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What is Point of Contra-flexure, Contra-shear, inflection point, position of

maximum bending moment.

Shear force and bending moment are examples of interanl forces that are induced in a
structure when loads are applied to that structure.
Loading tends to cause failure in two main ways:
a) by shearing the beam across its cross-section.
b) by bending the beam to an excessive amount.

For beams spanning between two simple pin-jointed supports (i.e. no cantilevers)
moment will always be positive and, although the beam sags, moment is drawn above the
The maximum bending moment occurs at the point of zero shear force.
To find the position of the maximum Bending moment, you have 2 ways:
1. Equate shear force at distance x to zero ( in the beam portion where shear force is zero)
ie, S.Fx=0
2. Find the bending moment at distance x and equate derivative of it w.r.t x to zero ie,
d(Mx)/dx = 0
To find the point of contra flexure: B.Mx=0
Simply supported means that each end of the beam can rotate, therefore each end support
has no bending moment. The ends can only react the shear load. Other beams can have
both ends fixed, therefore each end support has both bending moment and shear reaction
loads. In reality, beam supports are usually neither absolutely fixed nor absolutely
rotating freely.
If clockwise bending moments are taken as negative, then a negative bending moment
within an element will cause "sagging", and a positive moment will cause "hogging". It is
therefore clear that a point of zero bending moment within a beam is a point
of contraflexurethat is the point of transition from hogging to sagging or vice versa.
Failure in bending will occur when the bending moment is sufficient to induce tensile
stresses greater than the yield stress of the material throughout the entire cross-section. In
structural analysis, this bending failure is called a plastic hinge, since the full load
carrying ability of the structural element is not reached until the full cross-section is past
the yield stress. It is possible that failure of a structural element in shear may occur before
failure in bending, however the mechanics of failure in shear and in bending are different.
Critical values within the beam are most commonly annotated using a bending moment
diagram, where negative moments are plotted to scale above a horizontal line and
positive below. Bending moment varies linearly over unloaded sections, and parabolically
over uniformly loaded sections.
To find the Bending Moment, you must cut the beam in two.
Bending moment is INTERNAL, moment is EXTERNAL.

Shear Force is in all beams, but usually only seen as a problem in SHORT beams. Long
beams fail by bending.
The SFD (Shear Force Diagram)tells you how much the beam wants to SLIDE apart.
The BMD (Bending Moment Diagram)tells you how much the beam wants to BEND
apart by rotation.
Positive bending moment = SAGGING Negative bending moment = HOGGING
A Built-in or encastre' support is frequently met .
In practice, it is not usually possible to obtain perfect fixing and the fixing moment
applied will be related to the angular movement of the support. When in doubt about the
rigidity, it is safer to assume that the beam is freely supported.
Zero shearing force corresponds to either maximum or minimum bending moment.
At a point on the beam where the type of bending is changing from sagging to hogging,
the bending moment must be zero, and this is called a point of inflection or contraflexure.
The following general conclusions can be drawn when only concentrated loads and reactions are

The shearing force suffers sudden changes when passing through a load point. The
change is equal to the load.

The bending Moment diagram is a series of straight lines between loads. The slope of the
lines is equal to the shearing force between the loading points.
Shearing Force F
Bending Moment M
Rate of loading w

In a bending beam, a point is known as a point of contraflexure if it is a location at

which no bending occurs. In a bending moment diagram, it is the point at which the
bending moment curve intersects with the zero line. In other words where the bending
moment changes its sign from negative to positive or vice versa.
Flexural reinforcement may be reduced at this point. However, to omit reinforcement at
the point of contraflexure entirely is inadvisable as the actual location is unlikely to
realistically be defined with confidence. Additionally, an adequate quantity of
reinforcement should extend beyond the point of contraflexure to develop bond strength
and to facilitate shear force transfer.
In differential
an inflection
point, point
inflection, flex,
or inflection (inflexion) is a point on a curve at which the curve changes from
being concave (concave downward) to convex (concave upward), or vice versa.

When a bar is stretched in the axial direction it gets longer (AXIAL STRAIN) but
correspondingly thinner (LATERAL STRAIN).
Lateral strain is directly proportional to axial strain for HOMOGENEOUS materials, which have
elastic properties identical in all directions normal to the axis (ORTHOTROPIC). The same is
true for ISOTROPIC materials in which properties are uniform in ALL directions.
For such materials : - (lateral strain)/(axial strain) = - e /e = n = POISSONS RATIO
So for ordinary materials n is always positive. In theory for an isotropic material n is around 1/3
and in practice for most materials 0.25<n <0.35
Cork n around zero, rubber around 0.5, auxetics n is negative. The value of v changes once the
elastic limit is exceeded.
When the initial part of the t vs g diagram is linear we can apply Hookes Law for shear to get:
where G is the shear modulus of elasticity and is given by
G= E/[2(1+n ]]
Because 0<n <0.5 for most materials then E/3<G<E/2
Beam is a horizontal member in the structure.
Shear failure is sudden failure. It does not give any prior warning before failure.
Shear force acts tangential to the cross-section. Shearing action and bending action
occurs due to load at the same time.
rate of change of shear force with respect to the distance, is equal to the intensity of
The rate of change of bending moment at any section, is equal to the shear force at that
The bending moment (M) will be maximum i.e. The point at
which Shear Force (SF)changes its value from +ve to ve, at that point bending moment
value is maximum;and called as maximum bending moment point or contra-shear point.
Location of zero bending moment point i.e. point of contraflexure. Note: there can be
more than one point of contraflexure.
It corresponds to a point where the bending moment changes the sign, hence in order to
find the point of contraflexures obviously the B.M would change its sign when it cuts the
X-axis therefore to get the points of contraflexure equate the bending moment equation
equal to zero.The fibre stress is zero at such sections

The slope of the moment diagram at a given point is the shear at that point. The
maximum moment occurs at the point of zero shears. that when the shear (also the slope
of the moment diagram) is zero, the tangent drawn to the moment diagram is horizontal.
Because shear forces and bending moments are the resultants of stresses distributed over
the cross section, they are known as stress resultants and in statically determinate beams
can be calculated from the equations of static equilibrium.
A critical section is one where a critical or maximum stress occurs.
Section of Maximum Shear Since the shear, V, at any transverse section of the beam is
the algebraic sum of the transverse forces to the left of the section, the shear, in most
cases, can be evaluated at a glance.
Section of Maximum Moment It can be shown mathematically, that when the shear
force is zero or changes sign; the bending moment will be either a maximum or relative
Difference between Influence line Diagram and shear / moment diagrams
Shear and moment diagrams are important in determining the maximum internal force in
a structure( structures subjected to dead or fixed loads)
If a structure is subjected to a live or moving load, the variation in shear and moment is
best described using influence lines.
An influence line represents the variation of the reaction, shear, moment, or deflection at
a specific point in a member as a concentrated force moves over the member.
Once the influence line is drawn, the location of the live load which will cause the
greatest influence on the structure can be found very quickly. Therefore, influence lines
are important in the design of a structure where the loads move along the span (bridges,
cranes, conveyors, etc.).
Influence lines represent the effect of a moving load only at a specified point on a
member, whereas shear and moment diagrams represent the effect of fixed loads at all
points along the member.