Beam: Shear and Moment Diagrams

A beam is supported as shown in the figure; it is intended to resist concentrated vertical load F1, located L1 from the left end, and distributed vertical load Fd2, which acts over a length L2 from the right end of the beam. The beam is sectioned into units with endpoints A, B, C, and D. The assignment in this problem is to draw the Shear and Moment diagrams for this beam. The X direction is along the beam.


L2 F1



The first step is to draw a free-body diagram (FBD) of the overall beam to calculate the reaction forces at A and D. To determine the reaction forces, the distributed vertical load may be replaced with a concentrated vertical load F2, which acts at a length L2/2 from the right end of the beam.

L1 Ax Ay
We write three equations of static equilibrium: Fx  0  Ax

L2 /2 F1 F2





0  Ay  D y  F1  F2  0  D y L   F1 L1   F2  L  L2 / 2   F2 L  L2 / 2


The reaction force solutions are: Dy  
F L1 1

Ax  0 Ay  F1  F2  D y

mB. plus L1 and L2 (m): 0  Fd 2  2. Shear and moment diagrams Numerical Display: Shear forces vA. For this problem. and mD. . the constants of integration are: mA  0 mB  Ay L1 mC  mB  Ay  F1 L  L1  L2  0  F1  10. plus reaction forces Ax. ending at –Dy. The difference between the moment subsection endpoint values in any case equals the area under the shear curve in that subsection. vC.To determine the shear forces in each subsection of the beam. m AB  x   m A  Ay x mBC  x   mB  Ay  F1 x mCD  x   mC  Ay  F1   Fd 2 x 2 / 2 Again in the moment equations. representing the forces on the left and right sides.000 User sets: F1 and Fd2 (N). The shear forces in CD starts from the BC value and decreases linearly with slope Fd2. vB. each x range starts at zero at the left of the subsection. Note. Ay. In the moment equations. Note vCD above assumes that x starts at zero. due to the beam support conditions in this problem. mC. The end reaction +Dy then closes the shear diagram back to zero. hence the axes must be shifted horizontally to fit in with the overall moment diagram. one integrates the shear functions in each subsection. hence the axes must be shifted horizontally to fit in with the overall shear diagram.000 0  L1  L / 2 0  L2  L / 2 Computer sets: Visualize: L = 10 m Beam with loading conditions. In order to determine the moment diagram given the shear diagram. and vD. and Dy. the moment must be zero at the left and right ends of the beam. the shear forces are: v AB  x   Ay v BC  x   Ay  F1 vCD  x   Ay  F1  Fd 2 x The shear forces in the first two subsections AB and BC are constant. moment magnitudes mA. free-body diagrams of each subsection are drawn.

mB = 10.800 The associated shear/moment diagrams (N. and L2 = 3 (N and m). Ay = 4.200. Ax = 0. vB = -800. the results are: vA = 4. or reaction forces (Y force only with Joystick –user feels appropriate force or moment magnitude as they move along shear/moment diagram). moment magnitudes.000.200.500. and Dy = 3. Fd2 = 1. L1 = 2. Nm) for Example 1 are: 4000 2000 Shear 0 -2000 0 1 2 3 4 5 X 6 7 8 9 10 15000 M om ent 10000 5000 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 X 6 7 8 9 10 . depending on whether Ay  F1  0 or Ay  F1  0 . mC = 6. mA = 0. but the resulting diagrams have different characteristics. Example 1: Ay  F1  0 When the user enters F1 = 5.User Feels: Any of the above shear forces.800 (N). the above shear and moment equations apply equally to both cases. vC = -800. and mD = 0 (Nm).5.000. and vD = -3.900. Examples: There are two distinct shear/moment diagrams.

825. the constant shear Ay  F1 in BC is positive. Note further that at point B. while in Example 2. in Example 1. mC = 12. the linearly-changing moment in BC has negative slope. which translates to a change in moment slope at point B. while this parabola increases before decreasing to zero moment in Example 2.175 (N).5 (N and m). though the linearly-changing shear in CD has negative slope –Fd2 in both examples. and Dy = 7. Ay = 2.Example 2: Ay  F1  0 When the user enters F1 = 1. this is true in both examples. but there is no discontinuity in shear at point C. the moment parabola in CD is strictly decreasing to zero in Example 1. mA = 0.825. hence moment slopes match at point C.038. and L2 = 4.650.825. L1 = 2.825. Further. Ax = 0. and mD = 0 (Nm). there is a discontinuity in shear. and vD = -7.000. vC = 1. the constant shear Ay  F1 in BC is negative. mB = 5. Nm) for Example 2 are: 2000 0 Shear -2000 -4000 -6000 0 1 2 3 4 5 X 6 7 8 9 10 15000 M om ent 10000 5000 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 X 6 7 8 9 10 In Example 1. while in Example 2.000. the results are: vA = 2. this slope is positive. .175 The associated shear/moment diagrams (N. Thus. vB = 1. Fd2 = 2.

Ay. vary applied load F1 over its allowable range and determine the resulting maximum shear vMAX. F1. run the program several times to collect and plot data: for a constant applied distributed load Fd2 = 1000 (N/m) and L2 = 5 m. Plot vMAX. maximum moment mMAX. and Bx. and Bx vs. Discuss the trends you see – do the results make sense physically? . and a fixed value of L1. mMAX. Repeat these plots for various values of L1 over its allowable range. Ax.Comprehension Assignment: Once you get the ‘feel’ for this simulation. Ay. plus reaction forces Ax.

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