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# Qualitative Analysis of Beams

## School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University

Content
• Typical deformation/moment diagram features
• Points of contraflexure
• Statically determinate beams
• Statically indeterminate beams
Qualitative Analysis and Numerical
Analysis
Qualitative Analysis Numerical Analysis

60N

A 3m 1m

MA
VA

VA  60 N
M A  60  3  180 Nm

## It must be understood that qualitative analysis is not in any way a

substitute for numerical analysis but should be regarded as a
necessary complement to the numerical analysis.
Facts and Assumptions
P

A B E

x C D

## 1) Deflections are always small (we exaggerate the real deformation);

2) Ignore the change of the length of the beam;

3) Neglect the self weight of the structures – only analyse for the load
shown;
4) Deflected shapes are always very smooth curves, except at a pin
connection (hinge).
Equilibrium of Structures
The basic principles of the structural analysis lie in the laws of
stable in a static state. It should satisfy the three equations of
equilibrium.

F x  0:

F y  0:

M A  0:
Equilibrium of Structures
The basic principles of the structural analysis lie in the laws of
stable in a static state. It should satisfy the three equations of
equilibrium.

F x  0: HA=0

F y  0: MA
VA
M A  0:
HA must be zero.
VA must be upward.
MA must be anti-clockwise.
Equilibrium of Structures
The basic principles of the structural analysis lie in the laws of
stable in a static state. It should satisfy the three equations of
equilibrium.
F

A B
C D

VA VB

M A  0: VB must be upward.

M B  0: VA must be downward.
Deformation of Beams
Under the given load and support conditions, the deflected shape
(deformation) of the beam is approximately shown in Blue.

A B
C D

VA VB

Zero deflection

## It should noted that there will be no deflection at the support points

A and B.
Bending moment convention
Under the given load and support conditions, the deflected shape
(deformation) of the beam is approximately shown in Blue.

Tension F
T
A B
C D
Compression

VA VB
BMD:
We adopted the convention that we draw the
M M
bending moment diagram on the tensile side of
the beam.
Bending moment diagram
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller
support.

F
T
A B
C D

VA VB

A B
BMD:
C D
Bending moment diagram
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller
support.
2. Because the section AB is bent upward (tension fibre on top),
bending moment must be positive. F
T
A B
C D

VA VB

A B
C D
Bending moment diagram
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller
support.
2. Because the section AB is bent upward (tension fibre on top),
bending moment must be positive. F
3. Once the bending moment T
diagram meets with Force VB, it A B
C D
should change the direction.
But …
VA VB

A B
C D
Bending moment diagram
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller
support.
2. Because the section AB is bent upward (tension fibre on top),
bending moment must be positive. F
3. Starting from another end of T
the beam, the bending moment A B
is always zero at the free end. C D

VA VB

A B
C D
Bending moment diagram
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller
support.
2. Because the section AB is bent upward (tension fibre on top),
bending moment must be positive. F
3. Starting from another end of T
the beam, the bending moment A B
is always zero at the free end. C D
straight line
4. A simple analysis indicates
that there is no bending moment VA VB
at Section CD.

A B
C D

M
V
Bending moment diagram
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller
support.
2. Because the section AB is bent upward (tension fibre on top),
bending moment must be positive. F
3. Starting from another end of T
the beam, the bending moment A B
is always zero at the free end. C D
straight line
4. A simple analysis indicates
that there is no bending moment VA VB
at Section CD.
5. Between point B and C, there
A B
is no force applied, so the C D
bending moment diagram is
straight line.
Typical Features of BMD
1. The bending moment is always zero at the end pin or roller support or the
free end.
2. The BMD is a straight line over the section without loading. In other
BMD will always consist of straight lines. F
3. If a part of structure remains T
bending moment. C D
straight line
VA VB

A B
C D
More Examples
straight line Reaction Forces
F
Deformed shape
A C
B D
T
VA Vc
More Examples
straight line Reaction Forces
F
Deformed shape
A C
B D Bending moment diagram
T
VA Vc

BMD:

Reaction Forces

Deformed shape
A
T
B C
MA
VA
Zero rotation

Reaction Forces

Deformed shape
A
T
B C Bending moment diagram
MA
VA
The bending moment diagram under a
distributed load is always curved (open
upward if the distributed load is
downward).
Concentrated moment
T M
A Deformed shape
C
B
Reaction Forces
T
VA VC Bending moment diagram

## Feature of BMD for concentrated moment:

The bending moment diagram is
M
discontinuous at the application of the
moment. The jump of the moment is
equal to the value of the applied moment
(jump down from left to right when a
clockwise moment is applied).
Qualitative analysis of articulated
beams
P

A B E
Reaction Forces
C D

E
C D

VC VE
VC

A B
C

VA VB
Qualitative analysis of articulated
beams
VC P

A T
B E
Reaction Forces
C D
T Deformed Shape
VA VB VC VE
Qualitative analysis of articulated
beams
VC P

A T
B E
Reaction Forces
C D
T Deformed Shape
VA VB VC VE
Bending moment diagram

## Feature of BMD at pin connections:

The bending moments are always
zero at pin connections.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
P
Reaction Forces
A C D
B The direction of the reaction force can be
determined by using the principle of
VD superposition.
=

## 1) Removing the vertical reaction at D the

A C ΔD1 beam becomes a statically determinate
D structure and will be deformed as shown.
B
2) Comparing with the original structure,
VD
+

## the deflection at point D should be zero due

A the roller support. Therefore, we need
C
D applied a downward force to satisfy the zero
ΔD2 deflection at point D.
3) When ΔD1-ΔD2=0, the original structure is
equal to the sum of two sub-structures.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
P
T Reaction Forces
A C D
B The direction of the reaction force can be
T determined by using the principle of
VA VC VD superposition.

Deformed Shape
Point of contraflexure: at a change of
curvature. The bending moment is zero at
this point.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
Point of contraflexure
P
T Reaction Forces
A C D
B x The direction of the reaction force can be
T determined by using the principle of
VA VC VD superposition.

Deformed Shape
Point of contraflexure: at a change of
curvature. The bending moment is zero at
this point.

## Bending moment diagram

Bending moment diagrams cross the zero
level at points of contraflexure.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
P
Reaction Forces
MA? C
A
B The direction of the reaction force can be
determined by using the principle of
superposition.
VA VC

A C
ӨA B

VA VC
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
P
MA Reaction Forces
A C
B The direction of the reaction force can be
determined by using the principle of
superposition.
VA VC

A C
ӨA B

VA VC
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
P
MA Reaction Forces
AT C
B The direction of the reaction force can be
T determined by using the principle of
superposition.
VA VC
Deformed Shape
Zero rotation at fixed end.
Point of contraflexure: at a change of
curvature. The bending moment is zero at
this point.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
Point of contraflexure
P
MA Reaction Forces
AT C
X B The direction of the reaction force can be
T determined by using the principle of
superposition.
VA VC
Deformed Shape
Zero rotation at fixed end.
Point of contraflexure: at a change of
curvature. The bending moment is zero at
this point.

## Bending moment diagram

Bending moment diagrams cross the zero
level at points of contraflexure.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
VC
VA P
Reaction Forces
A B
C D E The direction of the reaction force can be
MA ME determined by using the principle of
superposition.
VB VC VE
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
VC
VA P
Reaction Forces
A T B T
T C D E The direction of the reaction force can be
MA ME determined by using the principle of
T superposition.
VB VC VE
Deformed Shape
Zero rotation at fixed end.
Point of contraflexure: at a change of
curvature. The bending moment is zero at
this point.
Qualitative analysis of statically
indeterminate beams
VC
VA P
Reaction Forces
A T B T
X C X The direction of the reaction force can be
MA T D E ME determined by using the principle of
T superposition.
VB VC VE
Deformed Shape
Zero rotation at fixed end.
Point of contraflexure: at a change of
curvature. The bending moment is zero at
this point.

## Bending moment diagram

Bending moment diagrams cross the zero
level at points of contraflexure.
Possible multiple solutions
Multiple solutions:
P1 P1
P2 P2
T
A CT D A C D
B X X or B
T X
T
VA VA T VC
VC VD VD
Summary
• The aim of the qualitative analysis is to determine the direction of reaction
forces, approximate deformed shapes and bending moment diagram.
• To find a support reaction, remove the restraint offered by the reaction and
draw the deflected shape of the resulting structure. Applying the support reaction
in such to as to bring the structure back to where it should be.
• The deflection at all supports is zero and the rotation at the fixed end is zero.

• The bending moment is zero at end pin or roller support or free end.

• The bending moment diagram is a straight line when no force is applied over
the section and a curve when a distributed load is applied over the section.

## • The bending moment diagram is zero at points of contraflexture.

Activities
• Solve problems as given in Class