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# Thin-Walled Structures

99

CHAPTER 4

Axial Force, Shear Force
and Bending Moment
Diagrams

The following three methods to construct equilibrium shear force and bending moment diagrams for beams are
described

the method of sections

the differential equation method, and

the semi-graphical approach.
In actual practice the distinction between these methods becomes blurred, because they may be used simul-
taneously by the analyst. In the last section of this chapter the buoyancy force distribution on ships is described
so that the longitudinal bending response can be computed.

4.1 Method of sections

If an aerospace or ocean vehicle structure is assumed to behave as a slender bar built-up from many members,
then in order to determine stresses in the members we follow the approach in mechanics of materials and rst
determine the distribution of the internal forces and moments along the length. The objective of this section is to
review how to determine these internal actions and plot them along the length of the structure. The relationship
between the internal forces and moments to the stresses will be discussed in subsequent chapters. The review is
limited to statically determinate problems such that internal forces and moments may be obtained by the equa-
tions of statics alone.
Consider a straight slender bar with uniform cross section, which has a length 3

c

, and is simply supported at
two locations as shown in Fig. 4.1. In a right-handed Cartesian coordinate system (

x,y,z

), take the

z

-axis is paral-
lel to the length, the

y

-axis in the plane of the gure, and the

x

-axis perpendicular to the plane of the gure. The
origin is at the left end of the bar; . The bar is in equilibrium subject to the external loads

F

and
which act in the

z-y

plane. Neglect the weight of the bar relative to the loads

F

and , as is frequently done
in structures where the applied loads are much greater than the weight of the structure. The load

F

is a point
force acting at the left end of the bar, and is replaced by its horizontal and vertical components

F

z

and

F

y

. The
0 z 3c p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )

Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams

100

Thin-Walled Structures

load is a distributed load and has units of force per unit length. It is assumed positive if it acts vertically
upward (positive y-direction), and negative if it acts downward. At a typical value for

z

we want to nd the inter-
nal axial force

N(z)

, shear force

V

y

(

z

), and bending moment

M

x

(

z

). We write the internal actions as

N(z)

,

V

y

(

z

),
and

M

x

(

z

), since they are mathematically functions of the coordinate

z

. The basis for their determination is equi-
librium.
Free-body diagrams of the bar removed from its supports and by imagining the bar is cut at some value of

z

are shown in Fig. 4.2. The internal actions

N

,

V

y

, and

M

x

are shown as well as the unknown support reactions

A

y

,

B

z

, and

B

y

. Let us assume the distributed load vanishes in this discussion. Internal actions

N

,

V

y

, and

M

x

are shown in their assumed positive senses. A positive

z

-face has its outward normal in the positive

z

-direction,
and a negative

z

-face has its outward normal in the negative

z

-direction. That is, on a positive

z

-face a positive
axial force

N

acts in a positive

z

-direction, a positive shear force

V

y

acts in the positive

y

-direction, and the posi-
tive moment

M

x

acts clockwise, or as a vector in the positive

x

-direction by the right-hand screw rule. By New-
ton's third law on action/reaction, positive values of

N

,

V

y

, and

M

x

acting on a negative

z

-face have a sense
opposite to their positive values on the positive

z

-face. The sign convention for the internal forces and moments
needs be carefully followed.
The usual procedure to determine

N(z)

,

V

y

(

z

), and

M

x

(

z

), is to rst draw an overall free-body diagram of the
bar removed from its supports and nd the unknown support reactions, and then section the bar at various

z

-loca-
tions to nd

N

,

V

y

, and

M

x

. The reader should verify that the support reactions in Fig. 4.2 are ,
, and , where

F

y

and

F

z

are the known applied loads. Note that the force

A

y

has a sense
opposite to what was originally assumed.
The overall equilibrium free-body diagram of the bar is shown at the top of Fig. 4.3. The diagrams shown
from top to bottom directly below the overall free-body diagram are the axial force diagram, the shear force dia-
gram, and the bending moment diagram, respectively. The axial force diagram is obtained by sectioning the bar
at any value of

z

, 0 <

z

< 3c, placing a positive internal force

N

on the cut faces, and then summing forces in the

z

-direction for one of the two free-body diagrams. Thus,

N

(

z

) is a constant, for all

z

, 0 <

z

< 3c. In a similar man-
ner one obtains

V

y

(

z

) and

M

x

(

z

). Note that the shear force has a discontinuity at

z

= c since a point force acts
there. It is necessary to consider free-body diagrams in two separate ranges of

z

to draw the shear force diagram;
0 <

z

< c, and c <

z

< 3c. The magnitude of the jump in the shear force is equal to the magnitude of the point
z
y
F
F
y
F
z
c 2c
Fig. 4.1 A slender bar simply supported at two locations and subjected to force F and
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
A
y
3 2 ( )F
y
=
B
z
F
z
= B
y
F
y
2 =
Thin-Walled Structures 101
Differential equation method
force: . The shear force is a piecewise constant for this problem. The bending
moment is piecewise linear; i.e., M
x
(z) = z F
y
, 0 < z < c, and M
x
(z) = (3c - z)(F
y
/2), c < z < 3c. The bending
moment is continuous at z = c, but has a discontinuity in slope , where
. As illustrated in Fig. 4.2, there are two free-body diagrams for each cut. Either one may be
used to nd N, V
y
, and M
x
. If the left free-body diagram is used to nd N, V
y
, and M
x
, then equilibrium of the
right free-body diagram will give the same values of N, V
y
, and M
x
. If it does not, there is either a math error, the
sign convention is violated, or overall equilibrium is in error. Sketching the axial force, shear force, and bending
moment diagrams by the method illustrated in this section is called the method of sections.
4.2 Differential equation method
The distributed load intensity , the shear force V
y
(z), and bending moment M
x
(z) are related by simple dif-
ferential equations at z, if no point forces or concentrated couples act at z. These differential equations are useful
in the construction of the shear force and bending moment diagrams.
F
y
F
z
N
V
y
M
x
z
V
y
M
x
z
c
Ay
2c
By
Bz
Left and right FBDs for cuts in the range 0 < z < c
F
y
F
z
A
y
B
y
B
z
c 2c
Fig. 4.2 Free body diagrams (FBDs) of the slender bar with = 0. p
y
z ( )
overall FBD
V
y
c
+
( ) V
y
c
-
( ) 3 2 ( )F
y
=
M'
x
c
+
( ) M'
x
c
-
( ) 3 2 ( )F
y
=
M'
x
dM
x
dz =
p
y
z ( )
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
102 Thin-Walled Structures
Consider a portion of a straight beam subjected to distributed load whose intensity is as shown in Fig.
4.4. By convention is positive upwards and negative downwards. A free-body diagram of a portion z-
long of the beam is shown in Fig. 4.5. The shear force and bending moment change with z, and so their values at
z + z are different from their values at z. The distributed load acting on the segment z is replaced by single
force of magnitude acting long a line of action given by z = z*, where z < z* < z + z. Mathematically this
is permissible by the mean value theorem (for integrals) for continuous functions of a single variable, and from
this theorem we have
F
z
F
y
3/2 F
y
F
y
/2
z
z
z
z
0
N
F
z
V
y
0
- F
y
F
y
/2
M
x
0
- cF
y
c 2c
+ N
V
y
M
x
N
V
y
M
x
Fig. 4.3 Axial force N, shear force V
y
, and bending moment M
x
diagrams
for the slender bar with = 0, p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z
Thin-Walled Structures 103
Differential equation method
Note that in the limit as , , and .
In the free-body diagram of Fig. 4.6 we sum forces vertically, divide by z, and take the limit as to
get
(4.1)
Often it is more convenient to use an integrated form of eq. (4.1). Integrating it from z
1
to z we obtain
p
y
1
z
------ p
y
( ) d
z
z z + ( )

=
z 0 z
*
z p
y
p
y

z
y
Fig. 4.4 Distributed load intensity shown acting in the positive sense
p
y
z ( )
M
x
+ M
x
M
x
V
y
+ V
y
V
y
z
z + z
Fig. 4.5
p
y
z ( )
M
x
+ M
x
V
y
+ V
y
V
y
M
x
p
y
z
*
( )z
z + z
z*
z
Fig. 4.6
z 0
z d
dV
y
p
y
=
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
104 Thin-Walled Structures
(4.2)
The integrated form is valid only if there are no point loads between z
1
and z. If we sum moments at z in the free-
body diagram, divide by z, and take the limit as we get
(4.3)
The integrated form of eq. (4.3) is
(4.4)
which is valid if no point couples act between z
1
and z. Equations (4.1) and (4.3) are the differential equations of
equilibrium for the beam. Equation (4.1) is valid at z if no point force acts there, and eq. (4.3) is valid at z if no
point couple acts there. Considering separately the equilibrium of a point force F
0
and a point couple with
moment magnitude C
0
acting at z = z
0
, as shown in Fig. 4.7, we obtain
(4.5)
Distributed loads may be replaced by a resultant force acting at the center of pressure. This procedure is con-
venient in many situations. For example, the air load distribution on a wing may be replaced by lift and drag
forces acting at the center of pressure. A segment of a beam from z = z
1
to a typical value of z, z > z
1
, which has a
distributed load with intensity acting on it is shown in Fig. 4.8. Using as a dummy variable to measure
the axial position, the resultant force is
(4.6)
and the center of pressure is given by
V
y
z ( ) V
y
z
1
( ) p
y
( ) d
z
1
z

=
z 0
z d
dM
x
V
y
=
M
x
z ( ) M
x
z
1
( ) V
y
( ) d
z
1
z

+ =
V
y
z
0
+
( )
M
x
z
0
+
( )
V
y
z
0
-
( )
M
x
z
0
-
( )

z
y
z
0
F
0
C
0
Fig. 4.7 Point force and couple acting at z
0
on an inintesimal beam element
V
y
z
0
+
( ) V
y
z
0
-
( ) F
0
= M
x
z
0
+
( ) M
x
z
0
-
( ) C
0
=
p
y
z ( )
F
y
z ( )
F
y
z ( ) p
y
( ) d
z
1
z

=
z
p
z ( )
Thin-Walled Structures 105
Differential equation method
(4.7)
Both the resultant force and center of pressure are functions of z. Equations (4.6) and (4.7) are con-
ditions of statical equivalence for the distributed load .
EXAMPLE 4.1 Cantilever wing with tip tank
Consider the cantilever wing with tip tank as shown in Fig. 4.9. Given the weight of the tip tank and its contents
W, the distance e of the weight W from the wing tip, the wing span L, and the value of the distributed load inten-
sity at the wing root, determine the shear force and bending moment along the span. The solution to this
problem is given by a Mathematica 4.0 program listed below.
V
y
z
1
( )
M
x
z
1
( )
V
y
z ( )
M
x
z ( )
z
1
z
p
z ( )
z
F
y
z ( )
V
y
z
1
( )
M
x
z
1
( )
V
y
z ( )
M
x
z ( )
z
1

z
p
y
z ( )
Fig. 4.8 Resultant force at the center of pressure statically equivalent to a distributed load.
z
p
z ( )F
y
p
y
( ) d
z
1
z

=
F
y
z ( ) z
p
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( ) p
0
z
L
--- =
z
L
e
W
Fig. 4.9 Cantilever wing with tip tank.
p
0
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
106 Thin-Walled Structures

1 2 3 4 5 6
Example 4.1
Shear force and bending moment diagrams for a cantilever wing with tip tank.
p
y
= p
0
z

L
;
The shear force and bending moment distributions are determined from eqs. (4.2) and
(4.4) with z
1
=0. The shear force and bending moment at the wing tip (z = 0) are
denoted by V
y0
and M
x0
, respectively.
V
y
= V
y0
-

p
y
z
-
z
2
p
0

2 L
+V
y0
M
x
= M
x0
+

V
y
z
M
x0
-
z
3
p
0

6 L
+z V
y0
Boundary conditions at the wing tip, obtained from equilibrium of the tip tank, deter-
mined the shear force V
y0
and moment M
x0
.
bc
1
= HV
y
. z 0L - W
bc
2
= HM
x
. z 0L - e W
- W +V
y0
- e W +M
x0
slv1 = Solve@bc
1
== 0, V
y0
D
88V
y0
W<<
V
y0
= V
y0
. slv1@@1DD
W
slv2 = Solve@bc
2
== 0, M
x0
D
88M
x0
e W<<
M
x0
= M
x0
. slv2@@1DD
e W
Thin-Walled Structures 107
Differential equation method
Print@ "Shear force V
y
HzL = ", V
y
D
Print@"Bending moment M
x
HzL = " M
x
D
Shear force V
y
HzL = W -
z
2
p
0

2 L
Bending moment M
x
HzL =
i
k
j
je W +W z -
z
3
p
0

6 L
y
{
z
z
Plot the shear force and bending moment diagrams for the following parameter
values: L = 144 in, p
0
= 70 lb/in, W = 500 lbs, and e = 6 in. (Plots labled p1 and
p2 have been suppressed using the DisplayFunction option.)
p1 =
Plot@HV
y
. 8 L 144, p
0
70, W 500, e 6<L,
8z, 0, 144<,
PlotRange 81000, - 5000<,
GridLines Automatic,
AxesLabel 8"z,inches", "V
y
, lbs"<,
PlotLabel
StyleForm@"Shear force diagram",
"Section"D,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
Graphics
p2 =
Plot@HM
x
. 8 L 144, p
0
70, W 500, e 6<L,
8z, 0, 144<,
GridLines Automatic,
AxesLabel 8"z,inches", " M
x
, lb- in"<,
PlotLabel
StyleForm@"Bending moment diagram",
"Section"D,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
Graphics
Show@GraphicsArray@88p1<, 8p2<<DD
1 2 3 4 5 6
The magnitude of the bending moment is largest at the wing root, and this vlaue is
important for wing structural design. Its value in lb-in is
M
x
. 8 L 144, p
0
70, W 500, e 6, z 144<
- 166920
(The plots are are shown on the next page.)
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
108 Thin-Walled Structures
1 2 3 4 5 6
20 40 60 80 100 120 140
z,inches
-50000
-40000
-30000
-20000
-10000
10000
M
x
, lb- in
Bending moment diagram
20 40 60 80 100 120 140
z,inches
-5000
-4000
-3000
-2000
-1000
1000
V
y
, lbs
Shear force diagram
Shear force and bending moment diagrams for the cantilever wing with tip tank
Thin-Walled Structures 109
Differential equation method
The shear force and bending moment at the wing tip are determined from equilibrium of the tip tank, which
gives V
y
(0) = W and M
x
(0) = eW. Note that eq. (4.1) shows that the slope on the shear diagram is equal to the
distributed load intensity. For example at z = 0, , so that the slope of the shear diagram is zero at z = 0.
Similarly, the slope on the moment diagram is equal to the shear force as given by eq. (4.3). In particu-
lar, at z = 45.36 inches the shear force is zero. Thus, in the bending moment diagram the moment is stationary at
z = 45.36 in (i.e., it has a horizontal slope), and M
x
may be either a local maximum, minimum, or a value corre-
sponding to horizontal inection point. It is important to compute the largest magnitude of the bending moment,
and this is accomplished by checking the bending moments where V
y
= 0, at the end points of the beam, and the
locations where the bending moment is discontinuous. Note that the maximum bending moment magnitude
occurs at the wing root, where . The bending moment changes sign, and hence vanishes, at
z = 81.4 inches. In a plot of the beam deection versus z, which is not shown above, the location z = 81.4 inches
is called an inection point because the curvature is changing from concave down (positive M
x
) to concave up
(negative M
x
) as z increases through z = 81.4 inches.
EXAMPLE 4.2 The air load acting on a wing given as discrete data.
The problem statement and data for this example is taken from the aircraft structures text by Peery (1950). How-
ever, the notation is changed to that of the this text, and the solution is given in terms of a Mathematica 3.0 pro-
gram. Since the air load on the wing is given at discrete spanwise locations and not as a mathematical function, it
is useful to use Mathematicas list manipulation capabilities to effect the solution. Before giving the problem
statement, we will discuss some aspects of list manipulations.
Lists provide a mechanism for representing arrays, vectors, matrices, and for grouping together objects such
as data, variables, or expressions. A list is a collection of objects whose symbols are enclosed in braces, {}, and
separated by commas, as in . It is usually more efcient to do operations on
lists rather than to do operations on individual items in the list. A function is applied separately to each element in
the list if it has the attribute Listable. For example, addition, multiplication, and the logarithm have the attribute
Listable, so that

That is, Listable functions in Mathematica are automatically distributed or threaded over lists that appear as its
arguments. The number of elements in a list is given by the built-in function Length [ ]; e.g.,
. A summary of Mathematicas built-in functions used for list manipulation is given in
the table below.
Summary of list manipulation functions in Mathematica (taken from Blachman, 1992)
Function Description
Range [min, max, step] Generates the list {min, .., max} using step (arithmetic progression)
Table [expr, {imax}] Generates a list of imax copies of expr (more general)
Array [s, dim] Generates a list of length dim with elements s[i]
Sort [list] Sorts elements of list into canonical order
p
y
0 ( ) 0 =
dM
x
dz
M
x
166920 lb-in =
item
1
item
2
item
3
item
n
, , , , { }
5 8 11 , , { } 2 3 6 , , { } + 7 5 5 , , { } =
5 8 11 , , { }* 2 3 6 , , { } 10 24 66 , , { } =
Log 5 8 11 , , { } [ ] Log 5 [ ] Log 8] [ ] Log 11] [ ] , , { } =
Length 5 8 11 , , { } [ ] 3 =
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
110 Thin-Walled Structures
Problem statement: The aerodynamic loads on an airplane wing cannot be represented by a simple equa-
tion. The load per inch of span, , of the airplane wing shown in Fig. 4.10is tabulated in column
two of the Table printed at line Out[14] in the Mathematica program below. Find the shear force and bending
moment diagrams for the wing.
Solution: The values of the shear force and bending moment at various points along the wing are calculated
in the Table (see Out[14] in the code). The points are called stations and are designated by their distances from
Reverse [list] Reverses elements in list
RotateLeft [ list, n] Cycles the elements n positions to the left
RotateRight [ list,n] Cycles the elements n positions to the right
Permutations [list] Generates a list of all possible permutations of the elements of list
Drop [list, n] Drops the rst n elements from list
Take [list, n] Takes the rst n elements from list
First [list] Give the rst element of list
Last [list] Gives the last element of list
list [[n]] or Part [list, n] Gives the nth element
Rest [list] Returns all but the rst element of list
Select [list, crit] Picks out elements in list which meet the criterion of crit
Append [list, elem] Returns a list with elem appended to the end of list
AppendTo [list, elem] Changes list by appending elem to the end
Prepend [list, elem] Returns a list with elem added to the from of list
PrependTo [list, elem] Changes list by adding elem to the front
Insert [list, elem, n] Inserts elem at position n in list
Length [list] Gives the number of elements in list
Dimensions [list] Gives the dimensions of a list or expression
Complement [ list
1
, list
2
, ... ] Gives the complement, i.e., those elements in list
1
but not in list
2
, ...
Intersection [ list
1
, list
2
, ... ] Gives a sorted list of all the elements common to all list
1
, list
2
, ...
Union [list
1
, list
2
, ... ] Gives a sorted list of the distinct elements
Join [list
1
, list
2
, ... ] Joins or concatenates lists together
Partition [list, n] Partition list into sublists of length n
Flatten [list] Flattens out nested lists, i.e., eliminates nested lists
Transpose [list] Transpose
Apply [f, list] Replaces the head of list with f
Map [f,list] Applies f to each element in list
Listable An attribute, if set, automatically maps a functions onto a list
ColumnForm[list] Prints list as a column
MatrixForm[ list] Prints elements in list in a regular array
Summary of list manipulation functions in Mathematica (taken from Blachman, 1992)
Function Description
p
y
z ( ) p z ( ) =
Thin-Walled Structures 111
Differential equation method
the centerline of the airplane, as shown in Fig. 4.10. These distances are measured along the wing rather than
horizontally, since the air loads are perpendicular to the wing. The distances between stations, , are computed
as a list in the code. The value of the shear at any point is obtained as the area under the load curve from that
point out to the wing tip. The load curve is assumed to be a series of straight lines between the known points, and
the area is obtained as the sum of the areas of the trapezoids. The area of the trapezoids are obtained as the prod-
uct of the average height and the base . The change in the shear between two stations is equal to
the area of the load curve between the stations. The shear is then obtained by summation of the -values.
The change in the bending moment between two stations is equal to the area under the shear curve. This
area is also assumed trapezoidal and is obtained by multiplying the sum of the shears at the adjacent stations by
one-half the distance between the stations. The bending moments are obtained by a summation of the -val-
ues. Plots of the air load, shear force, and bending moment distributions are shown at the end of the Mathematica
program
z
Fig. 4.10
z
p
ave
z V
y
V
y
V
y
M
x
M
x
Example 4.2: Numerical quadrature for the shear force and bending moment in a wing
(Peery, 1950, pp. 107-109)
In[1]:= Off@General::spell1D
Input the airload intensity at each z-station and each z-station coordinate as two separate lists. Dimensional
units: z-list, inches; p-list, lb/in.
In[2]:= z = 80, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180,
200, 220, 225<;
p = 8125, 123, 120, 116, 111, 105, 98, 89, 80, 71,
58, 35, 0<;
Compute distances between stations.
In[3]:= Dz = Take@HRotateLeft@zD - zL, Length@zD - 1D
Out[3]= 820, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 5<
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
112 Thin-Walled Structures
.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Compute average airload intensity in each interval between stations.
In[4]:= p
ave
= Take@N@HRotateLeft@pD + pL 2D, Length@pD - 1D
Out[4]= 8124., 121.5, 118., 113.5, 108.,
101.5, 93.5, 84.5, 75.5, 64.5, 46.5, 17.5<
The trapezoidal rule of numerical integration is used to compute the change in the shear force over each
interval from eq. (4.2). A list of DV
y
- values is computed by a direct multiplication of lists Dz and p
ave
.
In[5]:= DV
y
= - Dz * p
ave
Out[5]= 8- 2480., - 2430., - 2360., - 2270., - 2160.,
- 2030., - 1870., - 1690., - 1510., - 1290., - 930., - 87.5<
Since V
y
HtipL - V
y
HrootL =

root
tip
HdV
y
dzL z, and V
y
HtipL = 0, the shear force at the root is the negative of
the sum the elements in the DV
y
-list. A simple way to sum elements in a list is to change the Head of the list
from "List" to "Plus" by using the Apply function.
y
D
Out[6]= List
In[7]:= V
y0
=- Apply@Plus, DV
y
D
Out[7]= 21107.5
The shear force at station i is the the partial sum of the of the DV
y
- values over the intevals from 1 to i; i.e.,
V
y
HiL =
j=1
i
DV
y
H jL +V
y0
. We use the Table function to generate a list of the shear force values at each
station.
In[8]:= V
y
= Table@HSum@DV
y
@@jDD, 8j, 1, i<D +V
y0
L, 8i, 1, Length@DV
y
D<D
Out[8]= 818627.5, 16197.5, 13837.5, 11567.5, 9407.5,
7377.5, 5507.5, 3817.5, 2307.5, 1017.5, 87.5, 0.<
Add the value of the shear force at the root to the beginning of this list in order to have the shear force at each
z
i
- station, including the root.
In[9]:= V
y
= PrependTo@V
y
, V
y0
D
Out[9]= 821107.5, 18627.5, 16197.5, 13837.5, 11567.5, 9407.5,
7377.5, 5507.5, 3817.5, 2307.5, 1017.5, 87.5, 0.<
Thin-Walled Structures 113
Differential equation method

1 2 3 4 5 6
Compute the average force in each interval from the list of shear force values.
In[10]:= V
ave
= Take@N@HRotateLeft@V
y
D +V
y
L 2D, Length@V
y
D - 1D
Out[10]= 819867.5, 17412.5, 15017.5, 12702.5, 10487.5,
8392.5, 6442.5, 4662.5, 3062.5, 1662.5, 552.5, 43.75<
The change in the bending moment is computed from eq. (4.4) using the trapezoidal rule of numerical
integration.
In[11]:= DM
x
= Dz * V
ave
Out[11]= 8397350., 348250., 300350., 254050., 209750.,
167850., 128850., 93250., 61250., 33250., 11050., 218.75<
Since M
x
HtipL - M
x
HrootL =

root
tip
HdM
x
dzL z, and M
x
HtipL = 0, the bending moment at the root is the
negative of the sum the elements in the DM
x
-list.
In[12]:= M
x0
= - Apply@Plus, DM
x
D
Out[12]= - 2.00547 10
6
Compute the bending moment at each station.
In[13]:= M
x
= Table@HSum@DM
x
@@jDD, 8j, 1, i<D + M
x0
L,
8i, 1, Length@DM
x
D<D;
M
x
= PrependTo@M
x
, M
x0
D
Out[13]= 9- 2.00547 10
6
, - 1.60812 10
6
, - 1.25987 10
6
,
- 959519., - 705469., - 495719., - 327869., - 199019.,
- 105769., - 44518.7, - 11268.8, - 218.75, 0.=
In[14]:= TableForm@Transpose@8z, p, V
y
, M
x
<D,
8None, 8"z,in", "p,lbin",
"V
y
,lb", "M
x
,lb- in"<<D
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
114 Thin-Walled Structures
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Out[14]//TableForm=
z,in p,lbin V
y
,lb M
x
,lb- in
0 125 21107.5 - 2.00547 10
6
20 123 18627.5 - 1.60812 10
6
40 120 16197.5 - 1.25987 10
6
60 116 13837.5 - 959519.
80 111 11567.5 - 705469.
100 105 9407.5 - 495719.
120 98 7377.5 - 327869.
140 89 5507.5 - 199019.
160 80 3817.5 - 105769.
180 71 2307.5 - 44518.7
200 58 1017.5 - 11268.8
220 35 87.5 - 218.75
225 0 0. 0.
Plots of the airload, shear force, and bending moment distributions. (Intermediate plots have been suppressed.)
In[15]:= p11 = ListPlot@Transpose@8z, p<D,
PlotStyle 8PointSize@0.02D<,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
p12 = ListPlot@Transpose@8z, p<D,
PlotJoined - >True,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
p1 = Show@p11, p12,
AxesLabel 8"z, in.", "lbin"<,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
p21 = ListPlot@Transpose@8z, V
y
<D,
PlotStyle - >8PointSize@0.02D<,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
p22 = ListPlot@Transpose@8z, V
y
<D,
PlotJoined - >True,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
p2 = Show@p21, p22,
AxesLabel 8"z, in.", "lb"<,
PlotLabel "Shear force",
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
p31 = ListPlot@Transpose@8z, M
x
<D,
PlotStyle - >8PointSize@0.02D<,
DisplayFunction - > IdentityD
Thin-Walled Structures 115
Differential equation method

## In[24]:= Show@GraphicsArray@88p1<, 8p2<, 8p3<<DD

50 100 150 200
z,in
-210
6
-1.510
6
-110
6
-500000
lb- in
Bending Moment
50 100 150 200
z, in.
5000
10000
15000
20000
lb
Shear force
50 100 150 200
z, in.
20
40
60
80
100
120
lbin
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
116 Thin-Walled Structures
4.3 Semi-graphical method
The semi-graphical method to draw the shear force and bending moment diagrams is best illustrated by doing an
example.
EXAMPLE 4.3 Uniform barge with symmetric load
Consider a barge at rest in still water with a uniform immersed cross section, and subjected to the symmetrical
loads shown in Fig. 4.11. This is an example of a structure with no boundary supports, and is typical of aero-
space and ocean vehicle structures. We wish to sketch the shear force and bending moment diagrams for the
barge. In this example there is a distributed load acting on the barge due to buoyancy forces produced by displac-
ing the water. Let represent the distributed load intensity due to buoyancy, and is a constant along the
barge because the immersed cross section is uniform and the water is still.
Solution: A semi-graphical method is used to sketch the shear force and bending moment diagrams. In this
approach we rst sketch the distributive load , then the shear force V
y
(z), and nally the bending moment
M
x
(z). Equations (4.1) and (4.3) are used to note that the slope of shear diagram at z is the negative of the distrib-
uted load intensity at z, and the slope of the moment diagram at z is the shear force at z. In addition, eqs. (4.2) and
(4.4) set at z = z
2
give
(4.8)
(4.9)
Equation (4.8) is interpreted in a graphical sense to mean that the difference in the shear force between z
2

and z
1
1
to z
2
. This is not geometrical area. The area
between the curve and the z-axis has units of force, and may be positive, zero, or negative. Similarly eq.
(4.9) is interpreted to mean the difference in the bending moment is the area under the shear force diagram.
Vertical equilibrium of the entire barge requires the buoyant upthrust equals 40kN, so that .
The total distributed load intensity is the difference between and the magnitude of the downward acting
15kN (total) 15kN (total)
10kN
5m 5m
5m 5m
Fig. 4.11Uniform section barge in still water with symmetric load.
p
b
p
b
p
y
z ( )
V
y
z
2
( ) V
y
z
1
( ) p
y
z ( ) z d
z
1
z
2

=
M
x
z
2
( ) M
x
z
1
( ) V
y
z ( ) z d
z
1
z
2

=
p
y
z ( )
p
b
2kN ( ) m =
p
b
Thin-Walled Structures 117
Semi-graphical method
4.13.
5 10 15 20
z, m
Shear force diagram
-4
-2
2
4
kN
Fig. 4.12Shear force and bending moment diagrams for the barge in still water
0
2
-1
p
y
z, m
5
10
15
20
kN/m
10 kN
5 10 15 20
z, m
Bending moment diagram
2.5
5
7.5
10
12.5
15
17.5
kN-m
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
118 Thin-Walled Structures
The point force of 10kN acting at z = 10m is shown schematically in the -diagram as a downward
pointing arrow. Actually, as , because a point force is a nite load acting over zero length.
Point forces are idealizations to actual loads and introduce discontinuities in the mathematical descriptions of
4.13.The shear force diagram is drawn below the loading intensity diagram in Fig. 4.13. Equilibrium at z = 0
requires V
y
(0) = 0, and the slope dV
y
/dz at z = 0 is equal to 1kN/m. The slope is constant between ,
thus V
y
(z) is a straight line in this range of z. The difference in the shear force between z = 5m and z = 0 is equal
to the negative of the area under the curve which is 5kN. Thus V
y
(5) = 5kN since V
y
(0) = 0. At z = 5
+
m the
loading intensity jumps to +2kN/m. The slope of the shear force jumps from 1kN/m to -2kN/m at z = 5m, but the
shear force is itself continuous. The difference V
y
(10) - V
y
(5) is equal to the negative of the area between the
-curve and the z-axis between z = 5m and z = 10m. Thus V
y
(10) - V
y
(5) = -10kN, so V
y
(10) = -5kN. Note
the shear force is zero at z = 7.5m. At z = 10m the point force of 10kN acts. According to the rst of eqs. (4.5)
V
y
(10
+
) - V
y
(10
-
) = 10kN, so that V
y
(10
+
) = 5kN. The slope of the shear at z = 10m is +2kN/m, and remains con-
stant until z = 15m. The difference V
y
(15) - V
y
(10
+
) = -10kN, so that V
y
(15) = -5kN. Finally, the slope changes to
-1kN/m at z = 15
+
m and remains constant in the range 15 < z < 20. The difference V
y
(20) - V
y
(15) = 5kN, so that
V
y
(20) = 0. Checking vertical equilibrium at z = 20m veries that V
y
(20) should be zero.
Moment equilibrium at z = 0 shows M
x
(0) = 0. The slope of M
x
at z = 0 is equal to the shear force at z= 0.
Hence at z = 0, as shown in Fig. 4.13. The slope on the moment diagram increases linearly
from zero at z = 0 to 5kN at z = 5m. Thus M
x
(z) is parabolic from z= 0 to z = 5. The difference M
x
(5) - M
x
(0) is
equal to the area under shear diagram from z = 0 to z = 5m. Hence, M
x
(5) - M
x
(0) = 12.5 kNm, and M
x
(5) = 12.5
kNm since M
x
(0) = 0. From z = 5 to z = 7.5 the slope of the moment decreases from 5kN to zero. At z = 7.5, M
x

is a local maximum with a magnitude of 18.75 kNm. The slope of M
x
(z) for 7.5 < z < 10 is negative, decreasing
linearly from zero to -5kN. The difference M
x
(10) - M
x
(7.5) = -6.25 kNm, so that M
x
(10) = 12.50 kNm. The
slope of M
x
(z) at z = 10m jumps from a -5kN to a +5kN as shown in Fig. 4.13, but the moment itself is continu-
ous. The bending moment diagram in the range 10 < z < 20 is completed in a manner similar to the description of
its construction in the range 0 < z < 10.
In this example the shear force diagram is antisymmetric about z = 10m and the bending moment is symmet-
ric about z = 10m. This follows from the symmetrical loading on the barge and equilibrium eqs. (4.1) and (4.3).
4.4 Buoyancy Force Distribution on Ships
The simple uniform buoyancy distribution acting on the barge in Example 4.3 is an exception to the buoyancy
distributions found in practice. It is true that equilibrium requires the total buoyant upthrust to equal the weight of
the ship and its contents. However, the distribution of the buoyancy and weight along the length of the ship is not
necessarily the same. The difference in the magnitudes of the buoyancy and weight distribution intensities is the
applied load intensity . In ship design three conditions are recognized to compute for the same ship.
These conditions are called
the still water condition,
sagging condition, and
the hogging condition.
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z 10m
0 z 5m < <
p
y
z ( )
p
y
z ( )
dM
x
( ) dz ( ) 0 =
p
y
z ( ) p
y
z ( )
Thin-Walled Structures 119
Buoyancy Force Distribution on Ships
A more detailed account of these conditions on the longitudinal bending of the ship is given by Muckle
(1967) and Zubaly (1996), and here we only summarize the basic ideas.
A ship in still water is shown in Fig. 4.13, and a section between z and z + dz is shown in Fig. 4.14.
Archimedes' principle asserts that the buoyant upthrust is equal to the weight of the uid displaced. Let A(z)
denote the submerged cross section at z, and let denote the specic weight (force per volume) of the uid. The
differential buoyancy force dF
b
acting on the ship over a differential length dz is
(4.10)
Consequently, the buoyant upthrust per unit ship length, which we designate , is equal to A(z); i.e.,
(4.11)
A curve of for a ship as well as the weight per unit length is shown in Fig. 4.15. Overall equilibrium requires
the area under these curves to have the same magnitude. If the submerged cross section is uniform in z, as is the
z
Fig. 4.13
A z ( )dz
dF
b
Fig. 4.14
dF
b
A z ( )dz =
p
b
p
b
dF
b
dz
--------- A z ( ) = =
p
b
weight/length
buoyancy/length
Fig. 4.15
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
120 Thin-Walled Structures
case for the barge in Example 4.3, the distribution of the buoyancy per unit length is a constant.
At sea a ship is subjected to waves, and this alters the buoyancy distribution. For longitudinal bending of the
ship two extreme static conditions are assumed: sagging and hogging. In each condition, the length of the wave is
assumed to be the length of the ship. This is an accepted assumption for the worst buoyancy distribution caus-
ing the most severe bending of the ship.
The sagging condition is shown in Fig. 4.16. (Also see Fig. 1.3 on page 5.) The wave crests are at the bow
and stern, and the wave trough is amidships. A schematic of the buoyancy per unit length is shown below the ship
in Fig. 4.16. The immersed cross section is the largest at or near the wave crests, and is least near the trough. The
intensity of the buoyancy distribution reects this. In this condition the deck sags and is in compression while the
bottom is in tension. The worst location to concentrate the cargo in the ship is amidships, as this will result in the
largest bending moment.
The hogging condition is depicted in Fig. 4.17. Here the wave troughs are at bow and stern, and the crest is
amidships. The immersed cross section is greatest near amidships and is least near bow and stern. The distribu-
tion of the buoyancy per unit length , shown in Fig. 4.17, reects this situation. In hogging the deck is in ten-
sion and the bottom is in compression. The worst possible locations to concentrate cargo is fore and aft, as this
will produce the greatest bending moment in the ship.
p
b
p
b
Fig. 4.16Sagging
concentrated weight
p
b
p
b
Fig. 4.17Hogging
concentrated weights
Thin-Walled Structures 121
References
4.5 References
Blachman, N.R., 1992, Mathematica: A Practical Approach, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey,
p. 133.
Muckle, W., 1967, Strength of Ships Structures, Edward Arnold Ltd., London, pp. 27-69.
Peery, D.J., 1950, Aircraft Structures, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 107-108.
Zubaly, R.M., 1996, Applied Naval Architecture, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers,
Cornell Maritime Press, Inc., Centreville, Maryland, pp. 195-237.
4.6 Problems
1. The cantilever wing is subjected to a distributed air load , where the total lift (2
wings) at cruise, wing length ft., and . Also, the wing supports an
engine weighing 1000 lbs. Plot the loading diagram, shear force diagram , and bending moment diagram
as functions of z for ft. Partial answer: lb. and lb-ft.
2. A proposed solar airplane called Centurion is being designed to achieve semi-perpetual ight (Aviation
Week & Space Technology, May 4, 1998, p.54). Centurion is a ying wing with a span of 206 ft., an 8-ft. chord,
and no taper or sweep. The wing has ve sections, one center, two mid-span, and two tips. It is supported by four
landing pods. The tip sections have a dihedral to assist in turning and washout twist to prevent tip stall. The
empty weight is predicted to be 1,105 lb., comprising 630 lb. for structure, 160 lb. for engines and propellers, 150
lb. for avionics, 75 lbs for batteries, 20 lb. of miscellaneous and 70 lb. for 7% growth. The aircraft should be able
to take a 100 lb payload to 100,000 ft. It is powered by 14 electric motors producing a maximum of 2 hp. each.
Assume the following: The span-wise airload distribution acting on the wing is as given in problem 1. Each
engine is modeled as a concentrated weight acting its location on the wing. The payload, avionics, batteries, etc.,
lumped are together as a concentrated load at the center, and that the structural weight is uniformly distributed
p
y
z ( )
2L
z
max
------------- 1 z ( )
2
=
L 20 000lbs , = z
max
32.5 = z z z
max
=
V
y
z ( )
M
x
z ( ) 0 z 32.5 V
y
0 ( ) 9 000 , = M
x
0 ( ) 131934 =
y
z
p
y
z ( )
M
x
M
x
V
y
p
y
+
V
y
6 ft.
32.5 ft.
1000 lb engine
fuselage
Axial Force, Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams
122 Thin-Walled Structures
along the span. For steady level ight, determine the shear force and bending moment diagrams from the center-
line of the wing to its tip, and show them in a sketch. Label signicant points. The front view of half of the Cen-
turion is shown below.
3. The barge shown below has a uniform cross section along its length and is subjected to a uniformly distrib-
uted load of intensity , in which P has dimensional units of force/length. Also it is subjected to
buoyancy for the extreme hogging condition . Draw the shear force,
, and bending moment, , diagrams. Label signicant points. Note that .
4. A barge has a plan view as shown. All waterplanes are identical. Cargo is loaded evenly in the four rectangu-
lar holds as shown. Neglecting the weight of the barge itself, construct curves of weight, buoyancy, load, shear,
and bending moment for the loaded barge in still sea water. Label the values of each curve at each bulkhead, and
identify the maximum shear and bending moment. (Zubaly, 1996)
z
1
z
2
z
3
z
4
z
5
z
6
z
7
z
8
z
9
z
10
z
z
1
4.0 ft.
z
2
12.0 ft.
z
3
19.2 ft.
z
4
32.7 ft.
z
5
46.3 ft.
z
6
60.0 ft.
z
7
67.1 ft.
z
8
80.6 ft.
z
9
93.4 ft.
z
10
103.0 ft.
Centerline
p
y
z ( ) P =
p
y
z ( )
buoyancy
P 1
z
L
---

cos =
V
y
z ( ) M
x
z ( ) M
x
max
2P L ( )
2
=
z
L
L
P
waterline
Thin-Walled Structures 123
Problems
5. A barge of uniform rectangular construction has a length of 30m, breadth of 10m, depth of 5m, oats at an
even keel in fresh water at a draft of 2m when unloaded. The barge is transversely divided into three equal com-
partments. These compartments are uniformly loaded as follows:
No. 1 hold, 200 tonne; No. 2 hold, 155 tonne; No. 3 hold, 245 tonne
(Note: one metric ton, or tonne, is equal to 1000 kg, and the mass density of fresh water is 1 tonne/m
3
)
You will plot the loading intensity diagram, shear force diagram, and the bending moment diagram for the
loaded barge in a column format. Do not neglect the weight of the barge itself.
a) Since the moments of the weight about amidships are not equal for the loaded barge, the barge trims.
Assume the trim angle is small. Show from overall equilibrium that the draft at z = 0 is , and
that the draft at z = L = 30m is
(The specic weight in N/m
3
is g times the mass density in kg/m
3
. If for simplicity g is taken as 10
(instead of 9.8) then specic weight of fresh water is .)
c) Determine the shear force, and plot it directly below the loading intensity diagram. Note; the dimen-
sional unit of the shear force is N, or Newtons.
d) Determine the bending moment, and plot it directly below the shear diagram. Note; the dimensional
units of the bending moment are Nm, or Newton-meters.
40 ft 40 ft 40 ft 40 ft 40 ft 40 ft
30 ft
400
tons
950
tons
400
tons
950
tons
empty empty
d
0
3.7 m =
d
L
4.3m =
p
y
z ( )
10m/sec
2
1000kg/m
3
10 000N/m
3
, =
d
0 d
L
200t
155t
245t
y
z
trim angle
2m