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Bending and Shear Stress

Bending and Shear Stress

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Published by Atish Kumar
all are for civil engg
all are for civil engg

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Published by: Atish Kumar on Nov 14, 2010
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Bending stress
In engineering mechanics, bending (also known as flexure) characterizes the behavior of a structural
element subjected to an external load applied perpendicular to the axis of the element. A structural
element subjected to bending is known as a beam. A closet rod sagging under the weight of clothes on
clothes hangers is an example of a beam experiencing bending.
Bending produces reactive forces inside a beam as the beam attempts to accommodate the flexural
load; the material at the top of the beam is being compressed while the material at the bottom is being
stretched. There are three notable internal forces caused by lateral loads: shear parallel to the lateral
loading, compression along the top of the beam, and tension along the bottom of the beam. These last
two forces form a couple or moment as they are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. This
bending moment produces the sagging deformation characteristic of compression members
experiencing bending.
This stress distribution is dependent on a number of assumptions.
First, that 'plane sections remain plane'. In other words, any deformation due to shear across the
section is not accounted for (no shear deformation). Also, this linear distribution is only applicable if
the maximum stress is less than the yield stress of the material. For stresses that exceed yield, refer to
article plastic bending.
The compressive and tensile forces induce stresses on the beam. The maximum compressive stress is
found at the uppermost edge of the beam while the maximum tensile stress is located at the lower
edge of the beam. Since the stresses between these two opposing maxima vary linearly, there
therefore exists a point on the linear path between them where there is no bending stress. The locus of
these points is the neutral axis. Because of this area with no stress and the adjacent areas with low
stress, using uniform cross section beams in bending is not a particularly efficient means of supporting
a load as it does not use the full capacity of the beam until it is on the brink of collapse. Wide-flange
beams (I-Beams) and truss girders effectively address this inefficiency as they minimize the amount of
material in this under-stressed region.
Complex bending of homogeneous beams
The complex bending stress equation for elastic, homogeneous beams is given as where Mx and My
are the bending moments about the x and y centroid axes, respectively. Ix and Iy are the second
moments of area (also known as moments of inertia) about the x and y axes, respectively, and Ixy is the
product of inertia. Using this equation it would be possible to calculate the bending stress at any point
on the beam cross section regardless of moment orientation or cross-sectional shape. Note that Mx,
My, Ix, Iy, and Ixy are all unique for a given section along the length of the beam. In other words, they
will not change from one point to another on the cross section. However, the x and y variables shown
in the equation correspond to the coordinates of a point on the cross section at which the stress is to
be determined.
Stress in large bending deformation
For large deformations of the body, the stress in the cross-section is calculated using an extended
version of this formula. First the following assumptions must be made:
1. Assumption of flat sections - before and after deformation the considered section of body
remains flat (i.e. is not swirled).
2. Shear and normal stresses in this section that are perpendicular to the normal vector of cross
section have no influence on normal stresses that are parallel to this section.
Large bending considerations should be implemented when the bending radius ρ is smaller than ten
section heights h:
ρ < 10h
With those assumptions the stress in large bending is calculated as:
F is the normal force
A is the section area
M is the bending moment
ρ is the local bending radius (the radius of bending at the current section)
Ix' is the area moment of inertia along the x axis, at the y place (see Steiner's theorem)
y is the position along y axis on the section area in which the stress σ is calculated
Shear stress
A shear stress, denoted (tau), is defined as a stress which is applied parallel or tangential to a face of a
material, as opposed to a normal stress which is applied perpendicularly. In other words, considering
that weight is a force, hanging something from a wall creates a shear stress on the wall, since the
weight of the object is acting parallel to the wall, as opposed to hanging something from the ceiling
which creates a normal stress on the ceiling, since the weight is acting perpendicular to the ceiling.
General shear stress
The formula to calculate average shear stress is:
τ = the shear stress
F = the force applied
A = the cross sectional area

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