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The Euler-‐Bernoulli beam theory was established around 1750 with contributions from Leonard Euler and Daniel Bernoulli. The work built on earlier developments by Jacob Bernoulli. However, the beam problem had been addressed even earlier. Galileo attempted one formulation but misplaced the neutral axis. Leonardo da Vinci also seems to have addressed the problem of beam bending. The two key assumptions in the Euler-‐Bernoulli beam theory are that the material is linear elastic according to Hooke’s law and that plane sections remain plane and perpendicular to the neutral axis during bending. The latter is sometimes referred to as Navier’s hypothesis. In contrast, Timoshenko beam theory, which is covered in another document, relaxes the assumption that the sections remain perpendicular to the neutral axis, thus including shear deformation. In the following, the governing equations are established, followed by the formulation and solution of the differential equation. Thereafter, the computation of stresses and cross-‐section constants is described. A number of sign conventions are adopted in the following: § § The z-‐axis is increases upward Displacement w is positive in the direction of the z-‐axis
acts in the downward direction. while the z-‐axis is in the upward direction.ca § § § § § Distributed load qz is positive when it acts in the downward direction Clockwise shear force is positive Bending moment that imposes tension at the bottom of a horizontal beam element is positive Counter-‐clockwise rotation θ is positive so that it can be interpreted as the slope of the deformed beam element Tensile stresses and strains are positive. q M V V+dV M+dM dx Figure 1: Equilibrium for infinitesimally small beam element.ubc. compression is negative Equilibrium The equilibrium equations are obtained by considering equilibrium in the x-‐ direction for the infinitesimal beam element in Figure 1. Section Integration Integration of axial stresses over the cross-‐section: M = $ !" # z d A A (3) Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 2 . Vertical equilibrium yields: Moment equilibrium about the rightmost edge yields: q=! dV dx (1) V= dM dx (2) In Eq. Notice that the distributed load.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. q.inrisk. This essentially means that terms with dx2 (the multiplication of an exceedingly small value by itself) are considered approximately equal to zero. (2) it is noted that “second-‐order terms” are neglected. The notation qz is employed in other documents to identify the case where positive load acts in the positive z-‐direction.
z • Negative compression stress • Positive z-values M M x Minus sign is cross-section integral is necessary to get positive bending moment • Positive tension stress • Negative z-values Figure 2: The reason for the minus sign in Eq. the use of Eq.e. (4). However. i.. Figure 2 is intended to explain this further. bending moment with tension at the bottom. The alternative “plane strain” version of the two-‐dimensional Hooke’s law is more appropriate in cases where the beam is only a strip of a long rectangular plate that is supported along the two long edges. substituted into the material law in the x-‐direction yields: ! yy = " yy #$ % " xx =0 E (5) " yy " xx ($ % " xx ) = " xx (1 # $ 2 ) & " = E % ! (6) " xx #$ = #$ xx xx E E E E E 1# $2 All the derivations and results in the following are based on the material law σxx=E. ! xx = Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 3 . Material Law The material law throughout linear elastic theory is Hooke’s law: ! = E " # (4) In the context of two-‐dimensional theory of elasticity. In that case the strain is restrained in the y-‐direction: & " yy = $ % " xx E Which.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. E.. (4) implies a “plane stress” material law.εxx from Eq.ca where the minus sign appears because it is compressive (negative) stresses in the positive z-‐axis domain that gives a positive bending moment. (3).ubc. the plain strain version is easily introduced by replacing the Young’s modulus. air on the sides of the beam. It implies that there is zero stress. in any equation by E/(1-‐ν2). i.e.inrisk.
ubc. Fibres on the tension side elongate. The starting point for the considerations is to link the axial strain to the change of length of the imaginative fibres that the cross-‐section is made up of. != z. consider two points on a beam that is dx apart. each fibre in the cross-‐section change length proportional to its distance from the neutral axis. The amount of shortening or elongation depends upon the rotation of the cross-‐ section. of each infinitesimally short fibre is du = ! d" # z (8) Finally. the axial displacement u is related to the rotation of the cross-‐section. Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 4 tan(! ) = dw " ! dx .e. The same consideration as in kinematics of truss members. it is noted that dθ is equal to the curvature. namely that strain is “elongation divided by original length” yields: du (7) dx Next. It is first recognized that bending deformation essentially implies shortening and lengthening of “fibres” in the cross-‐section. as shown in Figure 4. u Figure 3: Navier’s hypothesis for beam bending. A geometrical consideration of to Figure 3 shows that the shortening and lengthening. For this purpose. κ. while fibres on the compression side shorten. axial displacement. The relative displacement is dw. In particular.ca Kinematics The relationship between the axial strain and the transversal displacement of a beam element is sought. Consequently.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. i. In passing. a geometrical consideration of Figure 4 shows that: (9) where the equation is simplified by assuming that the deformations are sufficiently small so that tan(θ)≈θ.. consider the infinitesimal rotation dθ of the infinitesimally short beam element in Figure 3. w d! z x. which is measure positive upwards.inrisk. Under the assumption that plane sections remain plane and perpendicular to the neutral axis during deformation. the rotation θ is related to the transversal displacement.
curvature is defined as !" 1 R (11) where R is the radius of curvature of the beam. The first alludes to the fact that differentiation is carried out with respect to the x-‐axis.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www.inrisk.ca ! ! dw dx Figure 4: Rotation of the cross-‐section of a beam element. the kinematic equation for beam members is obtained: d 2w ! = " 2 # z dx (10) This expression implies an approximation of the exact curvature of the beam. the curvature is approximated by !" d# d 2 w " dx dx 2 (12) Notice that there are two approximation signs. differentiation should be carried out with respect to the “s-‐axis” that follows the curving beam axis. Mathematically. (9).ubc. From that equation it is observed that the accurate expression for θ is: # dw & ! = tan "1 % ( $ dx ' (13) If this expression was utilized in the derivations above then the differentiation of the inverse tan-‐function yields !" d# = dx $ $ dw ' 2 ' ) ) &1 + & % % dx ( ( $ d 2w ' & % dx 2 ) ( (14) Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 5 . The second approximation is due to Eq. In the Euler-‐Bernoulli beam theory that is presented here. Unless the deformations are negligible this is inaccurate. By combining equations.
ubc. the solution of the differential equation is the starting point for the selection of shape functions in the finite element method. section integration. To obtain the solution for a specific beam Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 6 . (14) is still approximate because the differentiation is carried out with respect to the x-‐axis and not the beam axis. (12) when the slope dw/dx is small.ca which reduces to the expression in Eq. For beam members. while the solution of the differential equation reveals the exact shape when the member deforms.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. the exact curvature expression is: != " d 2w % $ # dx 2 ' & " " dw % % ' ' $1 + $ # # dx & & 2 3 2 (15) Differential Equation The governing differential equation for beam members is obtained by combining the equations for equilibrium. Those shape functions are often approximate. material law. In particular. the displaced shape is a fourth order polynomial. the displacement shape of a beam member is a third-‐order polynomial. From mathematics.inrisk. The general solution of the differential equation reveals whether the finite element shape functions are exact or not. the curvature expression in Eq. However. Without any distributed load. and kinematics: q=! dV d2M d2 = ! 2 = 2 $ " # z dA dx dx dx A (16) d2 d2 d 2w 2 = 2 $ E # % # z d A = ! 2 $ E # 2 # z d A dx A dx A dx = ! EI d 4w dx 4 where the modulus of elasticity is assumed constant over the cross-‐section and the moment of inertia is defined: I = ! z 2 d A A (17) General Solution Although solving the differential equation is not part of typical structural analysis it is instructive to study its solution for simple reference cases. the general solution of the differential equation is obtained by integrating four times: w( x ) = 1 qz 4 ! ! x + C1 ! x 3 + C2 ! x 2 + C3 ! x + C4 24 EI (18) Given a uniform distributed load qz.
boundary conditions are specified. and V(x) for a simply supported beam with uniformly distributed load. with one exception: plotting M(x) yields a diagram drawn on the compression side. Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 7 .ca problem. M(x). θ(x).. notice that the plots of M(x) and V(x) are identical to the respective section force diagrams. With reference to Figure 5. while in these notes the bending moment diagrams are consistently drawn on the tension side.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. To prescribe a rotation. shear force. Figure 5 shows plots of w(x).e.inrisk. The illustration is made with qz=L=EI=1. Figure 5: Example of response functions for beam element. notice that the displacement w(x) is negative. or bending moment. i.ubc. Furthermore. downwards and that θ(x) correctly shows that the slope is negative left of the mid-‐ span. the following equations are useful. obtained by combining the governing equations that are established earlier: != dw dx d 2w dx 2 d 3w dx 3 (19) (20) (21) M = EI V = EI As an illustration of the solution to the differential equation for beam bending.
the neutral axis passes through the centroid of the cross-‐section. For homogeneous cross-‐sections.ca Cross-‐section Parameters The only cross-‐section constant in fundamental 2D beam theory is the cross-‐ sectional moment of inertia. In practice. the integral is evaluated analytically: h /2 I = b! " h /2 # z2 dz = b ! h3 12 (22) For more complicated cross-‐sections the following procedure may be helpful: 1. first select a reference axis in the cross-‐ section that is parallel to the neutral axias and let zo denote its distance to the true neutral axis. z is the distance from the neutral axis of the cross-‐section..e. most prominently the rectangular one with width b and height h. (10): Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 8 . Determine the location of the neutral axis. I. Determine the local moment of inertia.” i. let zi denote the distance from the arbitrarily selected axis to the centroid of each sub-‐area. Add contributions to the global moment of inertia from each cross-‐section part according to Steiner’s formula: I= All parts of the cross-section ! I i + zi2 ·Ai (24) where zi is the distance from the neutral axis of the entire cross-‐section to the centroid of the part. For example. Ai that the cross-‐section consists of. they originate in the centroid but they generally do not coincide with the principal axes. defined in Eq. (17). As a starting point. Furthermore. of each sub-‐area of the cross-‐ section about the local centroid axis of that part..Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. i. 3. a double-‐symmetric cross-‐ section bends around the two symmetry-‐axes.ubc. additional analysis is necessary for general asymmetric cross-‐sections to determine the “principal axes. For simple cross-‐sections. However. In the formula. The total axial strain at a location of the cross-‐section is expressed in the following extended version of Eq. when the coordinate z has its origin at the centroid then the static moment ∫z dA is zero. suppose two axes directions y and z are arbitrary selected.inrisk. Principal Axes This document describes bending about one axis. The distance to the true neutral axis is determined from: A·zo = All parts of the cross-section ! Ai ·zi " zo = ! A ·z i i (23) A 2. In other words. the bending axes of the cross-‐section.e. Ii. bending of 2D beams. With the most common cross-‐sections it is straightforward to understand which cross-‐ section axis the beam will bend around.
compression. (Material to be added here.ca d 2v d 2w ! = ! o " 2 # y " 2 # z dx dx (25) From this strain.” Iyz. i. which yields: ! = "E # d 2w # z dx 2 (29) Then substitute the differential equation without equilibrium equations. tension at the bottom.. beam bending involves both axial and shear stresses. has been defined as: I yz = " y ! z d A A (28) It is relatively straightforward to establish formulas for Iyz and compute stresses in term of Iyz. In Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 9 . it is also always possible to rotate the axis system so that Iyz is zero. (3) to obtain the following expression for the bending moment about the y-‐axis: d 2v d 2w M = ! E " # o " $ z d A + E " 2 " $ y " z d A + E " 2 " $ z 2 d A dx A dx A A (26) The first integral vanishes because z originates at the centroid. while the shear stress is directly related to the shear force as described shortly. (20). As a result. i. where z is positive.) Stresses Although the Euler-‐Bernoulli beam theory is formulated in terms of axial stress.inrisk. This is advantageous because the elementary formulas for beam bending remain valid.. the material law in Eq. σ. (30). One way of obtaining an expression for axial stress in terms of the bending moment is to combine material law and kinematics equations.e. Eq.ubc. which also correctly gives positive tension stresses at the bottom when a positive moment acts on the cross-‐section.e. However. and the stress is integrated by Eq. This is the reason for the minus sign in Eq.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. to obtain: ! =" M # z I (30) It is noted that a positive bending moment. The axial stress is directly related to the bending moment. while the last term is the ordinary bending moment from Eq.. (26) is rewritten as: M = EI yz ! d 2v d 2w + EI ! dx 2 dx 2 (27) where the “product of inertia. Eq. etc. then the axis system is referred to as the principal axes.e. correctly yields negative stresses at the top. i. (4) provides the stress. (20).
The anomaly is customarily addressed by recovering the shear force by equilibrium once the bending moment is computed.ca summary. the beam theory presented in this document consists of the governing equations shown in Figure 6. Furthermore. (2) the shear force is equal to the derivative of the bending moment. this is the equation that recovers the shear force. in terms of the shear force. this prevents shear strain. In fact. which adds up to zero shear force. Shear Stress and Shear Centre for Open Cross-‐sections When approaching shear stresses from bending. consider the infinitesimally short beam element in Figure 7. In other words. V. the only strain that takes place is the axial shortening or elongation of the fibres in the cross-‐section. The theory is based on the assumption that plane sections remain plane and perpendicular to the neutral axis.ubc. an anomaly in Euler-‐Bernoulli beam theory is first noted.inrisk. because shear force will develop even in simple beams that are subjected to transversal load. Another document on Timoshenko beam theory describes an approach to further extend the beam theory to include deformation due to shear forces. Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 10 . τ.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. the shear force is not part of the theory. This is an anomaly. With no shear strain there is no shear stress. according to Eq. To obtain expressions for the shear stress. Effectively. consider a “cut” in the cross-‐section and let qs denote the “shear flow” at that location. q dV dx dM V= dx q=! q = ! EI d 4w dx 4 w M = EI d 2w dx 2 M M = $ !" # z d A A M ! = " #z I !=" d 2w #z dx 2 " ! = E "# ! Figure 6: Governing equations in Euler-‐Bernoulli beam theory. In other words.
t. The simplest case is double-‐symmetric cross-‐ sections.ca Axial stresses M V V+dV M+dM dx Shear stresses (“shear flow”) Figure 7: Shear flow by equilibrium of infinitesimal beam element. The shear flow is the force per unit length of the beam that ensures equilibrium with the axial stresses. for a rectangular cross-‐section the maximum shear stress is at the neutral axis. and there are several techniques to determine them. Given that V=dM/dx. which are greater on one side than the other due to dM: qs ! dx = # d " dA = As dM ! z dA I As # (31) where As is the cross-‐sectional area outside the cut. The coordinates of the shear centre are denoted by ysc and zsc. In fact.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www.ubc. of the cross-‐section at the particular location: != (34) For example. is the point where the resultant of the shear force must act to avoid rotation of the cross-‐section. with value equal to 3 V (35) " 2 A The shear centre of a cross-‐section. this yields where qs = V !S I (32) S= As ! z dA V "S I "t (33) The shear stress is calculated by distributing the shear flow over the thickness. sometimes called the centre of twist.inrisk. if a cross-‐section has an axis of symmetry then the shear centre is located on this != Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 11 . for these cross-‐sections the shear centre coincide with the centroid.
Write the equation that expresses the moment of the shear flow in Item 2 about the trial shear centre. where the “omega diagram” is utilized. one approach to determine ysc and zsc is described in the document on warping torsion. However.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www.ca axis. and let ysc and zsc denote the coordinates of the shear centre relative to the centroid. Select an arbitrary point as trial shear centre. both ysc and zsc will appear in this expression 4. For general cross-‐sections. the shear centre coordinates are first determined. in general. when the consideration of warping torsion is off the table. write the equation that expresses the moment of the shear flow in Item 4 about the trial shear centre 6.. Similar to Item 3. (32). and the shear flow at all other locations are determined relative to this value in accordance with Eq. Set the equations from Items 3 and 5 both equal to zero and solve these two equations for the two unknowns ysc and zsc Only one moment equation is needed for single-‐symmetric cross-‐sections. using the “omega diagram” as described in the document on warping torsion. originates at the cut. let ysc and zsc denote the distances from the centroid to the shear centre 2. In accordance with Eq. the moment of the shear flow about the shear centre must be zero.ubc. In accordance with Eq. the new coordinate s. The unknown shear flow at the cut is denoted qo. i. determine the shear flow in the cross-‐section due to a shear force in the z-‐direction 3. e will appear in this expression 4. is offered here. Select an arbitrary point along the symmetry axis as trial shear centre. determine the shear flow in the cross-‐section due to a shear force in the direction perpendicular to the axis of symmetry 3. a “cut” in the cross-‐section is made to yield an open cross-‐section. This leads to the following procedure to determine the coordinates of the shear centre. In the first approach. which traces the cross-‐ section around the cell. determine the shear flow in the cross-‐section due to a shear force in the y-‐direction 5. provided y and z are the principal axes through the centroid of the cross-‐section: 1. Set the equation from Items 3 equal to zero and solve for e Shear Stress and Shear Centre for Closed Cross-‐sections The determination of shear stress and shear centre for closed cross-‐sections. a somewhat simpler approach. Next. Write the equation that expresses the moment of the shear flow in Item 2 about the trial shear centre. and let e denote the distance from the centroid to that point 2. can be approached in two ways. The principle is simple.e. (32). (32): q = qo + V ! S I (36) Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 12 . in other words. cross-‐sections with cell. Similar to Item 2.inrisk. by definition. in that cases the procedure simplifies to: 1.
Figure 8 illustrates the two following contributions to shear strain in an infinitesimal element of the cross-‐section: ! = !1 +! 2 = du d" + # h ds dx (39) where φ is the rotation of the cross-‐section. By definition the moment. Also this approach introduces a cut in the cross-‐section. Material law states that: Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 13 . the shear flow is determined at other locations by Eq. ds du !1 !2 dx d! h Figure 8: Two contributions to shear strain. about the shear centre must be zero. (36). Am. and h(s) is the distance from the shear centre to the tangent line of the cross-‐section at s. The second approach to determine the shear flow and shear centre in closed cross-‐sections entails determining the shear centre at the end.inrisk.ubc.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. T.ca Once q is determined at all locations of the cross-‐section. and solving for qo yields: qo = ! V ! # S " h ds = ! V " S " h ds " # I ! 2 " Am " I ! # h ds (38) where the last equality expresses that the integral of h around the cross-‐section is twice the cell area. but now compatibility is considered instead of moment equilibrium. consider Figure 8. the moment of the shear flow about the shear centre is computed: T =! " q ! h ds = ! " qo ! h ds + ! " V ! S ! h ds I (37) where the integrals are made around the cell. To this end. Having the value of qo.
From that equation it is of interest to solve for dφ /dx because the cross-‐section should not rotate due to shear force: d! = dx ! # G " t ds ! # G " t ds = = 0 2A ! # h ds m q q (43) Eq. (39) and (40) yields du = q d# ! ds " ! h ! ds G !t dx q d$ ds # ! ! h ds " G !t dx (41) Integration around the cell yields the total “gap opening” due to the cut: u=! " (42) To ensure compatibility.inrisk. (36). this gap opening must be zero: u=0.ca ! = " q = G G #t (40) and combination of Eqs.ubc.Terje Haukaas University of British Columbia www. the expression simplifies to: qo = ! V " I ! # t ds 1 ! # t ds S (46) Having the value of qo. (36) provides the expression for the shear flow. Euler-Bernoulli Beams Page 14 . the shear flow is determined at other locations by Eq. q. which yields: Solving for qo yields: ! " G ! t ds + ! " I ! G ! t ds = 0 S # G " t ds V ! qo = ! " 1 I ! # G " t ds qo V !S (44) (45) When the material is homogeneous.
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