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# Internal forces in statically determinate members

## 2. INTERNAL FORCES IN STATICALLY DETERMINATE

MEMBERS
2.1 INTERNAL FORCES COMPUTATION
Consider a body of arbitrary shape acted upon by several external loads (Fig.
2.1). In statics, we would start by determining the resultant of the applied loads to
determine whether or not the body remains at rest. If the resultant is zero, we have
static equilibrium a condition generally
prevailing in structures. If the resultant is
not zero we may apply inertia forces to
bring about dynamic equilibrium. Such
cases will be discussed later under dynamic
loading. For the present, we consider only
cases involving static equilibrium.
Generally speaking, when loads are
applied to a certain mechanical structure or
machine, each component of such a
structure or machine is subjected to external
Fig. 2.1
loads of different values (Fig. 2.1). Under
the action of the external loads, internal forces occur inside the involved component
(assimilated to the arbitrary body represented in Fig. 2.1). If these internal forces reach
critical values the body (component) will fail.
One of the methods commonly used for the determination of internal forces in
strength of materials is known as the method of sections. In fact the problem remains
the same like that presented in the previous chapter: what does every point of the body
(generically represented in Fig. 2.1) ,,feel when the body is subjected to external
loads in mechanical equilibrium?

Fig. 2.2

Fig. 2.3

## The method of sections consists in passing an exploratory plane through an

arbitrary point of the body and with an arbitrary orientation (Fig. 2.2). In this way two
distinct segments of the body will occur (Fig.2.3), the left surface (SL) and the right
surface (SR) representing the internal plane surfaces of the body, originally in contact.
Since the body represented in Fig. 2.2 is in equilibrium, neither of the two segments of
21

Strength of Materials

Fig. 2.6
Fig. 2.3 can be in equilibrium. If we want to
bring the segment II for example in the same state it is in Fig. 2.2, the action of
segment I on segment II (which actually exists inside the body represented in Fig. 2.2)
has to be considered. This action may be
reduced at the centroid O of surface SR to
a resultant force R and a resultant
moment M (Fig. 2.4).
In other words R and M represent
the action of segment I on segment II, as
a global mechanical effect occured at the
level of the entire section SR. In fact this
mechanical effect develops inside the
body represented in Fig. 2.2. Furthermore
it is to be noted that M and R represent
Fig. 2.4
the effect of the external loads acting on
the segment I (i.e. P1, Pn, M1 Fig. 2.2) which develops inside the body at the level of
SR.
The resultant force R and the resultant moment M are called internal forces.
Under the action of M, R, P2, Pk, Mk the segment II of the body is now in mechanical
equilibrium (as it really is in the actual state of Fig. 2.2). Now using the adequate
equilibrium equations for segment II, the values of internal forces R and M can be
derived.
A similar reasoning may be also applied to the segment I of the body, on which
internal forces R and M develop (Fig.
2.5). From action and reaction
mechanical law we may write:

R = - R,
M = - M.
Let us now apply the above
reasoning to a loaded statically
determinate member (Fig. 2.6). It is to be
mentioned that a statically determinate
member is a member for which all
reactions can be completely computed
Fig. 2.5
from statics alone.
After computing the specific reactions (YA, YB, ZBetc) corresponding to the
supporting points A and B, the member represented in Fig. 2.6 is in fact a body
subjected to several external loads in mechanical equilibrium. Passing an exploratory
plane at some arbitrary point of the member, perpendicular to the axis of the member,
and considering only a segment of the
member (just like in the preceding
discussion) the internal forces R and M
are revealed (Fig. 2.7).
We do also attach to the segment
considered in Fig. 2.7 a coordinate
22

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

system whose origin is taken at the centroid O of the exploratory cross section (SR).
Ox is the axis of the member while Oz and Oy represent the axes to which the
exploratory cross section of the member is reported.
For convenience, the internal forces M and R are resolved into components that
are normal and tangent to the cross section considered, within the chosen coordinate
system (Fig. 2.8) - R resolved into components N, Ty and Tz, while M into components
Mx, Miy , Miz.

Fig. 2.7

Fig. 2.8

Each component reflects a certain effect of the applied loads on the member and
is given a special name as follows:
N: axial force (R component along Ox axis, or, more briefly, x axis). This
component measures the pulling (or pushing) action perpendicular to the section
considered. A pull represents a tensile force that tends to elongate the member,
whereas a push is a compressive force that tends to shorten it.
Ty, Tz: shearing forces (R components along y axis and z axis respectively). These are
components of the total resistance to sliding the portion to one side of the exploratory
section past the other. The resultant shearing force (acting on zOy plane) is usually
denoted by T, and its components by Ty and Tz to identify their directions.
Mx: twisting couple (twisting moment or torque) (M component along x axis). This
component measures the resistance to twisting the member and is commonly given the
symbol Mt.
Miy, Miz: bending moments. These components measure the resistance to bending the
member about the y or z axes and are often denoted merely by Miy and Miz.
The quantities N, Ty, Tz, Mx, Miy, Miz are also called internal forces. Each of
them produces a certain type of mechanical effect on the involved member:

23

Strength of Materials

T , T : shearing loading ;
y z

M t : torsion ;
M iy , M iz : bending .

The simultaneous presence on the current member cross section of two or more
types of internal forces determines a combined loading.
Although the type of coordinate system used within such analysis is, in a way,
controversial, we shall use the following sign convention:
N, Ty and Tz should be considered positive if orientated to the opposite sense
of the axes;
Mt, Miy and Miz should be considered positive if orientated to the sense of the
axes.
From the preceding discussion, it is obvious that the internal effect of a given
loading depends upon the selection and orientation of the exploratory section. In
particular, if the loads act in a single plane, say the xy plane as is frequently the case,
the six components of Fig. 2.8 reduce to only three namely, the axial force (N), the
shearing force (T) and the bending moment Miz. This in why, in case of plane problems
(when plane members are subjected to loads contained in the same plane) the internal
forces refer to only three components whose positive sign convention should be taken
as follows:

Fig. 2.9

The positive sign convention represented in Fig. 2.9 should be used for plotting
the axial forces, shearing forces and bending moments diagrams. As it will be
explained later, the positive sign convention corresponding to the face SR is used when
the member is covered from the left to the right while the positive sign convention
corresponding to the face SL is used when the member is covered from the right to the
left.

BENDING MOMENT
24

## Let us now consider a simply supported beam AB of span , carrying a

distributed load p per unit length (Fig. 2.10a), and let C and C be two points of the

a.

b.
Fig. 2.10

## beam at an infinitely small distance dx from each other.

We shall detach the portion CC of the beam and draw its free body diagram
(Fig. 2.10b). The forces exerted on the free body include a load of magnitude pdx and
the internal forces at C and C as shown. The shear and bending moment at C will be
denoted by T and M respectively, and will be assumed positive while the shear and
bending moment at C will be denoted by T + dT and M + dM respectively. Since the
shear and bending moment are assumed to be positive, the internal forces will be
directed as shown in Fig. 2.10 b. It is also to be mentioned that since the distance dx
between C and C is considered infinitely small, the load p may be assumed uniformly
distributed per length dx and may be replaced by a resultant pdx, (Fig. 2.11).

Fig.2.11.

## From the mechanical equilibrium of the detached segment CC we write:

the summation of forces about the vertical direction is zero:
Fy 0 T dT pdx T 0 .

We write

pdx dT

.
Dividing by dx the two members of the equation, we have:
dT
p.
dx

(2.1)
25

Strength of Materials

M C ' 0 M dM pdx

dx
M Tdx 0 .
2
2
p dx
being an
2

dM Tdx .

dM
T
dx

(2.2)

## Relations (2.1) and (2.2) may be written in a single one as follows:

d 2 M dT

p.
dx 2
dx

(2.3)

The above presented relations may be successfully used for plotting the shear
and the bending moment diagrams. Generally speaking, internal forces diagrams (i.e.
diagrams of axial forces, shearing forces, torsion and bending moments) are a
graphical representation of the successive values of axial force N, shearing force T,
torque Mt and bending moment Mi in the various sections against the distance
measured from one end of the involved member.
In particular, relations (2.1), (2.2) and (2.3) bring us several important rules
concerning the shear and bending moment diagrams:
The distributed force p measures the tangent slope of the shear curve (shear
diagram). If p = 0, the shearing force will be constant;
It should be observed that Eq. (2.1) is not valid at a point where a concentrated
force is applied. At such a point the shear curve is discontinues and a sudden
change occurs in the diagram. The value of the sudden change in the shear diagram,
when a concentrated force is applied, equals the value of that concentrated force;
Equation (2.2) indicates that the slope

dM i
of the bending moment diagram is
dx

equal to the value of the shearing force. This is true at any point where the shearing
force has a well defined value, i.e. at any point where no concentrated load is
applied;
Equation (2.2) does also show that T = 0 at points where M is maximum. This
property facilitates the determination of the points where the beam (a member in
bending is often referred to a beam) is likely to fail under bending;
If a concentrated couple is applied at an arbitrary point of the beam, a sudden
change in the bending moment diagram occurs, the change value being equal to the
applied concentrated moment (couple);
26

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Equation (2.3) shows that the shear and the bending moment curves will always be,
respectively, one or two degrees higher than the load curve. For example if the load
curve is a horizontal straight line (the case of an uniformly distributed load p), the
shear curve is an oblique straight line and the bending moment curve is a parabola.
If the load curve is an oblique straight line (first degree), the shear curve is a
parabola (second degree) and the bending moment curve is a cubic (third degree).
With the above rules in mind, we should be able to sketch the shear and the
bending moment diagrams without actually determining the function T(x) and M(x)
along the member, once a few values of the shear and the bending moment have been
computed. The sketches obtained will be more accurate if we make use of the fact that,
at any points where the diagrams are continuous, the slope of the shear curve is equal
to (- p) and the slope of the bending moment curve is equal to T.
For plotting the internal forces diagrams, the following steps have to be
covered:
a) Denoting of the important points. An important point of a member is a point where
a certain change (geometrical, loading, etc) occurs. The supporting points are
usually denoted by capital letters A, B, C, etc. and the other important points by
figures 1, 2, 3 etc.;
b) Two successive important points define a portion of the member;
c) Determination (when necessary) the magnitude of the reactions at the supports;
d) A covering sense of the member has to be chosen (from the left to the right, from
the right to the left or both);
e) For each distinct portion of the member a current cross section at distance x from
one end of the involved portion has to be considered;
f) For the current cross section considered, each distinct internal force (N, T, Mt, Mi)
has to be mathematically expressed as a function of x: N(x), T(x), Mt(x), Mi(x);
g) Plotting the functions N(x), T(x), Mt(x), Mi(x) along the entire member, the internal
forces diagrams are finally obtained.

## 2.3 EXAMPLES CONCERNING THE MAIN TYPES OF

DIAGRAMS
2.3.1 AXIAL FORCES DIAGRAMS
Example 1
Draw the axial force diagram for the horizontal member with one fixed end
and uniform cross section, shown in Fig. 2.12.

27

Strength of Materials

a.

b.
Fig. 2.12

## Step 1 important (main) points: 1, 2 and A;

Step 2 main portions of the member: 1 - 2; 2 - A;
Step 3 the magnitude of reactions may be determinated using the condition of
mechanical equilibrium:
Fx = 0 P + 2P - XA = 0 XA = 3P ;
Step 4 the covering sense of the member: let us say it is from the left to the
right;
Step 5 we first consider the first portion of the member (1 -2) and an exploratory
current cross section located at distance x from end 1 of the portion.
Looking to the left one can conclude that the single axial force
component acting upon the current cross section considered is equal to P.
For any value of x this component remains constant. This is why, for
portion 1 - 2, the axial force will be constant (N P). The corresponding
axial force diagram of portion 1 - 2 has to be hachured perpendicularly to
a reference horizontal line. Since the covering sense of the member was
chosen from the left to the right, the positive sign convention I has been
used (Fig. 2.12a).
In the same manner, the axial force for the second portion 2 - A of the member
is:
N 2-A = P + 2P = 3P = ct.
It is to be mentioned that portion 2 - A for example, could have been covered
from the right to the left as well. In such a case the current cross section is taken at
distance x from A and, looking to the right, we have:
NA-2 = XA = 3P (the same value as above).
When covering the member from the right to the left, the positive sign
convention II should be taken (Fig.2.12b).
The above presented algorithm for plotting the axial forces diagrams remains
unchanged even if the loading or the geometry are much more complicated or the
internal forces are not axial but shearing forces or bending moments.
The following examples will be accompanied by no supplementary
explanations.
28

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Fig. 2.14
2.13

Example 2
Draw the axial force diagram for
the member supported and axially
loaded as shown in Fig. 2.13.
Portion 1 - 2 or, more simple, 1 - 2:
N(x) = 0;
Portion 2 - A:
N(x) = 3P = ct.

Example 3
Draw the axial force diagram for the member shown in Fig. 2.14.
Fx = 0; XA - 20 - 10 - 52 = 0;
XA = 40 kN.
Portion 1 - 2:
N(x) = 20 kN;
Portion 2-A:
x 0;
x 2 m;

N(x) = 20 + 10 + 5x = 30 +5x ;

N 2 30 kN ;
N A 40 kN .

## 2.3.2 SHEAR AND BENDING-MOMENT DIAGRAMS

Fig. 2.15 shows a simply supported beam that carries a concentrated load P,
being held in equilibrium by the reactions YA and YB. For the time being we neglect the
mass of the beam and consider only the effect of load P. Applying the method of
sections, let us assume that a cutting plane d - d, located at a distance x from point A,
divides the beam into two segments.

Fig.2.15

The free-body diagram of the left segment (Fig. 2.16) shows that the externally
applied load is YA . To maintain equilibrium in this segment of the beam the internal
forces occurring at the level of the exploratory section d - d must supply the resisting
forces necessary to satisfy the conditions of static equilibrium. In this case, the
external load is vertical, so the condition Fx= 0 (the x axis is horizontal) is
automatically satisfied.
29

Strength of Materials

Fig. 2.16

Since the left segment of the beam is in equilibrium, the resisting shearing force
T acting on the left segment has to be numerically equal to YA. In other words, the
shearing force in the beam may be determined from the summation of all vertical
components of the external loads acting on either side of the section. However, it is
simpler to restrict this summation to the loads that act on the segment to the left of the
section. This definitions of the shearing force (also called vertical shear or just shear)
may be expressed mathematically as:
T Fy L ,

(2.4)

the subscript L emphasizing that the vertical summation includes only the external
loads acting on the beam segment to the left of the section being considered.
In computing T, when the beam is covered from the left to the right, upward
acting forces and loads are considered as positive (see also the sign convention
presented in the preceding section). This rule of sign produces the effect shown in Fig.
2.17, in which a positive shearing force tends to move the left segment upward with
respect to the right segment, and vice versa.

Fig. 2.17

For a complete equilibrium of the free-body diagram in Fig. 2.15 and Fig. 2.16
the summation of moments must also balance. In this discussion YA and T are equal,
thereby producing a couple Mi that is equal to YAx and is called the bending moment
because it tends to bend the beam.
Analogous to the computation of T at the current cross section, the bending
moment is defined as the summation of moments about the centroidal axis of any
selected cross section of all loads acting either to the left or to the right side of the
section, being expressed mathematically as:
Mi M L M R ,

(2.5)

where the subscript L indicates that the bending moment is computed in terms of the
loads acting to the left of the section, while the subscript R referring to loads acting to
the right of the section.
Why the centroidal axis of the exploratory section must be chosen as the axis of
bending moment may not be clear at this moment; this will be explained later.
To many engineers, bending moment is positive if it produces bending of the
beam concave upward, as in Fig. 2.18.
30

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Fig. 2.19

Fig. 2.18

We prefer to use an equivalent convention, which states that the upward acting
external forces cause positive bending moments with respect to any section while
downward forces cause negative bending moments. Therefore, if the left segments of
the beam is concerned (Fig. 2.16), this is equivalent to taking clockwise moments
about the bending axis as positive, as indicated by the moment sense of YA. With
respect to the right segment of the beam (Fig. 2.16) this convention means that the
moment sense of the upward reaction YB is positive in counterclockwise direction. This
convention has the advantage of permitting a bending moment to be computed, without
any confusion in sign, in terms of the forces to either the left or the right of a section,
depending on which requires the least mathematical work. We never need think about
whether a moment is clockwise or counterclockwise; upward acting forces always
cause positive bending moments regardless of whether they act to the left or to the
right of the exploratory section.
The definition of shearing force and bending moment may be summarized
mathematically as follows:
T Fy L Fy R ;

Mi M L M R ,
in which positive effects are produced by upward forces and negative effects by
downward forces.
This rule of sign will be used exclusively hereafter. To avoid conflict with this
rule, we must compute vertical shear in terms of the forces lying to the left of the
exploratory section. If the forces acting to the right of the section were used, it would
be necessary to take downward forces as positive so as to agree with the sign
convention shown in Fig. 2.17.
Example 1
Draw the shear and bendingmoment diagrams for the cantilever beam
shown in Fig. 2.19. (A cantilever beam is
a beam with a fixed end, subjected at its
free end to a single concentrated force P).
We observe that the internal forces
exerted on a current cross section at
distance x from the free end 1 are
represented by:
31

Strength of Materials

Fig. 2.20

a
= - P (see the positive sign convention);

## shearing force T of magnitude T

a bending moment

x 0 M i 0 ;
Mi = - P x: x M 1 P .
iA

## We note (Fig. 2.19) that the negative

values corresponding to the bendingmoment diagram are represented above the
reference line. In this way the bendingmoment diagram shows us how the
involved beam deforms under the action of
Example 2
Draw the shear and bendingmoment diagram for a simply supported
beam AB, of span subjected to a single
concentrated load P (Fig. 2.20) the case
of Fig. 2.15.
We first determine the reactions at the supports from the free-body diagram of
the entire beam (Fig. 2.20); we find that:
YA

Pb
Pa
YB
;
.

For the portion A - 1, cutting the beam at distance x from end A, we have:
T = YA = constant;

x 0 M i 0;

Mi = YA x:

x a M i 1 YA a

P b Pab
a .

## While the bending moment increases linearly from M = 0 at x = 0 to

Pab

at x = a,

we note that the shear has a constant value. Even if the problem is quite simple, it is
more convenient to cover the second portion of the beam from the right to the left.
Therefore, cutting the beam at distance x from end B and using the adequate
sign convention we have:
B - 1:
T YB

Pa

x 0 M i 0;
B

Mi = YB x:
Pab
x b M i1 .
32

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

We can now complete the shear and bending-moment diagrams (Fig. 2.20). For
portion B - 1 the shear has a negative constant value while the bending moment
increases linearly from M = 0 at B to

Pab

at 1 (for x = b).

Remarks
If a concentrated traverse force acts at a section of the beam, a sudden change in the
shear diagram at that section occurs, the sudden change value being equal to that
concentrated force. In our case of Fig. 2.20, at point 1, the sudden change is:
Pb Pa P a b P

P.

If, for a certain portion of the beam, the shear is constant, the bending-moment
diagram is linear;
Covering the beam from the left to the right within the portion A - 1 and then from
the right to the left within the portion B - 1, and since at point 1 there is no
concentrated moment, there will be no sudden change in the bending-moment
diagram at point 1. This is why we have obtained the same value of the maximum
bending moment at 1;
The covering sense of the beam, when plotting such diagrams, has no importance. It
may be chosen from the left to the right, or from the right to the left or combined, as
it is convenient to us;
When designing a beam like that presented in Fig. 2.20, we must note that the
strength of the beam is usually controlled by the maximum absolute value Mi max
of the bending moment in the beam (in our case

M i max

Pab

).

We note from the foregoing example that, when a beam is subjected only to
concentrated forces, the shear is constant between the applied forces while the
bending-moment varies linearly between the forces. In such situations, therefore, the
shear and bending-moment diagrams may easily be drawn, once the values of T and Mi
have been obtained at sections selected just to the left and just to the right of the points
where the loads and reactions are applied.
Numerical examples
1. Draw the shear and bending-moment diagrams for a simply supported beam subjected to two
concentrated loads (forces) as shown in Fig. 2.21.
Determination of the reactions at the supports
Fy= 0 ; YA -5 - 10 + YB = 0 YA + YB = 15 kN ;
MA = 0 ; YB 4 - 10 3 - 5 1 = 0 YB = 8,75 kN ;

33

Strength of Materials

MB = 0 ; YA 4 - 5 3 - 10 1 = 0 YA = 6,25 kN .
Fig. 2.21

Portion A - 1
T = YA = 6,25 kN ;

x 0

Mi = YA x; x 1m

M iA 0 ;
M i 6,25 kN m .
1

Portion 1 - 2
T = YA - 5 = 6,25 - 5 = 1,25 kN ;
M i = YA (1 + x) - 5x .
This means that

x 0 M i 6.25 kN m ;
1

x 2 m M i2 6,25 1 2 5 2 8,75 kN m.

For the last portion it is much more convenient to cover the beam from the right to the left.
Portion B - 2
T = - YB = - 8,75 kN;
M i = YB x

x 0

M i 0;
B

1
m

i2 8,75 1 8,75 kN m .

We obtain therefore the shear and bending-moment diagrams shown in Fig. 2.21.
2. Draw the axial force, shear and bending - moment diagrams for the beam shown in Fig. 2.22.

34

## The beam represented in Fig.

2.22 can be drawn in a
simplified manner as shown in
Fig. 2.23.
As in preceding example, the
reactions are determined by
considering the entire beam as
a free body, they are:

Fig. 2.22

## XB = 10 kN; YA = 22,5 kN;

YB = 2,5 kN.
-A

Portion 1

Fig. 2.23
N 10

2 cos 45 10 kN ;

T 10

Mi

1 A

2 sin 45 10 kN ;

10 2

2
x 10 x :
2

x 0 M i 0 ;
1

x 1m M i A 10kN m.
Portion A - 2
N 10

2 cos 45 10 kN ;

T 10 2 sin 45 Y A
10 22,5 12,5 kN ;

2
1 x Y A x
2
101 x 22,5 x :

M i A 2 10 2

M i A 10 kN m ;
x0
x 1 m M 2,5 kN m .
i2

It is more convenient to us to cover the last portion of the beam from the right to the left.

35

Strength of Materials

Portion B 2

N X B 10 kN ;
Fig. 2.24
T YB 2,5 kN ;

M iB 0 ;
x0
x 1 m M i 2 2,5 kN m .

M i B 2 YB x 2,5 x :

We can now complete the axial force, shear and bending-moment diagrams of Fig. 2.23. We
note that the axial force has a constant value along the beam; the shear has also constant values
between the important points of the beam while the bending moment varies linearly. At points
(sections) where concentrated forces act, sudden changes in the shear diagram occur (whose values
equals the applied concentrated forces). Since there are no concentrated moments on the beam there
will be no sudden changes in the bending-moment diagram.

Example 3
Draw the shear and bending-moment diagrams for a beam, simply supported
at its ends and subjected to a uniformly distributed load p (Fig. 2.24).
Due to the symmetry of loading and geometry, the reactions are:
p .
YA YB
2

## As usually, we cut the beam at distance

x from A and note that:
T YA px

p
px :
2

p
x

0
;
T

;
A

x ; T 0;
2

x ; TB 2 .
M i YA x p x

x p
px 2

x
2
2
2

x 0;
x ;

M A 0;
M B 0.

Within the calculus, the distributed load over the current portion of the beam has
been replaced by its resultant px applied at the midpoint of the involved portion.
Since at the midpoint of the beam the shear equals zero, the bending moment
reaches a maximum value at that point:
p p

2 2 2 2
2

M max M i

p2
.
8

We do also note that the shear diagram is represented by an oblique straight line (Fig.
2.24), while the bending-moment diagram by a parabola. In the section where T = 0,
36

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Fig. 2.25

the
maximum value.

bending-moment

has

Example 4
Draw the shear and bending-moment diagrams for a beam, simply supported
at its ends and subjected to a linearly distributed load (Fig. 2.25).
The entire beam is taken as a free body, and, from the conditions of equilibrium,
we write:

Fy = 0 ; YA YB

p0
;
2

p0
0;
2
3
p
YA 0
;
6
MA = 0 ; Y B p 0 2 0 ;
2
3
p
YB 0 .
3

MB = 0 ; YA

## Using the first equation of

equilibrium (Fy = 0) we check that
the values already obtained for YA and
YB are correct.
Now writing the mathematical expressions of the shear and bending-moment at
an arbitrary section at distance x from end A, we have:

px x
;
2
px x
x
x

.
2
3

T YA

M i YA

px
p0

px

p0

x
,

## which substituted in the preceding expressions of T and Mi, leads to :

T YA

px x
p
p p x2
x x
0 p0 0 0
;
2
6
2
6
2

37

Strength of Materials

Fig. 2.26

Fig. 2.27

x 0;

x = ;

M i YA x

p0
;
6
p0

TA =
TB

p 0 2
2

p x x x p0
p x p0 x 3
x x2

x p0
0

2
3
6
6
6
6

x 0;
x = ;

= -

M iA = 0 ;
M iB = 0 ;

The shear curve is thus a parabola while the bending-moment curve is a third degree
function. The shear curve intersects the x axis at a distance given by equation:
T 0

p0 p0 x 2

0 x
.
6
2
3

## Therefore, the maximum value of the

bending moment occurs at
dM i
dx

(and thus

,
3

since T

## ) is zero for this value

of x:
p
p

0
0

6
3 6 3
3

Mi

p0 2
.
9 3

Example 5
Draw the shear and bending-moment diagrams for a simply supported beam,
subjected to a concentrated moment M0 applied at point 1 (Fig. 2.26).
The entire beam is taken as a free body and we have:

38

p0
3

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

YA

Fig. 2.28

M0
M
; YB 0 .

The negative sign of YB indicates that the real sense of this reaction is opposite to that
represented in Fig. 2.26.
The shear at any section is constant and equal to M0 / . Since a concentrated
moment (couple) is applied at 1, the bending-moment diagram is discontinuous at 1; the
bending-moment decreases suddenly by an amount equal to M0.
Remark
The concentrated moment in Fig. 2.26 symbolizes for example the action of two
equal and opposite concentrated forces as shown in Fig. 2.27, where M0 = P d.
A complex sample problem
Sketch the shear and bending-moment diagrams for the simply supported beam shown in
Fig. 2.28.

## Considering the entire beam as a

free body, we determine the reactions as
follows:
Fy = 0 ;YA + YB + 5 - 10 1 = 0;
YA + YB = 5;
MB = 0 ; 5 3 -10 1 2,5 + YA 2 + 15 = 0;
YA = - 2,5 kN;
MA = 0 ; 5 1 -10 1 0,5 + 15 - YB 2 = 0;
YB = 7,5 kN.
Using the first equation of equilibrium
(Fy = 0) we check that the two values
obtained for YA and YB are valid.
Next we draw the shear and bending-moment diagrams. The sketches obtained will be more
accurate if we make use of the fact that, at any point where the curves are continuous, the slope of
the shear curve is equal to -p while the slope of the bending-moment curve is equal to T.
Portion 1 - A

T 5 10 x :

x 0;
x 1 m;

T1 5 kN ;
T A 5 kN .

This means that at the midpoint between 1 and A (for x = 0,5 m) the shear is zero, and, therefore, the
bending-moment reaches a maximum value. It is to be mentioned that this point of maximum for the
bending moment is valid only for the involved portion (i.e. 1 - A). Within the other portions of the
beam the bending-moment could reach grater values as well. This is why, the maximum value of the
39

Strength of Materials

bending reached within a certain portion of the beam is called a local maximum. There are cases in
which a local maximum does also represent a global maximum too.

x
M i 5 x 10 x
5x 5x 2 :
2

Portion A - 2

Mi

x 0;
x 1 m;
x 0,5 m;

T 5 10 1 Y A 5 10 2,5 7,5 kN ;

5 1 x 10 1

0,5

x 0;

x 1

x :

M i 2 = - 7,5 kN m tells us that close to the end 2 of the portion A - 2, the bending moment reaches

such a value.
It will be more convenient to us to cover the last portion of the beam from the right to the
left (i.e. from B to 2):
Portion B - 2

Mi

T YB 7,5 kN ;

Y B x 7,5 x :

x 0;
x 1 m;

This time, M i 2 = - 7,5 kN m tells us that close to the end 2 of the portion B - 2, the bending
moment reaches such a value. In this way we have obtained two values for the bending-moment at
point 2: one for the portion A - 2, close to the point 2 to the left and one for the portion B - 2 close
to the same point 2 but to the right. Since at point 2 there is a concentrated moment acting on the
beam (equal to 15 kN m), the sudden change in the bending-moment diagram at point 2 is correct.

## 2.3.3 TORQUE DIAGRAMS

In the preceding sections we have discussed about axial forces, shear and
bending-moment diagrams. Here we shall consider members which are in torsion.
More specifically we shall learn to draw internal forces diagrams for members
subjected to twisting couples or torques.
We say that a member is subjected to torsion if at any cross section of the
member, the internal forces are represented by a torque vector directed along the axis
of the member.
To sketch the torque diagrams the method of sections may be used, as presented
in the preceding sections.
Draw the torque diagram for a member fixed at one end and subjected to
concentrated and uniform distributed torques as shows in Fig. 2.29.

40

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Considering
the
entire
member as a free body we obtain the
reactions at A.
Mx 0
M A M 0 2M 0

## Using the method of sections

and covering the member from 1 to
A we have:
1-2
Mt M0 ;
2-3
M t M 0 2 M 0 3M 0 ;
3-A

Fig. 2.29

M
M t M 0 2M 0 m x M 0 2M 0 0 x ;

M0
4M 0 ;

x 0 ; M 3 3M 0 ;

x ; M A 4M 0 .

We note that, in such a case, the sign used for torques is not so important. As
soon as a certain sign has been adopted for the first met torque, the signs for the other
torques have to be adopted consequently. Therefore, the torque diagrams may be
sketched above or below the reference line. Like in the preceding examples, if a
concentrated torque acts at a certain section of the member, at that point a sudden
change in the torque diagram occurs (the change being equal to that concentrated
torque). The torque diagrams are usually hachured as shown in Fig. 2.29.

## 2.4 SUPERPOSITION METHOD

The superposition principle is a
consequence of the material linear-elastic
behaviour: the effect at any point of a
linear-elastic
mechanical
structure
subjected to several loads represents the
summation of the effects produced by each
of these loads acting separately.
Using the superposition method, a
complicated problem may be solved
through a summation of simple problems.
For example, the shear and bendingmoment diagram for the beam shown in Fig.

41
b.

Strength of Materials

## 2.30a, may be sketched as an algebraical summation of the three diagrams of Fig.

2.30b.
Important remark
The drawing of the internal
forces diagrams (axial forces, shear,
bending- moment or torque diagrams)
may be performed in a unique, simple
a.
and logical manner: the involved
Fig. 2.30
member is cut at an arbitrary point, the
internal force of a certain type representing the summation of all corresponding
external loads (or moments) acting to the left or to the right of the cross section
considered (and using the adequate sign convention).
In case of shear and bending moment diagrams, a particular case may also arise.
The presence of one, two or more intermediate pin connections between different
segments of a beam, offers one, two or more additional conditions for the computation
of the external reactions.
Draw the shear and bending-moment diagrams for the beam shown in Fig.
2.31.
Due to the presence of the intermediate pin connection at point 2, the bending
moment (as internal force) at that section is zero.
On the other hand, the
bending moment at point 2,
represents the summation of all
bending moments given by the
loads acting to the left side of
section 2. We obtain therefore:
M i2 0
YA 4a p 2a 3a 0 YA 1,5ap .

## From now on the shear and

bending moment diagrams may be
sketched as if the support A and
the intermediate pin connection
would have not existed, the beam
being subjected at A by an upward
vertical concentrated external force
equal to 1,5ap. We finally obtain
the shear and bending moment

Fig. 2.31

42

## A truck or other vehicle rolling across a beam or girder constitutes a system of

concentrated loads at fixed distance from each other. For beams carrying only
concentrated loads the maximum bending moment occurs under one of the loads.
Therefore the problem here is to determine the bending moment under each load
when each load is in a position to cause a maximum moment to occur under it. The
largest of these various values is the maximum moment that governs the design of the
beam.
In Fig. 2.32, P1 ,P2, P3 and P4 represent a system of loads at fixed distances a, b
and c from each other; the loads move as an unit across the simply supported beam
with span . Let us locate the position of P2 when the bending moment under this load
is maximum. If we denote the resultant of the loads on the span by R and its position
from P2 by e, the value of the left reaction is:
YA

R
( e x ) .

then:
M i ( M ) L
M2

Fig. 2.32

R
( e x) x P1 a .

## To compute the value of x that

will give the maximum M2, we set the

## derivative of M2 with respect to x equal to zero:

dM 2 R
( e 2 x ) 0 ;
dx

from which:
x

e
.
2 2

(2.6)

This value of x is independent of the number of loads to the left of P2, since the
derivative of all terms of the form P1a with respect to x will be zero.
Equation (2.6) may be expressed in terms of the following rule: the bending
moment under a particular load is a maximum when the center of the beam is
midway between that load and the resultant of all loads then on the span. With this
rule we locate the position of each load when the moment at that load is a maximum
and compute the value of each such maximum moment.
The maximum shearing force occurs at, and is equal to, the maximum reaction.
The maximum reaction for a group of moving loads on a span occurs either at the left
reaction, when the leftmost load is over that reaction, or at the right reaction when the
rightmost load is over it. In other words, the maximum reaction is the reaction to which
the resultant load is nearest.

## 2.6 INTERNAL FORCES DIAGRAMS FOR PLANE STRUCTURES

(2D structures - FRAMES) AND SPATIAL (3D) STRUCTURES
43

Strength of Materials

The principle presented above for sketching the straight beams internal forces
diagrams may be easily extended to the plane or spacial structures. Let us consider for
example the plane beam shown in Fig. 2.33, for which we have to draw the axial force,
shear and bending-moment diagrams.
An observer "O covering the beam from 1 to A (or from A to 1, as it is easier
from the mathematical point of view) sees each straight portion of the beam as a beam
for which applies the rules presented in the preceding sections.
Therefore, for portion 1-2, at a
current section at distance x from 1, we
have (Fig. 2.33):
N 0;
T P;

x 0; M i1 0;

M i P x:

x a; M i2 Pa.

Fig. 2.33

Fig.2. 34

## The second straight portion of the beam may be covered from 2 to A or A to 2 as

well. Let us suppose that the second case is being used.

44

Fig.2. 35

## The effect of the concentrated force P is transmitted up to the current cross

section located at distance x from point 2, where the observer is placed. Therefore, at
that section we have:
N P ;
T 0;

M i P a.

We note that all internal forces corresponding to the portion 2 - A are constant.
We are now in the position to draw the internal forces diagrams (N, T, Mi). It is
to be mentioned that, in such cases the diagrams are sketched with respect to a
reference line representing the x axis of the beam (the axis directed along the beam).
Analogous to the straight beams, for N and T diagrams + means above the reference
line. For the bending-moment diagrams, "+" means below and "-" means above the
reference line (from the observer's point of view). With these remarks, the internal
forces diagrams have been represented in Fig. 2.36.

Fig. 2.36

The diagrams represented in Fig 2.36 tell us what does the plane beam feel (as a
global effect) at each particular cross section, when subjected to the external load P.
We also note that it was not necessary to compute the reactions XA, YA, MA for
sketching the internal forces diagrams.

45

Strength of Materials

SAMPLE PROBLEMS
a) Draw the axial force, shear and bending
moment diagrams for the frame and the
Considering the frame as a free body we
first determine the reactions:
Fx 0 x A 0 ;
F y 0 Y A YB P ;

M A 0
YB 2 P 0 YB
Y A YB

P
.
2

## Applying the above presented

principle and letting an observer to cover the
beam from A to 1 and then from B to 1 we have:
A - 1:
N Y A

T X A 0;

P
;
2

M i X A x 0.

B - 2:

N 0;

T YB

P
;
2

x 0 ; M iB 0 ;

2 - 1:

P
M i YB x x ;
P
P

2 x ; M i .
22 2
N 0;

T YB P

P
P
P ;
2
2

P
P
x 0; M i2 ;
M i YB ( x) Px ( x) Px;
2
2
x ; M i 0.
1
46

Fig. 2.37

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

The axial force, shear and bending moment diagrams have been represented in Fig.
2.38.

Fig. 2.38

b) Draw the axial force, shear and bending-moment diagrams for the frame shown in
Fig.2.39.
In Fig. 2.39b the simplified form of the frame together with the reactions have been
represented. Considering the entire beam (frame) as a free body and using the external
reference coordinate system Oxy, we determine the reactions as follows:

Fig. 2.39

F x 0 X A 5ap 0 X A 5ap;
F y 0 Y A YB 2ap 0 YA YB 2ap ;

## M A 0 2aYB p 2a a 5ap 2a 0 YB 6ap ;

M B 0 YA 2a 5ap 2a p 2a a 0 YA 4ap .

## We have found therefore that:

47

Strength of Materials

X A 5ap ;

YA 4ap ;
Y 6ap .
B

## The second equation of equilibrium (Fy = 0) may be used as a checking equation

when the reactions YA and YB were computed from MA = 0 and MB = 0. The N, T
and Mi diagrams are shown in Fig. 2.40.

Fig. 2.40

c) Draw the axial force, shear and bending-moment diagrams for the curved beam of
radius R shown in Fig. 2.41.
Although the axis of the beam is not a straight line, the principle presented
above for sketching the N, T, Mi diagrams remains valid.
The problem consists in determining the internal forces corresponding to each
particular cross section of the beam. In order to locate the current cross section an
angular parameter must be used (instead of the linear parameter x which has been
used up the now) for each particular portion of the curved beam.

Fig. 2.42

Fig. 2.43

Let us now consider the first portion 12 of the built-in arch shown in Fig. 2.41.
The axial force, shear and bending moment equations for segment 1 2 are obtained
similarly by passing a cross section aa anywhere between 1 and 2. As discussed
48

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

above, the cross section is located by the parameter . When varies between 0 and
90 the whole portion 1 - 2 of the curved beam is covered. The concentrated load P
which acts at section 1, transmits its effect through the segment BCDE up to the
current cross section D'E located by parameter (Fig. 2.42).
This means that a vertical downward load P will act at the centroid O of the
current cross section DE. It is in fact the internal force exerted on the current cross
section and may be resolved into two components: one component perpendicular to the
current cross section DE and the other one contained within the plane of the cross
section. The first component represents the current axial force (N) while the second
component represents the corresponding shearing force (T). An observer O placed at
the current cross section, using the proper positive sign convention will see that:
N P cos :
T P sin :

0; N P ;
0 ;T 0 ;

; N 0;
2

;T P .

The bending moment exerted by the concentrated load P, acting at point 1, with
respect to the centroid O of the current cross section is (Fig. 2.43):
M i P ( R R cos ) PR(1 cos ) :

0 ; M i1 0;

; M i PR.

2 2
The same reasoning may be
applied when the second portion of the
curved beam is to be covered. This time
Fig. 2.43
it will be more convenient to us to cover
the beam from A to 2. But in this case we have to compute the reactions YA and MA at
first. This will be done by considering the entire curved beam as a free body and using
the corresponding equations of
equilibrium, Fig.2.42.
F y 0 Y A P 2 P 0 Y A 3P ;

M A 0 M A P 2 R 2 P R 0 M A 4 PR .

We write:
N Y A cos 3P cos ;

49
Fig. 2.44

Strength of Materials

0 ; N A 3P ;

2 ; N 2 0.
T Y A sin 3P sin ;

0 ;TA 0 ;

2 ;T2 3P .
M i M A YA ( R R cos ) 4 PR 3PR(1 cos ) ;

0; M i A M A 4 PR ;

; M i2 PR .

2
The axial force, shear and bending moment diagrams have been represented in Fig.
2.45. It is to be noted that all the established properties of the N, T, Mi diagrams of
straight beams remains valid.

Fig. 2.45

## We shall now consider a simple spatial structure (a 3D structure, i.e. a three

dimensional structure) represented by a beam, fixed at one end, and subjected to two
concentrated loads P and Q at the other end, Fig. 2.46.

50

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Fig. 2.46

d) Draw the axial force, shear, bending moment and torque diagrams for the 3D
beam shown in Fig. 2.46.
Although the problem seems to be a little bit more completed the basic principle
for sketching the internal force diagrams remains unchanged.
Before solving the problem there are still some important remarks to be done:
As it will be discussed later, the sign of the shearing force has no physical
consequences in designing a beam or a certain mechanical structure. This is why, in
case of complicate structures, we shall give the T sign up and we shall represent the
T diagrams as they are convenient to us;
The sign of the bending moment does also depend upon the relative position of the
observer, Fig. 2.47. Although the two beams represented in Fig. 2.47 are entirely
identical from the geometrical and loading point of view, the two corresponding
bending - moment diagrams have different signs. These signs are, after all, simple
conventions. On the other hand, it is to be observed that in both cases of Fig 2.47,
the bending-moment diagrams occupy the same position with respect to the
reference line. In other words, this means that the position of the bending-moment
diagrams do not depend upon the observer's position. The location of the bending
moment diagram with respect to the reference line corresponds to the position of
the beam fibres in tension.

51

Strength of Materials

Fig. 2.47

For this reason, in many cases, we shall not note the sign of the bending moment
diagrams and we shall represent these diagrams on the side corresponding to the beam
fibres in tension, Fig. 2.48.
Let us now return to the original
problem regarding the simple 3D
structure shown in Fig. 2.46. Covering
the beam from 1 to A and attaching a
proper coordinate system (whose Ox axis
is usually directed along the beam) to
each main portion of the beam (Fig. 2.46)
we obtain the axial force, shearing force,
bending - moment and torque diagrams
shown in Fig. 2.49. It should be noted
that, for each main portion of the beam,
Fig. 2.48
two shearing forces and two bendingmoments could exist simultaneously (about Oy and Oz axes).
We shall now conclude our analysis concerning the main types of internal forces
by observing that these diagrams are in fact a graphical representation of a global
mechanical effect occured at any particular cross section of a given member subjected

52

## Internal forces in statically determinate members

Fig. 2.49

While these diagrams represent a first and necessary step in the analysis of a given
structural member, they do not tell us whether the external loads may be safely
supported. Whether or not a given structural member will break under the external
loading clearly depends upon the ability of the material to withstand the corresponding
elementary forces occurred at the level of each particular point of the member cross
sections. This is why, after a short study of the moments of inertia within the next
chapter, some other chapters of the text will be devoted to the analysis of the stresses
and of the corresponding deformations in various structural members, considering
be based upon a few basic concepts, namely, the conditions of equilibrium of the
forces exerted on the member, the relations existing between stress and strain in the
material and the conditions imposed by the supports and loading of the member. The
study of each type of loading will be complemented by examples, sample problems
and problems to be assigned, all designed to strengthen the students understanding of
the subject.

53

Strength of Materials

PROBLEMS TO BE ASSIGNED

P2
P.2.1 Draw the axial force, shear and bending moment diagrams for the members, frames and

a.

b.

c.

d.

e.

f.

g.

h.

i.

j.
Fig. P.2.1

54

k.

l.

m.

n.

o.

p.

## Fig. P.2.1 (continued)

55

Strength of Materials

r.

s.

t.

u.
Fig. P.2.1 (continued)

P.2.2 Draw the torque diagrams for the members and loading shown (Fig. P.2.2).

Fig. P.2.2
P.2.3 Draw the axial force, shear, bending moment and torque diagrams for the 3-D structures

56

a.

b.

c.

d.

e.

f.
Fig. P.2.3

57