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Truss: Graphical Method

Theory of Structure - I

Lecture Outlines

Bows Notation Maxwell Diagram Interpretation of Maxwell Diagram

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Bows Notation
ef eh

In this system, the spaces between lines of action of the forces acting on the joints of the truss are given a lowercase letter. Any force is correspondingly designated by the letters of the two spaces separated by its line of action.
a f

i d j

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Maxwells Diagram
ef eh


b c

Maxwell diagram is the second step while calculating the forces in truss members by Graphical Method, after Bows notation. Force polygon is drawn first at some suitable scale.

g a f

i d j

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan


b c a g a f e j h i d b e c

After completing the force polygon of applied forces and reactions, we will locate the intermediate points f, g, h, i, j. The points will be located by drawing the lines in true sense surrounding these points. For example, af and ef are drawn and where they will intersect, they will give the point f.
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FORCE POLYGON
Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Interpreting Maxwell Diagram


d

g a f

j e

We can find the following attributes of the truss member from the Maxwell diagram.

i j h f
Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Magnitude of the force Sense of the force (tension or compression)

b e c

Length of the line af will show the magnitude of the force in member af.

Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

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b B

To find the sense, draw FBD of joint A and read clock wise.
A

g f

i d j

a e

Direction of af is downward and towards the joint A means the force will be directed towards the joint. Force directing towards the joint is compressive and af will be in compression.
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e c f d
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Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Example

For cross checking, take joint B and read clock wise. Now it reads fa. Now fa is directing upward i.e., towards joint B, hence af or fa will be in compression.

For the same truss use the Graphical Method to construct a Maxwell diagram and find the forces in the members
4 bays @ 3m

1kN

2kN

2kN

2kN

1kN

3m

45o

R1=4kN
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R2=4kN
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First find the reactions. Using symmetry R1 = R2 = 8/2 = 4kN

Next select a scale and draw a line representing all the loads and reactions First annotate using Bows Notation (label spaces between members and forces)
4 bays @ 3m

all the loads are vertical - so is the line the line is the line a,b,c,d,e,f (ag, gf) ab = 1, bc = 2,...etc ag = 4, gf = 4 begin with a zone near a reaction, e.g h ah is vertical and gh is horizontal - meet at g (h & g at same point) hg is 0 take next zone - i bi is horizontal and ih is at 45o - draw these lines they meet at i Now ij is vertical and jg is horizontal. This locates j k

a b c

4 3 2

1kN

2kN

2kN

2kN

1kN

b
3m

c j k g l

d m

e n 0 f

jm l n

a h

g ho 0 scale d for forces e f

R1=4kN

R2=4kN

Proceed to k in same way and half the truss is solved

First find the reactions. Using symmetry R1 = R2 = 8/2 = 4kN


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Measure all lines - this gives the force in each member need to use a special convention to determine tension or compression
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Department of Civil Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

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