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# TITLE

## DETERMINATION OF DEFLECTED PROFILE OF A BEAM

OBJECTIVE
To determine the deflected profile of a beam using Clerk-Maxwells reciprocal theorem.
INTODUCTION
When a structure is loaded, its stressed elements deform. In a truss, bars in tension elongate and
bars in compression shorten. Beams bend. As this deformation occur, the structure changes shape
and points on the structure displace. Although these deflections are normally small, as a part of
the total design the engineer must verify that these deflections are within the limits specified by
the governing design code to ensure that the structure is serviceable. Large deflections cause
cracking of non-structural elements such as plaster ceiling, tile walls or brittle pipes. Since the
magnitude of deflections is also a measure of a members stiffness, limiting deflections also
ensures that excessive vibrations of building floors. If a beam is supported at two points, and a
load is applied anywhere on the beam, the resulting deformation can be mathematically
estimated. Due to improper experimental setup, the actual results experienced varied
substantially when compared against the theoretical values. The deformation of a beam is usually
expressed in terms of its deflection from its original unloaded position. The deflection is
measured from the original neutral surface of the beam to the neutral surface of the deformed
beam. The configuration assumed by the deformed neutral surface is known as the elastic curve
of the beam. The following procedure explains how the theoretical and actual values were
determined, as well as suggestions for improving upon the experiment. Clerk Maxwells
reciprocal theorem was related to observe the deflection of the beam in the experiment. The
deflected profile was drawn for the both experimental value and theoretical value to came up
with the experimental errors and suggestions.

## Figure 1 deflected profile of a beam under a load

THEORY
Deflection is basically a displacement caused by a loading condition. For the case of a beam, it is
the displacement of the beam in a direction not along its axis. In fact, a beam is defined in this
way; that is, applied loads must be acting perpendicular to the axis of the specimen. When
designing a beam, deflection is generally undesired. As a result, what is known as beam stiffness
is a large design factor in beams. Beam stiffness is defined as the ability of the beam to resist
deflection. All elastic materials have stiffness, and thus, in general terms, it is simply the ability
of a material to resist deformation.
In this laboratory experiment the deflected profile is observed using the Clerk-Maxwells
reciprocal theorem. Clerk Maxwell's theorem in its simplest form states that the deflections of
any point A of any elastic structure due to a load P at any other point B is the same as the
deflection of B due to the same load P applied at point A. It is, therefore easily derived that
the deflection curve for a point in a structure is the same as the deflected curve of the structure
when unit load is applied at the point for which the influence curve was obtained

APPURATUS

Weights
Hanger
Dial gauge
Scale
Vernier calliper
Dial gauge
Steel beam

## Figure 4 Dial gauge indicator

PROCEDURE
1. Apparatus was set according to the given instructions.
2. Six were market three to the right and three to the left from the middle point of the beam
10cm, 25cm, 35cm respectively.
3. Dial gauge was set on the middle point of the beam and set it to zero.
4. Then the know weight was applied to the beam at the point market from the centre of the
simply supported beam.
5. Then the displacement of the beam was measured using the dial gauge.
6. After each reading dial gauge was set to zero.
7. Then the known load was moved to the next marked point and applied the load.
8. Repeated the above steps from No 5 for other marked points.
9. Finally, the graph between deflection with the position of the load applied plotted for the
experimental values and for the theoretical values.
10. Using the graphs difference between both graphs were discussed.

DISCUSSION
According to experimental result, it is possible to express that in simply supported beams the
deflection becomes maximum right on the middle of the beam. In the experiment results were
compared with the theoretical result which were calculate using double integration method. By
looking at the experimental and theoretical values it is possible to express the relations of the
theoretical equation satisfying in real applications, even though some of the results was not
accurate due to some of the errors, but generally the relations at least came correct.
The major purpose of the experiment was to experiment the Clerk-Maxwells reciprocal theorem
for deflection for a given beam. Since that know load applied to known several locations and the
middle point deflection was measured for each time. This is similar if the load was applied in the
middle and the deflection was measured at the several know point. However, the experimented
values were side by side compared with the theoretical values. In that case there were some
variation in the results as shown below.

## Distance from the centre

-35

-25

-10

10

25

35

Experimental deflection

-4.1

-6.6

-9.2

-9.2

-6.6

-4.1

Theoretical deflection

-3.9

-6.2

-8.5

-8.5

-6.2

-3.9

Percentage error

5.13%

6.45%

8.24%

8.24%

6.45%

5.13%

According to the results highest variation appeared at the middle of the beam. The error was
reducing with the length from the middle is increased. The errors were presented in the
experiment due to various reasons. Human errors were one of the major errors that could happen
during the experiment. When measuring distance there can be an error while marking the
distance because the marked point is not may the exactly measured distance. Since that there
may be difference the experimental value with the theoretical value. Furthermore, when applying
the know weight, it should be exactly in the middle of the beam. Due the displacement of the
beam or carelessness of the person who applied the load there may have been appeared above
mention errors which were directly expose to the difference between the experimental values and
the theoretical values. Parallax error may have appeared while measuring the readings from the
dial gauge. This may also cause to the variation of the results. Some of the errors that were
occurred in the apparatus may cause for the variation in between theoretical and the
experimental. In the experiment the noticeable error was the given beam was not a straight beam
it was already bend some considerable amount. This may mainly cause to the variation of the
results. Also there may be an error due the temperature difference while doing the experiment
because the length of the metal beam may vary with the temperature. Temperature may not as the
same as for the time period of the practical. Since that temperature may be one of the reason for
the variation of the results. Some of the common error that appears in the experiment was while
gauge reading was not zero which means in each time beam permanently bend. This may cause
considerable error in the experiment. While measuring the section properties which are the
height and the width there may be some kind of error because the beam may not be the same at

any point. Since that calculated section may varies form the majority of the beam section. Since
that this may cause an error in theoretical values
To prevent from the errors there may be some effective methods to be applied. While doing the
experiment it can be possible to reduce human errors by focusing the experiment and doing
carefully the experiment. It is possible to reduce the parallax error by looking the dial gauge
reading perpendicular to the gauge. When considering the apparatus by using a straight beam it is
possible to reduce errors that happen in the experiment. Also taking some assumptions such as
temperature is constant at the experimental time period it is possible to reduce some errors.
When measuring the section properties taking an average value may cause to reduce errors in
theoretical values.
When considering both graphs, it can be seen that the theoretical graph is above from the
experimental graph. Which means the experimental deflections are higher that the theoretical
values. This variation is a result of above mentioned errors that appeared in the experiment.
Since the obtained errors were small it is possible to maintain the shape of both graphs similar.

CONCLUSION
The objective of the experiment was to determine the deflected profile of a beam using ClerkMaxwells reciprocal theorem. Simple supported beam was used to measure the deflections. The
middle point deflection was measured for the applied load at some known points using the dial
gauge. Then the deflected profile was compared between the theoretical value and the
experimental value. There may some variation due to the errors that appeared during the
experiment. By reducing those errors accurate values were obtained. It can be concluded that the
maximum deflection appeared at the middle of the beam for a simple supported beam. Overall
the conducted experiment was a huge success.