CHAPTER 5
DEFLECTION AND STIFFNESS
Beam deflection can be found by 3 methods: 1) Integration, 2) Superposition and 3)
Castiglianos Theorem. These are detailed as follows:
1) Beam deflection by Integration (Section 53, pg. 188 in the textbook):
If the deflection of a beam is mainly due to the bending moment, then the following
formula is applied to find the deflection of the beam:
EI
M
dx
y d
2
2
=
where y is the vertical deflection, x is the horizontal distance, E is the modulus
elasticity and I is the area moment of inertia as before. We also find the slope as:
+ = =
1
c dx
EI
M
dx
dy
where c
1
is a constant found from the end or boundary conditions of the beam.
Example: Find general expressions for the deflection and slope of the following
beam.
y y
a FBD:
w F
F wa a/2
B x x
C
First we draw a FBD for the system to find the reactions, which are found from
Newtons equations as R
A
= F+wa and M
A
= FL+wa
2
/2. We then cut the beam
between AB and BC to find the bending moments of M
AB
and M
BC
as:
We sum the moments at the cut sections and let them to be zero to find:
M
AB
= R
A
xwx
2
/2M
A
= wx
2
/2+(F+wa)x (FL+ wa
2
/2) and
2
M
BC
= R
A
xwa(xa/2)M
A
= (F+wa)x wa(xa/2) (FL+ wa /2) = F(xL).
w
w
a
M
BC
y
M
A
M
A
M
AB
y
V
AB
R
A
x
V
BC
R
A
x
A R
A M
A
L
L
2
Deflection and Slope between AB, i.e. 0 x a:
1
2
2
1
)
2
( ) (
2
1
c dx
a w
FL x wa F x
w
EI
c dx
EI
M
dx
dy
AB
+
(
(
+ + +
= + =
Slope =
AB
=
=
1
2
2 3
)
2
(
2
) ( 1
c x
a w
FL x
wa F
x
w
+
(
(
+
+
+
6 EI
Since
AB
= 0 at x =0 then c
1
= 0. Hence:
AB
=
(
(
+
+
+
x
a w
FL x
wa F
x
w
EI
)
2
(
2
) (
6
1
2
2 3
.
Deflection=y
AB
=
2
2
2 3
2
)
2
(
2
) (
6
1
c dx x
a w
FL x
wa F
x
w
EI
c dx
AB
+
(
(
+
+
+
= +
=
2
2
2
3 4
4
) (2
6
) (
24
1
c x
a w FL
x
wa F
x
w
EI
+
(
(
+
+
Since y
AB
= 0 at x =0 then c
2
= 0. Hence:
y
AB
=
(
(
+
+
2
2
3 4
4
) (2
6
) (
24
1
x
a w FL
x
wa F
x
w
EI
.
eflection and Slope between BC, i.e. a x L: D
lope =
BC
=
3 3
) (
1
c dx L x F
EI
c dx
EI
M
dx
dy
BC
+ = + =
S
=
3
2
)
2
( c Lx
x F
+
EI
.
ince
AB
=
BC
at x =a where from the above equations: S
a x AB =
=
(
(
+ + a FL a a
EI
)
2
(
2 6
(
)
2
(
6
1
3
L
a
Fa a
w
EI
(
+ a w wa F w ) ( 1
2
2 3
=
a x BC =
=
3
2
)
2
( c La
a
EI
F
+ and hence c
3
=
EI
wa
6
3
. Therefore:
BC
=
(
(
6
)
2
(
1
2 3
wa
Lx
x
F
EI
.
3
Deflection = y
BC
=
4
2
4
6
)
2
(
1
c dx
wa
Lx
x
F
EI
c dx
3
BC
+
(
(
= +
.
=
4
2 3
6
)
2 6
(
1
c x
wa x
L
x
F
EI
3
+
(
(
Since y
AB
= y
BC
at x =a where from the above equations:
a x AB
y
=
=
(
(
+
+
2
2
3 4
4
) (2
6
) (
24
a
a w FL
a
wa F
a
w
EI
1
=
=
(
(
+
2 6 8
2 3 4
FLa Fa
EI
1 wa
.
a x BC
y
=
=
4
2 3
6
)
2 6
(
1
c a
wa a
L
a
F
EI
3
+
(
(
and hence c
4
=
EI
wa
24
4
. Therefore:
y
BC
=
(
(
+
24 6
)
2 6
(
1
4 2 3
wa
x
wa x
L
x
F
EI
3
.
Note: Review example 51, pg. 190 in the textbook.
2) Beam Deflection by Superposition (Section 55, pg. 192 in the textbook):
Refer to 16 cases given in the Appendix A9, from pg. 969 to 976 in the textbook. The
superposition for linear systems means that we can find the reactions, bending
moments, shear forces, slope and deflection by summing up these entities for each
loading case. So lets solve the above example by the superposition technique. We
have,
y y
y
a w a w
F
F
B B x
+
C C C A A A L L L
Deflection and Slope between AB, i.e. 0 x a:
Slope =
AB
=
1AB
+
2AB
, where from Table A93, pg. 970 in the textbook,
1AB
=
dx
dy
= ) x a x ax (
EI
w
2 3 2
3 3
6
where l is replaced by a in the formula. Also,
from Table A91, pg. 969 in the textbook,
2AB
=
dx
dy
= ) Lx x (
EI
F
2
2
2
. Hence,
4
AB
= ) x a x ax (
EI
w
2 3 2
3 3
6
+ ) Lx x (
EI
F
2
2
2
=
(
(
+
+
+
x
a w
FL x
wa F
x
w
EI
)
2
(
2
) (
6
1
2
2 3
,
which is the same result obtained before using the integration method.
Deflection =y
AB
= y
1AB
+ y
2AB
, where from Table A93, pg. 970 in the textbook,
y
1AB
= ) 6 (4
24
2 2
2
a x ax
EI
wx
where again l is replaced by a in the formula. Also,
from Table A91, pg. 969 in the textbook, y
2AB
= ) L x (
EI
Fx
3
6
2
. Hence,
y
AB
= ) 6 (4
24
2 2
2
a x ax
EI
wx
+ ) 3 (
6
2
L x
EI
Fx
=
(
(
+
+
2
2
3 4
4
) (2
6
) (
24
1
x
a w FL
x
wa F
x
w
EI
,
which is again the same result obtained before using the integration method.
Deflection and Slope between AB, i.e. a x L:
Slope =
BC
=
1BC
+
2BC
. Since there is no bending moment between BC for the case
of distributed load w, we can assume that the slope remains the same as
1AB
at x=a.
Hence,
1BC
=
a x AB 1 =
=
EI
wa
3
6
2BC
=
2AB
= ) 2 (
2
2
Lx x
EI
F
. Hence,
BC
=
EI
wa
3
6
+ ) 2 (
2
2
Lx x
EI
F
=
(
(
6
)
2
(
1
2 3
wa
Lx
x
F
EI
,
which is the same result obtained before using the integration method.
Deflection =y
BC
= y
1BC
+ y
2BC
.
For the case of distributed load w, the angle
1BC
remains the same between BC, and
hence the deflected curve between BC is a linear one.
y
w
a
Deflected Curve
B
C
y
1B
A
y
1BC
x
1BC
From the figure, y
1BC
=
1BC
(xa)+ y
1B
, where y
1B
=
a x AB 1
y
=
=
EI
wa
8
4
. Therefore,
y
1BC
=
EI
a x wa
6
) (
3
+
EI
wa
8
4
= ) 4 (
24
3
a x
EI
wa
+ .
5
For the end load of F, again referring to Table A91, pg. 969 in the textbook, y
2BC
=
y
2AB
= ) 3 (
6
2
L x
EI
Fx
. Hence,
y
BC
= = y
1BC
+ y
2BC
= ) 4 (
24
3
a x
EI
wa
+ + ) L x (
EI
Fx
3
6
2
=
(
(
+
24 6
)
2 6
(
1
4 2 3
wa
x
wa x
L
x
F
EI
3
,
which is again the same result obtained before using the integration method.
Note: Review examples 52 and 53, pgs. 192 and 193 in the textbook.
3) Beam Deflection by Castiglianos Theorem (Sections 57 and 58, pgs. 198 and
201 in the textbook):
When a machine element is deformed, it stores a potential or strain energy U. This
energy can be calculated for different loading cases, as given below:
Loading Strain Energy (U)
Tension or Compression
EA
L F
2
2
Direct Shear
GA
L F
2
2
Torsion
GJ
L T
2
2
Bending Moment
EI
dx M
2
2
Bending Shear
GA
dx cV
2
2
where for bending shear c is a factor that depends on the crosssection of the beam
and is taken from Table 51, pg. 200, in the textbook. The Castiglianos theorem then
states that the displacement for any point on a machine element is the partial
derivative of the strain energy with respective to a force which is on the same point
and in the same direction of the displacement. In short:
i
i
F
U
=
where
i
is the displacement for an i
th
point in the machine element and F
i
is the force
acting at the same point and in the same direction of the displacement asked for. If
there is no force at the point for which the displacement is required, then we have to
assume an imaginary force Q and let it be zero at the end.
Example: Lets solve the above problem for its vertical displacement at the free end,
i.e. at point C, using the Castiglianos theorem. So the question is to find
C
in the
vertical (y) direction. We have,
F
U
C
=
6
where the strain energy U is contributed by the bending shear force V and bending
moment M, but well only consider the effect of M in U. Thus, as given above,
U =
EI
dx M
2
2
=
+
L
a
BC
a
AB
EI
dx M
EI
dx M
2 2
2
0
2
and
=
L
a
BC
BC
a
AB
AB
C
EI
dx
F
M
M
EI
dx
F
M
M
0
where as found before: M
AB
= wx
2
/2+(F+wa)x (FL+ wa
2
/2) and M
BC
= F(xL).
Therefore: L x
F
M
AB
=
and L x
F
M
BC
=
= or
2
2
) / ( k L
E c
A
P
cr
=
where P
cr
is the critical or maximum central load for the column, c is the end
condition constant that should be taken from Table 52, pg. 220, in the textbook, and k
is the radius of gyration found from I = Ak
2
, which is equal to d/4 for a column having
a solid round crosssection with a diameter of d. L/k in the formula is known as the
slenderness ratio. There are 2 scenarios here:
1) If the critical load P
cr
is known, then one should use the above equations to
find an adequate crosssection for the column.
2) If the crosssection of the column is known, one can use the above equations
to solve for the P
cr
.
How do we know a column is long enough or it is of intermediate length? First we
define:
1/2
2
1
2


.

\

= 
.

\

y
S
cE
k
L
where S
y
is the yield strength of the column material. We follow the following
criterion:
1) If 
.

\

k
L
>
1

.

\

k
L
then use the above Euler formula.
2) If 
.

\

k
L
1

.

\

k
L
then use the Johnson formula given below in section 513 for
the intermediatelength columns.
5.13 IntermediateLength Columns with Central Loading
Use the Johnson formula:
cE k
L
S
S
A
P y
y
cr
1
2
2


.

\

=
Note: Review examples 516, 517, 518 and 519, pgs. 223 to 225 in the textbook.