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Statically Indeterminate Elastic Beams

9.1 Basics
In Chapters 7 and 8 the stresses and deflections were determined for beams having various conditions of loading and support. In the cases treated it was always possible to completely determine the reactions exerted upon the beam merely by applying the equations of static equilibrium. In these cases the beams are said to be statically determinate. In this chapter we shall consider those beams where the number of unknown reactions exceeds the number of equilibrium equations available for the system. In such a case it is necessary to supplement the equilibrium equations with additional equations stemming from the deformations of the beam. In these cases the beams are said to be statically indeterminate.

Types of Statically Indeterminate Beams

Several common types of statically indeterminate beams are illustrated below. Although a wide variety of such structures exists in practice, the following four diagrams (Figs. 9-1, 9-2, and 9-3), will illustrate the nature of an indeterminate system. For the beams shown below the reactions of each constitute a parallel force system and hence there are two equations of static equilibrium available. Thus the determination of the reactions in each of these cases necessitates the use of additional equations arising from the deformation of the beam. 143
(a) (b)

Fig. 9-1 Examples of statically indeterminate beams.

In the case [Fig. 9-1(a)] of a beam fixed at one end and supported at the other, sometimes termed a supported cantilever, we have as unknown reactions R1, R2, and M1. The two statics equations must be supplemented by one equation based upon deformations. In Fig. 9-1(b) the beam is fixed at one end and has a flexible springlike support at the other. In the case of a simple linear spring the flexible support exerts a force proportional to the beam deflection at that point. The unknown reactions are again R1, R2, and M1. Again, the two statics equations must be supplemented by one equation stemming from deformations. 144 CHAPTER 9 Statically Indeterminate Elastic Beams As shown in Fig. 9-2, a beam fixed or clamped at both ends has the unknown reactions R1, R2, M1, and M2. The two statics equations must be supplemented by two equations arising from the deformations. In Fig. 9-3 the beam is supported on three supports at the same level. The unknown reactions are R1, R2,

and R3. The two statics equations must be supplemented by one equation based upon deformations. A beam of this type that rests on more than two supports is called a continuous beam. The following problems will illustrate the solution technique for solving problems involving statically indeterminate beams.

9.1. A beam is clamped at A, simply supported at B, and subject to the concentrated force shown in Fig. 9-4. Determine all reactions assuming all dimensions are known.
w R1 R2 M1 M2

Fig. 9-2 A beam cantilevered at both ends. Fig. 9-3 A continuous beam with three supports.
y P A MA RA RB ab L

Fig. 9-4 SOLUTION: The reactions are RA, RB, and MA. From statics we have

M M Pa R L A A b 0 (1) F R R P y A B 0 (2) Thus there are two equations in the three unknowns RA, RB, and MA. We can supplement the statics equations with an equation stemming from deformations using the method of singularity functions to describe the bent beam. That is, EI dy dx R x M x P x a AA
2 2

0 (3) Integrating the first time, we have EI dy dx R x Mx P x a C A A

2 2

221 (4) The first boundary condition is that at x 0, dy/dx 0, and thus C1 0. Integrating again, EIy Rx M xpxa AC A 2 3 2 2 3
323 2 (5)

CHAPTER 9 Statically Indeterminate Elastic Beams 145

The second boundary condition is that at x 0, y 0, and we find C2 0. The third boundary condition is that at x L, y 0. Substituting in Eq. (5), we have 0 626


RAL MAL Pb (6) Simultaneous solution of the three equations (1), (2), and (6) leads to R Pb L Lb R Pa L Lb M Pb L Lb

2 3 2 2 2
3 22 2 3 2 22

() () ()

9.2. The beam AB in Fig. 9-5 is clamped at A, spring supported at B, and loaded by the uniformly distributed load w per unit length. Prior to application of the load, the spring is just stress free. To determine the flexural rigidity EI of the beam, an experiment is conducted without the uniform load w and also without the spring being present. In this experiment it is found that a vertical force of 10 000 N applied at end B deflects that point 50 mm. The vertical force is removed, the spring is then attached to the beam at B and a uniform load of magnitude 5 kN/m is applied between A and B. Determine the deflection of point B under these conditions.
y w x A B k L 3 m M RB A RA

Fig. 9-5 SOLUTION: The forces acting on the beam when it is uniformly loaded as well as spring supported at its tip are

shown in Fig. 9-5. The force RB represents the force exerted by the spring on the beam. The differential equation of the bent beam is EI dy dx

M Rx w x AA
2 2 2

2 (1) Integrating the first time, we find EI dy dx Mx R x w xCA A 2 6

23 1 (2)

Now, invoking the boundary condition that when x 0, dy/dx 0, we find from Eq. (2) that C1 0. The second integration yields EIy M x R x w A A x C 2 6 24
234 2 (3)

and the second boundary condition is that x 0 when y 0, so from Eq. (3) we have C2 0. From Eq. (3) we have the deflection at B due to the uniform load plus the presence of the spring to be given by EIy M L R L wL


2 6 24 (