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# Free Body Diagram

Equilibrium
Objectives: • Learn how to draw a free body diagram • Define and learn how to solve problems in static equilibrium • Define the 3 classes of levers and what each is best suited for • Introduce stabilizing and dislocating forces and how to compute them

• Is a means of representing all of the external forces and torques acting on a system • It is the most important step in solving a problem in kinetics

Wleg+foot

Constructing a Free Body Diagram
1. Identify the system 2. Draw a simple picture (diagram) of the system 3. Identify each of the external forces and torques (i.e. forces or torques acting across the boundary of the system). 4. Identify (or assume) the point of application and direction of each force and draw into the diagram 5. Identify (or assume) the axis of rotation and direction for each torque and draw into the diagram 6. Add a reference frame to the diagram

Identifying the System
• Depends on the problem being solved • The forces or torques of interest must act across the boundary of the system (i.e. they must be external forces or torques) • The system should behave as a rigid body (unless you are only interested in the movement of the system’s center of mass) • Typical systems in biomechanics: – the whole body – a single body segment – a rigid group of body segments

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Identifying External Forces/Torques
• External forces include: – Weight (i.e. force due to gravity) – Contact forces applied from outside the body – Contact forces applied from within the body • Two methods of representing contact forces from within the body: – The joint contact force and the force produced by each anatomical structure across the joint (i.e. muscles, ligaments, etc.) – A resultant joint force and a resultant joint torque

Point of Application & Direction
• • • • Usually known for contact forces Weight acts downward from the center of mass Resultant joint force is applied at the joint center Resultant joint torque acts about joint center; can assume its direction • If direction of a force unknown, assume a positive xcomponent and a positive y-component • If point of application of a force unknown, include point of application as a variable
direction unknown:

Fy Fx

location unknown:

d

F

Example Problem #1
We want to compute the ankle torque during the stance phase of running. Construct an appropriate free body diagram.

Static Equilibrium
• A system is at rest and will remain at rest • No translation or rotation is occurring or will occur • Conditions for static equilibrium (from Newton’s 1 st Law):

Σ Fx = 0 Σ Fy = 0 ΣT=0

– Net external force in x direction equals zero – Net external force in y direction equals zero – Net torque produced by all external forces and all external torques equals zero

• Can use any point as the axis of rotation • Can solve for at most 3 unknown quantities

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Example Problem #2
A 60 kg gymnast is standing in the position shown. Find the ground reaction force acting on her foot. How far forward can she move her center of mass and remain standing?
15 cm

Example Problem #3
During an isometric (static) knee extension, a therapist measures a force of 100 N using a hand dynamometer in the position shown below Find the resultant knee joint force and torque. Does the dynamometer position affect the measured force?
KNEE 60° 24 cm 30 cm m = 4.5 kg Fdyn = 100 N

80 cm 20 cm 10 cm

body center of mass

Levers
• Most skeletal muscles act using the principle of leverage • A lever system consists of: – An axis of rotation (or fulcrum) – A resistance force or load – An effort force (the applied force that is used to move the load) • There are 3 classes of lever Fload Feffort
axis of rotation

1st Class Lever
• Effort force and load force are applied on opposite sides of the axis of rotation • Effort force and load force act in same direction • For equilibrium: or: Fload d⊥load Fload = d⊥effort Feffort Fload = d⊥effort F d⊥load effort Feffort

d⊥effort
axis

Feffort

3

• When Mechanical Advantage < 1: – Feffort needed is greater than Fload – Point at which Fload applied moves faster and greater distance than point at which Feffort applied – Good for moving load quickly or through large range of motion; poor for strength • A 1st class lever can have a mechanical advantage greater than, equal to, or less than 1.
axis

• When Mechanical Advantage > 1: – Feffort needed is less than Fload – Point at which Fload applied moves slower and shorter distance than point at which Feffort applied – Good for strength, poor for moving load quickly or through large range of motion Feffort Fload
axis

Feffort

2nd Class Lever
• Effort force and load force are applied on same side of the axis of rotation • Effort force applied farther from axis than the load force (i.e. d⊥effort > d⊥load) • Effort and load force act in opposite directions • Good for strength; poor for moving load quickly or through large range of motion d⊥load
axis

3rd Class Lever
• Effort force and load force are applied on same side of the axis of rotation • Effort force applied closer to axis than the load force (i.e. d⊥effort < d⊥load) • Effort and load force act in opposite directions • Good for moving load quickly or through large range of motion; poor for strength Feffort d⊥effort
axis

d⊥effort

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Stabilization vs. Dislocation
• Forces do not produce torque only; they also produce stabilizing or dislocating forces at a joint. • Can decompose a force into components parallel to (Fll) and perpendicular to (F⊥) the joint surface • F⊥ points towards joint → stabilization • F⊥ points away from joint → dislocation Stabilization: F⊥ F F⊥ Fll Dislocation: F Fll

Example Problem #4
A person is holding their upper limb in the abducted position shown. Find the deltoid muscle force and the force perpendicular to the joint surface. Is the deltoid force stabilizing or dislocating? What class of lever is this?
Fdeltoid
Shoulder Joint Surface 30°

15 cm 30 cm

W = 35 N

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