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FEEG1002 Mechanics, Structures and Materials

S1 (Statics-1) Tutorial problem sheet 1

1. Start by drawing the free body diagram, replacing the ground support by reaction forces:

a) If the mass of the box is increased, there will be less and less force on the rear axle. The crane will
fall over when the rear axle lifts off from the ground. This implies that at this point FB will be zero
and the crane effectively pivots around the front axle. To determine the mass of the box, we can
now take moments around the front axle, point A. This is a convenient choice of reference because
this means we dont need to worry about the unknown reaction force FA at this stage (The line of
action of force FA acts through the front axle, zero perpendicular distance, so no moment).

=0 =0

( ) kg

b) To determine the load on the axles we need to solve for the unknown reaction forces FA and FB
by considering both vertical force equilibrium and moment equilibrium (2 equations to determine 2
unknowns). Note, again moments around point A is convenient, but any other point would work.

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Now from vertical equilibrium (g = 9.81 m/s2):

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2. a) First consider the rods. The rods are loaded in tension. We know the maximum allowable
tensile stress, so to prevent failure we have to calculate the minimum area required to support a
load of 5000 N at this level of stress.

Area circular rod, , so for the diameter we find:

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Now, consider the connector pin. The pin is subject to a shear force. This force is divided over two
shearing surfaces on either side of the hinge, (i.e. imagine that the pin fails and the bit in the middle
is pulled out completely), which take 2500 N each.

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b) Stress concentrations around the holes in the hinge where the pin goes through and at the
transition from the circular to the square cross section. Safety factors to make sure the hinge doesnt
fail under the normal working load (i.e. designing for an actual maximum stress value well below the
failure stress of the material).

3. a) First we calculate the stress in the bolt required to produce a clamping force of 4000 N:

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Now we calculate the strain required to produce this level of stress, using Hookes law and the
Youngs modulus given:

Then we calculate the elongation required to produce this strain:

( )(350 )=2.37 m

Finally we can calculate the required number of turns:

So the nut has to be rotated by at least half a turn.

b) In reality, the plates will deform, so the bolt will be stretched less and the actual force generated
will be lower. This means we have to rotate the nut more to achieve the required clamping force.
4. a) Whether a bar is under compression or tension is not always immediately obvious or possible
to assess, but it is useful to form an initial idea to double check the solution later. For this purpose it
may be helpful to imagine what would happen if the bar wasnt there, i.e. would the joints at the
ends move towards each other (compression), or further away (tension)? From this we would expect:
Tension: CD and AC. Compression: BD, AB and BC

b) For the actual calculation it is important to start in a non-biased manner. Here we use the method
of joints to isolate one joint at the time. We are interested in the internal forces in the bars,
therefore we draw the free body diagram of the isolated joint and insert forces to replace the bars
we have cut. Initially we assume these forces to be tensile, i.e. the bar is stretched and therefore
pulling on the joint. When after the analysis it turns out that we get negative values, we then know
the actual force in the bar is compressive.

First draw the free body diagram of the whole bike and calculate the reaction forces:

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We could have seen this immediately from symmetry.

Now consider joint D in isolation.

Use vertical and horizontal force equilibrium to determine the forces in the bars:
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Substituting numerical values (F = 750 N) gives:

FBD = 530 N (negative, so bar is under compression and pushing against the joint)
FCD = 375 N (positive, so bar is under tension, stretched and pulling on the joint).
5. Draw the free body diagram

i. Sum of the horizontal forces

ii. Sum of the vertical forces

iii. Sum of the moments at point A

From ii. .

Note, this could be stated due to symmetry.

Bar DE (Use method of joints):




15 kN 5
Sum of the vertical forces

Bar GF (Use method of sections):


FGC 3m
F 8m E

15 kN 15 kN
Take moments around point C. This eliminates the forces FBC and FGC.

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Bar GC (Use method of sections):

Use same section, vertical equilibrium.