# Structures

STRUCTURES
CONTENTS
9.2 Forces 9.3 Strength and stiffness of structures 9.4 Beams 9.1 Young’s modulus – stress and strain

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9.1 YOUNG’S MODULUS – STRESS AND STRAIN
9.1.1 Define Young’s modulus.

A

ll engineered structures are designed and built with consideration of resisting the same fundamental forces of tension, compression, shear, bending and torsion. Structural design is a balance of these internal and external forces. At the same time, materials selection, component specification, joining techniques, individual member design and assembly must be also considered. Historically, designs for structures have developed on a trial-and-error basis, until a basic understanding of material properties and ‘rule-of-thumb’ or empirical guidelines provided greater success. As new materials and technologies became available design options also expanded. Over time, these guidelines have been supplanted or validated by engineering calculations based on theories of material properties and design that allow ‘proof of concept’ while projects are still on the drawing board. Standardization of material tests, processing, design and drawing terminology etc., allow successful techniques to be conveyed unambiguously throughout the design community. Knowledge of the mechanical properties of materials and how they perform is a must for designers, engineers and architects. It is this knowledge of a material’s performance relative to standardized tests and benchmarks that gives designers greater certainty in the structural integrity of their designs.

Young’s modulus is the ratio of stress to strain within the elastic region of the stress strain curve (prior to the yield point). It is a measure of the stiffness of a material and is also known as the modulus of elasticity. 9.1.2 State that the stress (load) is force per unit area acting on a body or system.

Stress is the relationship between an applied load and a material’s cross-sectional area measured in Mega Pascals (MPa). Where: Stress = Load or σ = L Area A In this situation Load is quoted in Newtons and the area is measured in mm2.

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Temperature also affects tensile properties. Elastic limit Figure 9.1. yield stress and ultimate tensile stress. Where: Strain = extension or ε = x original length lo Figure 9.4c Stress strain curve Robert Hooke was a 17th Century scientist principally remembered for his work on the elastic nature of materials. As environmental temperatures increase. and shear loading conditions.4b Progressive tensile test samples showing necking and failure Image by Nicholas John Almost all of the mechanical properties of a material can be obtained from its stress-strain diagram curve and includes information such as: • • • • • • • • • • ductility resilience toughness elongation brittleness elastic limit yield stress ultimate stress breaking stress Young’s modulus. Both elongation and reduction of area are measures of ductility.4a  Tensometer Image by Cate Scott Ductile materials often ‘neck’ (reduce in cross sectional area) while continuing to elongate before fracture (Figure 9. tensile values decrease. Hooke’s Law describes the amount of elastic deformation that a material can sustain in tension or compression before it undergoes permanent plastic deformation.1.1. A tensometer (Figure 9.3 State that strain is the ratio of a change in dimension to the original value of that dimension. Stress σ Elastic zone Strain ε Figure 9.1.4c can be generated for axial tension.Chapter 9 9. 9.4a) is used to produce this information. © IBO 2007 AHL Testing of sample pieces to destruction in either tension or compression will produce data that can be plotted to produce a curve better known as a load-extension diagram. Data gathered from this test may later be translated into a stress-strain diagram.1.1. compression. Strain is a dimensionless quantity. © IBO 2007 Strain is an engineering quantity that measures the change in length of a body relative to its original length when subjected to a load.1. Stress-strain diagrams such as Figure 9.1. Hooke’s law states: ‘stress is directly proportional to strain within the proportional limit.4b). plastic flow region. Yield point Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) Failure or Breaking stress Necking Plastic zone Extension and original length are both measured in millimeters.’ 152 .4 Draw and describe a stress/strain graph and identify the elastic region.

exhibits a very small initial slope. Figure 9.4d Stress strain curves A material’s stress-strain curve also indicates the overall toughness of the material.Structures From this. This constant is known as Young’s modulus (E) and has the units of GPa (103 MPa).g. true stress Figure 9.4d shows a range of stress strain curves. the material returns to its original length.4f. Before the elastic limit any extension (or reduction) that takes place in a material is reversed once the load is removed.1.e. yet as shown in Figure 9.4f Engineering stress-strain curve vs. ‘True stress’ is defined as the ratio of the applied load (L) to the instantaneous cross-sectional area (A).g. it can be seen that as the strain becomes large and the cross-sectional area of the specimen decreases. Similarly. on the other hand. A brittle material displays linear elastic behaviour and fails with little strain e. The greater the area.1. The shape and gradients of stress-strain curves give an indication of a material’s properties.e.4e Examples of stress strain curves . This is most easily demonstrated by the relationship between melting points and elasticity of various materials. the tougher the material.1. The area under the curve is a measure of a material’s toughness. and the greater the amount of energy required to break it. ceramics and glasses (1). The elastic limit is the maximum load that can be sustained before plastic deformation will occur. natural and synthetic rubbers (4).1. tensile values decrease. This method ceases to be an accurate measure when large amounts of deformation take place. True stress and strain are practically indistinguishable from engineering stress and strain at small deformations. for a given material. i.1. Temperature also affects tensile properties – as environmental temperature increases. the higher the modulus of elasticity. i.g. but strain hardens and withstands larger strains before failure e. The higher the melting point. Figure 9. low carbon steel (2).4e shows examples of typical curves showing distinct properties. True stress 1 Stress σ Stress engineering stress 2 3 4 Strain ε Strain Figure 9. as the test temperature increases the Young’s modulus decreases. the true stress becomes much larger than the engineering stress. 153 AHL Figure 9. A soft and tough material. Elastomeric materials display non-linear elasticity e. a) elastic material obeying Hooke’s law b) ductile material displaying plastic deformation Load Extension Load Extension ‘Engineering stress’ is calculated using the ratio of the applied load to the non-deformed (original) crosssectional area.1. Elasticity is directly related to the bonding between atoms and their respective energies. the mathematical relationship can be expressed as: Stress = k × Strain or k = Stress/Strain Where: k is a constant of proportionality. Materials such as aluminium show no definite yield point (3). the energy required to disrupt atom-to-atom bonding.

& Leslie. W.7 Calculate Young’s modulus of a range of materials.6 MPa Strain (ε) E = extension / original length = 0.2% of the gauge length.C.5a Plot of yield strength against grain size Image adapted from Morrison.1. 154 . (1973). Hall-Petch Equation σy = σo + ky d-½ σy is the yield stress σo is a constant known as the friction stress ky is a constant represented by the slope of σy versus d-½ d = grain diameter in mm Stress 0.Chapter 9 9.1% proof stress.6 / 6. A line parallel to the initial gradient of the stress strain diagram is drawn. Metallurgical Transactions. For structural applications. The diagram below shows the method for finding 0.2 / 3 × 103 = 21.1.5b 0.1. Proof stress Many alloys do not show either a definite elastic limit or yield point.B. since once the yield point is passed. the elastic limit denotes the point where the maximum load that can be sustained before plastic deformation will occur. the structure has deformed beyond acceptable limits. Where the drawn line and the curve intersect is the proof stress (Figure 9.6 Explain the difference between plastic and elastic strains. This is known as elastic strain or elastic deformation.1.1. yield strength increases as illustrated in Figure 9. the yield stress is usually a more important property than the tensile strength. Because of the importance of the yield point to designers. W. exhibit two such points that are identified as the upper and lower yield points.2 mm.66 × 10-5 = 324 GPa Figure 9. This approximation is known as ‘proof stress’ and relates to a pre-determined amount of permanent deformation measured against the strain axis. pp 379-381. Within the plastic zone all deformation is permanent. © IBO 2007 Figure 9.5 Outline the importance of yield stress in materials.001 Strain Figure 9. Vol 4.5b).5a. Some materials.7a shows a range of materials and their typical Young’s modulus values. Calculate the Young’s modulus (E) for an 18 mm square section of steel 3 m long given it is stressed to 21. The Hall-Petch equation presented below describes this relationship.1% Proof stress 9. © IBO 2007 Proof stress Yield stress occurs on a stress-strain diagram where the test specimen continues to stretch (strain) without an increase in load (stress). 9. Note: The values are approximations for these materials as consistencies and compositions vary. Stress (σ) = 21.1% and 0. © IBO 2007 AHL On a stress-strain diagram.1. The yield strength of most materials is determined by their grain size. Up until the elastic limit the removal of any applied load will see the material return to its original length. Proof stress is most often calculated around the values of 0.1.6 MPa and exhibits an extension of 0. calculations have been developed to produce an artificial approximation. such that as the grain size reduces. When stress passes the limit of a material’s elasticity it continues into the plastic zone. Beyond the yield point permanent or plastic deformation occurs. notably low carbon steels.1.

that is of interest in determining the movement of an object. 9. Problems with adjustments for the mass of any container and difficulties in the measurement of the volume of water. These structures are of course static by nature and therefore do not move. The nature of balancing these forces. the kilogram was defined as one litre of water at 4°C. 10 m/s2 is often accepted as an approximate value for acceleration due to gravity on earth. France. known as Secondary standards. If the mass is not moving down through the table. it will have increased its velocity by another 9.3 Reactive forces The net force on the object is zero. The force of gravity accelerates all matter. An object of 5 kg mass sitting on a table and assuming acceleration due to gravity is 10 m/s2.5 Explain the relationship of external loads to internal forces and the concept of the balance of equilibrium of forces within a structure. but it is only the net force. the units of force were named after him as the Newton and are abbreviated as a capital N. In honour of Newton’s achievements. means the structure must satisfy the following three rules: The sum of the vertical forces must be equal ∑ FV↑ = ∑ FV ↓ The sum of the horizontal forces must be equal ∑ FH → = ∑ FH ← The sum of the moments must be equal ∑ M = ∑ M  Sir Isaac Newton found that a relationship existed between the forces acting on an object and its acceleration. weight can vary depending on the amount to which gravity varies. In the 18th century when its standardization was initially undertaken. © IBO 2007 AHL mg = 30N 3 kg 30N Figure 9. © IBO 2007 Structures such as bridges and towers are designed to follow Newton’s First Law where a body in equilibrium is at rest or in uniform motion. The appropriate authority in each country holds replicas of this standard.6 m/s. 9. Many forces of various magnitude and direction can act upon an object of course. equal in size and opposite in sense. As mentioned previously. has a weight of 50 N.3. thus. at the end of one second it will have travelled 9. and in the same direction as.8 metres per second per second.2.2. it does not move and is therefore in a state of equilibrium. weight is a force and represents the mass of an object accelerated under the influence of gravity. On earth.8 m/s. This means that if an object is dropped from rest. 156 . At the end of the next second.4 State the units of weight and mass. led to the adoption of a platinum-iridium (Pt-Ir) alloy cylinder as the reference standard. it will have reached a velocity of 9.8 m/s2. The net force acting on an object is directly proportional to. For the purposes of simple calculation. the acceleration of the object. That is.2. Acceleration has therefore been 9.8 m. External loads applied to structures generate opposing internal loads within the structures members. From this standard a set of auxiliary standards are produced for use by laboratories and industry. Fnet = m a The units of force are kg m/s2 since acceleration is measured in metres per second per second (m/s2). The international prototype kilogram is held at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres. the table is said to be exerting a matching reactive force against the object as shown in Figure 9. Fnet is constantly proportional to a The constant of proportionality was subsequently defined as the mass of the object.Chapter 9 of this. As with all measures. the acceleration due to gravity (g) varies slightly from place to place but is approximately 9. the kilogram is an arbitrarily derived quantity that must be capable of accurate determination in disparate locations.8 m/s to a value of 19. This has come to be known as Newton’s Second Law of Motion. The unit of mass within the SI system is the kilogram (kg).2.

3d Zero bending moment Values calculated for shear force and bending moments may be plotted graphically to show the changing values over the beam as shown in Figure 9. The following formula applies: moment = force × perpendicular distance Note: a force applied to or through the fulcrum will have no turning effect on the body.5 = BM 3 kN Therefore. the length of the beam up to this point (zero) must be considered as shown in Figure 9. this force tends to create a rotating effect on the body. Shear force acting on the beam = 3 kN↓therefore to create equilibrium 3 kN↑ is acting internally within the beam.3c. © IBO 2007 C ↑ Figure 9.3. The bending moment at C can only be 0 kNm for the same reasons explained for point A on the beam.3e. The magnitude of a moment is calculated by multiplying the perpendicular distance in meters between the applied force and the pivot by the force itself. the mathematical formula stating the sum of the clockwise 160 .5 m 3 kN B 3 kN 3 kN 6 kN 3 kN Figure 9.4 Outline what is meant by moment arm.3c Calculating bending moments at B The bending moments around B are: 3 × 2.3. The perpendicular distance between the force causing the moment and the turning point known as the pivot or the fulcrum is called the moment arm. the points are joined up. The shear force diagram is constructed by simply treating the forces on the force diagram as either up or down. 6 kN 6 kN A B 5m C A 2. To determine the shear force at point C only consider the forces acting here. Figure 9. An example of moments created by a force includes the use of a spanner to loosen or tighten a nut. When attempting to create equilibrium in a system.3.3.5 kNm AHL The last point on the beam to be examined is point C. BM at B = 7. If a force is applied to a body fixed in space.3. Analytically bending moments can be calculated as the area under the shear force diagram and the relevant value plotted on the bending moment diagram.Chapter 9 To determine the bending moment at B. Moments are vector quantities and are measured in Newton meters (Nm).3e Force shear force and bending moment diagrams 9.3. Each force is then plotted on an axis and after all forces considered. To determine the bending moment at point C the length of the beam (zero) is used as the moment arm. Notice that the maximum bending moment occurs where the shear force diagram cuts the axis.

steel ‘I’ beams and reinforced concrete slabs. Beams are usually classified based on the mechanism used to support them. Figure 9.4.4 BEAMS 9.1f Beam structure – Shanghai sculpture park 162 .4.4.1 Describe a beam.Chapter 9 9. This yet to be determined direction is often shown by a Figure 9.4. Figure 9. The section of the beam between the two supports behaves like a simply supported beam while the overhanging section acts like a cantilever beam. Figure 9. A fallen log spanning a creek would be an example of a simply supported beam. They may be made from masonry. © IBO 2007 wriggly line (Figure 9.4. Types of beams include: • cantilever • overhanging • simply supported.1e shows an overhanging beam.4. Figure 9.1a shows a simply supported beam deflecting under load. while at the same time allowing for movements due to vibration.1c Fixed or pinned support reaction Figure 9. thermal expansion and dynamic service loads. A diver’s springboard would be an example of a cantilever beam. Note also that the vertical beams would all be in compression. Figure 9. When loaded shear stresses and bending moments cause beams to flex or deflect.1b shows the line of force reaction at roller supports is always directed perpendicular to the line joining the centres of the rollers.1d Simply supported beam Figure 9.4. AHL Figure 9. Beams are rigid structural members that support and transmit loads acting at 90° to their longitudinal axis. The beams demonstrate a combination of simply supported and overhanging structures.4.1d shows a cantilever beam deflecting under load.4. wood. metal or composite materials.4. Figure 9.4.4.1f is constructed from a series of rectangular wooden beams. Configurations such as this allow the beam to be supported. A cantilever beam is fixed at one end and free at the other.1a Simply supported beam In engineering applications it is usual for one end of the beam to have a fixed hinged or pinned support and the other a roller or rocker.1e Overhanging beam The shelter shown in Figure 9.4.1c) and is governed by the need to maintain equilibrium.1b Roller support reactions The reaction at the pinned support can be at any direction.

4b Cellular beam 9. before painting to produce a suitable finish.4. ‘H’ or box profiles. Figure 9. Applying the same load to the beams (of equal cross-sectional area) shown in Figure 9. The second moment of area provides a means for calculating the relationship between the neutral axis. 9. dried. © IBO 2007 AHL The location of the neutral axis is important in calculating bending stress but so too is the cross-sectional shape of the beam and how the mass is distributed around the neutral axis. Manufactured from thin veneers of timber that are rotary peeled from logs these large sheets of may be cut.4. Once the individual sheets are manufactured they may then be cut and reassembled into a variety of cross-sections such as ‘I’. Beams of equal mass per unit length will not necessarily deflect in the same fashion. the cross-sectional shape of the beam and the distribution of the mass. Compared with simple square or round beams.4. This strength is obtained from the placement of large amounts of the beam’s mass away from the neutral axis. © IBO 2007 Sheet materials such as LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) may be suitable for high strength structural applications. it has a low quality finish and often requires surface treatment.Chapter 9 9.8 Explain the importance of factor of safety in the design of beams. glued and assembled under heat and pressure.5a will obviously cause differing bending stress results. However. bow or twist • beams exhibit improved strength and stiffness compared to solid timber • sheets may be manufactured to specific sizes and available in dimensions larger than those traditionally available from milled timber • knots and defects have little impact on the performance of LVL sections as they are randomly distributed in very thin sections over the material.5 Describe how the shape of sectional members of a structure makes the most effective and economic use of materials. Unlike plywood the grain on each LVL veneer is most often laid in the same orientation as the length of the product.7 Outline the benefits of using LVL beams in the construction industry. The second moment of area or moment of inertia (Ixx) is a property of beams generated from their cross sectional shape relative to their neutral axis. the larger the second moment of area the greater a beam’s resistance to bending or deflection. © IBO 2007 Because the veneers are rotary peeled.4.4.4. such as fine. long continuous lengths are available to be manufactured into boards of very large dimensions. In most cases LVL is employed for its structural properties.5 Bending stress relative to the neutral axis The deflection of a beam under load depends not only on the load. are the strongest of the three sectional types. 9.6 Explain that sectional members of a structure may be manufactured in sheet material. ‘I‘ beams (of the same cross sectional area). © IBO 2007 Figure 9. When considering beam shapes.4. When considering factors of safety the approach most often used in designing engineering beams and ultimately structures is to examine the relationship between the 166 . LVL provides a number of benefits when used in the construction industry: • varying sectional profiles may be constructed to order • high dimensional stability and little tendency to warp. but also on the geometry of the beam’s cross-section.

greater mass from the neutral axis 6. failure values C. 7. ultimate tensile strength 5. a tensile force B. a turning force C. When these figures are employed. Explain the difference between true stress and engineering stress. Identify the factors that LVL a suitable alternative to solid timber 10. 11. May 2001 167 AHL 3. stress is directly proportional to strain within the elastic limit.Structures ultimate tensile stress (UTS) of the beam and its working stress (σ). low second moments of inertia D.7b calculate the Young’s modulus. D. stress is directly proportional to strain within the plastic limit. toughness B. Explain how structures balance forces ‘on’ and ‘within’ individual members. Discuss the issues surrounding treating structural timber with preservatives. stress is always greater than strain C. web thickness B. materials selection C. Modern Steel Construction. It is important that the allowable stress is below the elastic limit to guarantee no permanent deformation takes place under loading. P.1. show crystalline fracture surfaces D. ‘neck’ before failure C. Ductile materials: A.5 MPa = Load/Area = L/σ = 30 × 103/147. Explain why strain is a dimensionless quality. costs may be effectively reduced through the economic choice and use of materials while still conforming to required safety margins. a shearing force D. all of the above. yield strength D. Use a factor of safety of 4 and a UTS of 590 MPa for the steel beam. Using the force-strain plot obtained for the Ductile Iron sample shown in Figure 9. Explain why steel is a suitable material for inclusion in pre-stressed concrete beams. 8. The size of the safety factor employed is determined by a number of considerations: • • • • • • • • • certainty of loads design life of structure quality of manufacture consequences of failure environmental influences criticality of the component ease of repair or maintenance certainty of material properties statutory and code requirements.E. ‘I’ beams demonstrate superior strength due to their: A. happening at that time From this relationship it can be seen the factor of safety should always be greater than one. A force described as a moment is: A. stress equals strain B. Hooke’s law states: A. are brittle B. 2. 9. 12. . factor of safety considerations are based around a material’s: A. Billy Milligan. Therefore the minimum beam diameter is 16mm. When designing. Factors of safety generated from reliable strength values of materials give designers greater flexibility when specifying both materials and sectional sizes. Further reading The ‘Smart Solution’.5 = 203 mm2 = π d2/4 = 203 × 4/π = 16 mm 4.. FOS σ σ A But A d2 d = UTS/σ = UTS/FOS = 590/4 = 147. Sample calculation Calculate the minimum diameter of a round steel beam carrying a tensile load of 30kN. The Factor of Safety is mathematically defined as: FS = UTS/σ Exercises 1.

Chapter 9 AHL 168 .