SECTION

1 INTRODUCTION

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Figure 1 Typicalexperimentallayout
This guide describeshow to set up and perform several
experiments using the Pin Jointed Frame equipment. It
clearly demonstratesthe principles involved and gives
practical support to your studies.

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Description

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The Pin Jointed frame experiment enables you to build
up several frameworks based on 30o, 45o and 60.
angìes.Each one of the framework membershas a force
sensorbonded to the surface. To join the members, use
the specialjoint piecesand nuts and bolts.
Use the electronic load cell to apply loads to the
experiment. This load cell allows loading of a
framework at any angle 45o each side of its vertical
position. The Digital Force Display (STRIa)
electronically measures and displays this force during
the experiment.

The sensors used to measure the forces in the
members are called strain gauges. The technique of
strain gauging is important to any structural engineer
and this equipment gives you the opportunity to
understandtheir use.
Strain gaugesare sensorsthat experiencea change in
electrical resistancewhen they stretch or compress.This
change in resistance can be shown in terms of
displacement (strain). Strain gauges are made from
metal foil formed in a zigzag pattern. They are only a
few microns thick so they are mounted on a backing
sheet.The backing sheetelectrically insulates Íhe zigzag
element and supports it so it does not collapse when
handled.
The framework members have strain gaugesbonded
to them. Thus when a member stretchesor compresses,
the strain gauge stretches or compresses the same
amount.

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TQ Pin Jointed Frameworks: Student Guide

Changesin temperatureand other factors can affect
the accuracy of strain gauges. To compensatefor this,
each member has four gauges arranged in a particular
way.
The Digital Strain Display shows all member strains.
It reads in microstrain. Using the strain, the crosssectional area and the Young's modulus of the members
you can convert the strainsinto member forces.
The frameworks are mounted into two supports.One
support allows pivoting only (pinned), the other support
allows pivoting and linear translation ('free' or roller)
thus representingthe idealised supports.

correctly. Using your hands, tighten the nut and bolt
each side as tight as possible (never use tools to
tightenthe specialnuts or bolts).

How to Set Up the Equipment
The frameworks fit into a Test Frame. Figure 1 shows a
framework assembledin the test Frame.
Before setting up and using the equipment, always:
o Visually inspect all parts, including electrical leads,
for damageor wear.
o Check electrical connectionsare correct and secure.
o Check all components are secured correctly and
fasteningsare sufficiently tight.
o Position the Test Frame safely. Make sure it is on a
solid, level surface,is steady,and easily accessible.
Never apply excessive loads to any part of the
equipment.
This guide shows three experiments, each using a
different framework. However, there are many other
frameworks you can build.
The setting up procedure is basically the same for
each experiment. However, the objectives of the
experimentsvary so you need to refer to the instructions
for each one. Steps I to 5 of the following instructions
may already have been completed for you:
1. Place an assembledTest Frame (refer to the separate
instructions supplied with the Test Frame if
necessary)on a workbench. Make sure the 'window'
of the Test Frameis easily accessible.
2. Leaving the screws loose for f,rne adjustment later,
fix the supports and load cell into position as shown
in Figure in the relevant experimental layout (Figure
3. 5 or 8) .
3. Taking care, build the frame using the members and
joint bosses.Make sure you match the joint halves

Figure2 Strutandjoint assembly
4. Fit the frame into the supports using the pins,
checking they pass through both sides. Ensuring the
'free' (roller) support is in the middle of its travel,
fine adjust the support positions. Tighten the
supportsusing a 6 mm A,/F Allen key.
5. Adjust the position of the load cell until the hole in
the fork reaches the hole of the loading position.
Make sure it is also in the correct angular position.
Tighten the load cell using the 6 mm A./F Allen key.
Securethe fork usinga pin.
6. Make surethe Digital Force Display is 'on'. Connect
the mini DIN lead from 'Force Input 1' on the
Digital Force Display to the socket marked 'Force
Output' on the left-hand side of the load cell.
7. 'With no load on the load cell (the pin should turn)
roughly zero the reading using úe control on the
front ofthe load cell.
8. Make surethe Digital StrainDisplay is 'on'. Connect
the strain gauges to the strain display matching the
number on the lead to the number on the socket.
Leave the gauges for 5 minutes to warm up and
reach a steadystate.
9. Apply a preload of 100 N and agun zero the load
cell. Carefully apply a load of 500 N and check the
frame is stable and secure.Return the load to zero.

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TQ Pin Jointed Frameworks: Student Guide

Experiment3: Forcesin a Roof Iruss with a Central and Wind Load

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roof truss
FigureI Layoutof experimental

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Figure9 ldealisedroof truss
Roof trusses of the type we will examine are usually
wooden and commonly used in domestic buildings.
Generally, these are built beforehandoff site. They form
a stable three-dimensionalstructure once fixed tosether
using longitudinalbatonsor purlins.
In service, a roof truss has to withstand many forces.
We will look at two cases of loading and compare the

forces createdin the truss members.The first loading is
central to the frame and acts downwards. This loading
could be from a water tank for instance. The second
loading on the frame is at an angle, as may be causedby
a wind, for example.

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TQ Pin Jointed Frameworks: Student Guide

.,]

Resultsof a Centralload
Load (N)

AE

AG

AH

BE

ct

BF

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DJ

EF

FG

GH

HI

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:

0
100

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200
300
400

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500

TableB Memberstrains(n)
Load (N)

AE

AG

AH

BE

BF

cl

CJ

DJ

EF

0
100
200
300
400
500

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FG
I

GH

HI

IJ

0

0

0

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Table9 Truememberstrains(1ts)
Make sure the equipment is set up properly (set up for
the central load frrst). Apply a preload of 100 N (in the
direction of loading) and zero the load cell. Carefully
apply a load of 500 N and check the frame is stable and
secure. Return the load to zero. Apply loads in the
increments shown in Table 8, recording the strain
readings
Calculate the equivalent member forces at 500 N to
complete the table. You will need the following
information: Young's modulus is the ratio of stress to
strain,that is,

Equivalent member forces at 500 N.
Rod diameter = _ mm and E"r"a=210 GNma
Member

Experimental
force
(N)

TheoreticalÍorce
(N)

AE
AG
AH

BE
BF

cl
_o
L=-

CJ

e

DJ

where:

EF
FG

E = Young's modulus(Nm-t);
o = Stressin the member(Nm-2);
e = Displayed strain.

GH
HI
IJ

And
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Table10 Comparisonof experimentaland
theoreticalforces

F
A

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where:
F = Force in member;
Á = Cross-sectionalareaof member.
Ask your lecturer for the nominal diameter of the rods or
measure them yourself using a micrometer (to the
nearest0.01 mm).

Set up as for the angled load then apply a preload of
100N (in the direction of loading) and zero the load
cell. Carefully apply a load of 500 N and check the
frame is stable and secure.Return the load to zero.
Apply loads in the increments as in Table 11
recordingthe strainreadings

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TQ PinJointedFrameworks:StudentGuide

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Table11 Memberstrains(W)
Load (N)

AE

AG

AH

BE

cl

BF

CJ

DJ

EF

FG

GH

HI

IJ

0
10 0
200

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300
400
500

Table12 Truememberstrains(W)
Calculate the equivalent member forces at 500 N to
complete the table.
Equivalent member forces at 500 N.
2.
Rod diameter= rÌÌrn Íìnd E t""r= 210 GNm
Member

Experimental
Íorce
(N)

Theoretical Íorce
(N)

AE
AG
AH
BE

Using a suitable method calculate the theoretical
member forces for the framework with a load of 500 N
at each position. Compare to the experimental and
theoreticalresults.
Does the simplified pin joint theory predict the
behaviour of the truss? There is one member of
particular interest,which one is it and why?
Why is it imponant we always examine all of the
load casesthat a structuremay be exposedto?
The roof truss structure may need to carry both of
these loads sjmultaneously.How would we assessthe
total load in each one of the members?

BF

cl
CJ
DJ

EF
FG
GH
HI
IJ

Figure13 Comparison
of experimentaland
theoreticalforces

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