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Eccentric Loading

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In developing the bending formula M σ E =− = , I y R (1)

we assumed that the beam was transmitting a bending moment M , but that the axial force F was zero. In fact, the axial force transmitted by the cross-section can be written as an integral (sum) of the contribution of the stress distribution over each element of area δ A as σ dA . (2) F=

A

Taken in combination with the results

ε=

−y R

**and Hooke’s law, the condition F = 0 leads to F =− Ey E dA = − R A R ydA = 0 .
**

A

(3)

This is the reason that in the bending theory, we must measure y from centroid of the section, since the centroid is deﬁned by the conditions xdA = 0 ;

A A

ydA = 0

in centroidal coordinates. In many practical problems, the axial force will not be zero. However, instead of reworking the bending theory from the beginning, we treat problems involving bending and axial forces by superposing the stress ﬁelds due to the bending moment and the axial force considered separately. Pure axial loading If there is only an axial force F , the normal stress on the cross-section is uniform and given by F (4) σ= . A This uniform distribution adds up to (has as resultant) as force F whose line of action passes through the centroid. Thus, equation (4) applies only if the line of 1

From the equilibrium of this FBD it is then clear that the bending moment −M − Fd = 0 and hence M = −Fd . the same equation will deﬁne the average stress. is a topic in which the drawing of this free-body diagram is critical.action of the axial force passes through the centroid. generating the free-body diagram in the lower ﬁgure 1 In the free-body diagram we put an axial force F acting through the centroid of the section and a bending moment M . but the stress will actually vary through the cross-section. (5) where d is the distance along the y-axis between the line of action of the external force F and the centroid C. F a C C F M F C C d F Figure 1 To determine the stress ﬁeld. we cut the bar at some intermediate section. Your chances of making an error in eccentric loading problems is greatly increased if you don’t do this! 1 This 2 . implying that the maximum is greater than the average given by (4). Eccentricl loading Figure 1 shows a bar of square cross-section loaded by a force that does not pass through the centroid of the section. we shall ﬁnd that this effect can be extremely large. Furthermore. so we cannot afford to neglect it. exactly as in the Problems in Chapter 7 (Internal Loadings). For all other cases.

2a2 Notice that this is 2. the loads exerted on the clamp are shown in Figure 2(b). 3 . a2 2a2 Clearly the biggest magnitude of the stress occurs at the top (positive sign) and is σ max = 5F . giving σ max = F 3F ± . A = a2 12 12 (7) σ= F 12Fdy + . giving d = a/4.5 times larger than the value F /A. Taking out the pieces of wood. The C-clamp Figure 2(a) shows the typical design of a C-clamp. so a relatively small amount of ecentricity of the load has a big effect on the maximum stress. Suppose the force acts half way between C and the top of the section. a2 a4 (8) using (5). The moral is that bending dominates over axial loading and a small amount of eccentricity causes enough of a bending moment to have a major effect. for pressing two piece of wood together (for example) whilst they are being glued. obtaining σ= F My − . We would then have σ= F 3Fy + 3 . a2 a The maximum stress will occur at ymax which is here ±a/2. Notice also that the stress at y = −a/2 (the bottom) is negative (compressive) even though the only applied force F is tensile. A I (6) For the special case where the cross section is a square of side a.We can now superpose the stress ﬁelds due to F and M (since F on the cut cross-section now does act through the centroid). we have I= and hence a × a3 a4 = .

F F (a) Figure 2 (b) To ﬁnd the stresses in the clamp. Typically C-clamps will have a ’T-shaped’ section as shown and the centroid will therefore be nearer to the left of the section than to the right. we cut through the right-hand section and draw the free-body diagram of Figure 3. 4 . Notice again that the balancing axial force F at the cut must be placed through the centroid of the section which we label as C. we show this cross-section. In the lower ﬁgure.

. It is important to note that d exceeds the distance h from the line of action F to the edge of the section. we conclude that M = Fd where the distance d is measured from the line of action of the external force F (on the left) to the parallel axial force acting through C. Notice also that with the given direction of the bending moment. This is why the T-shaped cross-section is used. the maximum compressive stress is signiﬁcantly larger than the maximum tensile stress.F h d C F M . This distance h deﬁnes the largest block of wood that can be inserted into the clamp and hence is a design speciﬁcation (we can’t change it if the clamp is to perform its function). we shall have tension on the left and compressive stress on the right. 5 .C Figure 3 As before. This shape causes the centroid C to be close to the left-hand side of the section and minimizes the amount that d exceeds h and hence reduces M . However. we would like to make the bending stress as small as possible. but because the centroid is near to the left. This is important because these clamps are often made from cast iron which is somewhat brittle and hence is stronger in compression than it is in tension.

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