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Method of Sections

Method of Sections

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Analyzing structural analysis requires standard method and procedure in order to achieve the result. Students need to equip himself/herself with fundamental vector mechanics topics to enable certain forces and moments be extracted from the structure hence calculation could be done.
Analyzing structural analysis requires standard method and procedure in order to achieve the result. Students need to equip himself/herself with fundamental vector mechanics topics to enable certain forces and moments be extracted from the structure hence calculation could be done.

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Published by: Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim on Jul 13, 2012
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LGB 21303 APPLIED MARINE MECHANICS
NOTES ON STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS (ABR)
METHOD OF SECTION
When one desires to find the unknown forces in only a few bars, then the method of sections is oftenthe preferred method. This method also follows the same steps pursued in any Statics problem, butdiffers from the method of joints in the choice of subsystems. When applying this method we make animaginary cut through the truss dividing it into two parts, which are referred to as sections. The cutdivides some of the bars into portions, but never runs through a joint.When drawing free body diagrams of a section of the truss, we must represent the load exerted by oneportion of the bar on the other portion of the bar. Since each portion must be in equilibrium, thedirection and sense of that internal force is consistent with the forces exerted by the pins on the bar.The internal force is similar to the tension in a cable, except that truss members could be either intension or compression.
EXAMPLE: Drawing and Solving for a Given Section 1
Here is the truss; only forces in bars CE and CF are to be found. All dimensions are in feet.Each section forms a planar rigid body. In this sense it is like the 2-D subsystems considered in unit"Single Body", with three independent equations of equilibrium, for example two force equations andone moment equation. To visualize it, let us draw only the outline shape of the subsystem – the section – as shown below.Do we need to analyze both sections, and/or the truss as a whole? Remember that we are interestedonly in forces CE and CF.
 
LGB 21303 APPLIED MARINE MECHANICS
NOTES ON STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS (ABR)The left section interacts with supports and the removed portions of three bars: 6 unknowns are notsolvable with only three equations. If we first determined the support reactions by analyzing truss as awhole, then the left section could be used to find the bar forces, but that would have required solving atotal of two subsystems.The right section interacts only with removed portions of bars: there are 3 unknowns which are solvablewith three equations. But we only want to determine 2 unknowns: CE and CF, so we may use only 2equations, and not find DF.Say that forces in bars EG and FG are needed. If we cut the truss as shown below, we would only havetwo unknown bar forces. Could the two unknown bar forces possibly satisfy three equations ofequilibrium?From the FBD, you can see that all forces pass through the joint G. So, summation of moments aboutthat point is trivially satisfied. In fact, for this choice of cut, the method of sections is equivalent to themethod of joints applied to joint G.
Observation:
* To form a solvable section cut through no more than 3 bars with unknown forces* In this example, the cut required to reveal the desired forces in the bars cuts the truss into twosections, such that one of them does not interact with any supports. In such cases only one subsystem(the section with no reaction forces) can be used to find the desired unknown bar forces
 
LGB 21303 APPLIED MARINE MECHANICS
NOTES ON STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS (ABR)In this course from now on, for simplicity, we are going to draw the sections showing the cuts as follows;
EXAMPLE: Drawing and Solving for a Given Section 2
In this truss, all applied forces are in kN. Only forces in bars CD, IJ, and DI are to be found. Neighboring joints are separated by 3 m horizontally (e.g., A and B) and 4 m vertically (e.g., B and H).Now you will draw the free body diagram for a section.We try to solve for the unknown forces in the bars, we find that neither section is solvable –there are 4unknowns on the left section, and 5 on the right section.Unlike with the prior EXAMPLE 1, here the whole truss has to be solved first for the tension in the cableor for the pin reactions.

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