or right of the cut.?

References:

This document is adopted from a similar lab manual written by Dr. Celal S.

Tufekci of UOIT and edited.

Hibbeler, R. C. Mechanics of Materials, 6/e, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River,

NJ, 2004.

Winter 2014

Page 8 of 8

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