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Table of Contents

Introduction................................................................................................................ 1
Question 1.................................................................................................................. 2
a) Structural Systems VS. Structural Elements........................................................2
b) Four basic structural elements and their functions in structural systems...........2
c) Basic types of structures used in the construction of structural systems............3
Figure 1 Showing the use of trusses in the construction of a roof........................3
Figure 2 Showing the construction setup of a frame............................................3
Figure 4 Showing an example of the use of a surface structure in a structural
system................................................................................................................. 5
Question 3.................................................................................................................. 6
a) Two main types of Structural Loads.....................................................................6
b) Types of Loading................................................................................................. 6
Figure 5 Showing two types of loading.................................................................6
References.................................................................................................................. 7

Introduction
A structure refers to a system of connected parts used to support a load. Examples
relevant to the field of civil engineering are as follows: buildings, towers, bridges
etc. (HIBBELER 2009) Structural analysis is the determination of the effects
of loads on physical structures and their components. Structures subject to this type
of analysis include all that must withstand loads, such as buildings, bridges,
vehicles, machinery, furniture, attire, soil strata, prostheses and biological tissue.
(WIKIPEDIA, Structural Analysis- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 2013)

Question 1
a) Structural Systems VS. Structural Elements
A structural system is an assembly of structural elements so that support and
transmit loads safely to the ground without exceeding the allowable stress in the
members. As such a structural element is any support body that plays a role in the
construction of structures and buildings. Furthermore a system is also an internally
organised whole where elements are interconnected and operate as one in relation
to external conditions and other systems. Systems may be either simple or complex
in nature.
Examples of structural elements include: beams, columns, slabs and cables.

b) Four basic structural elements and their functions in


structural systems
i) Beams: A beam may be defined as an element in which one dimension is
much greater than the other two and the applied loads are usually normal to
the main axis of the element. Beams are elements which carry pure bending
only. Bending causes one part of the section of a beam (divided along its
length) to go into compression and the other part into tension. The
compression part must be designed to resist buckling and crushing, while the
tension part must be able to adequately resist the tension. Overall Beams
generally carry vertical gravitational forces but can also be used to
carry horizontal loads (i.e., loads due to an earthquake or wind). The loads
carried by a beam are transferred to columns, walls, orgirders, which then
transfer the force to adjacent structural compression members. (WIKIPEDIA
2013)

ii) Columns: A column is a structural element that transmits,


through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural
elements below. In other words, a column is a compression member. As such
columns are frequently used to support beams or arches on which the upper
parts of walls or ceilings rest. The design of a column must check the axial
capacity of the element, and the buckling capacity. Columns are widely used
in the construction of buildings since they transmit the load to through to the
foundation of the building. (WIKIPEDIA 2013)

iii) Slabs: Slabs carry bending in two directions. In many domestic and
industrial buildings a thick concrete slab, supported on foundations or directly
on the subsoil, is used to construct the ground floor of a building. These can
either be "ground-bearing" or "suspended" slabs. In high rise buildings
and skyscrapers, thinner, pre-cast concrete slabs are slung between the
steel frames to form the floors and ceilings on each level.

iv) Cables: Cables are structural elements which are flexible and carry loads
in tensions; load is not applied along axis. Cables are widely used in the
construction of suspension bridges, cable trusses etc. (WIKIPEDIA 2013)

c) Basic types of structures used in the construction of


structural systems
i) Trusses: A truss is a structure comprising two types of structural elements;
compression members and tension members (i.e. struts and ties). They are
composed of straight members connected at their ends by hinged connections to
form a stable configuration. In the construction of roofs, this structure is used. Since
trusses have just about any shape custom-built, this allows interesting features like
cathedral ceilings at low cost. You can span a large distance with a truss and the
truss transmits all of the weight to the exterior walls. Therefore, none of the interior
walls are "load-bearing," so they can go anywhere and are easily moved later.
(WIKIPEDIA 2013) (Brian 2008)

Figure 1 Showing the use of trusses in the construction of a roof (Source:


HowStuffWorks, http://home.howstuffworks.com/homeimprovement/repair/house9.htm, date accessed: 06/09/13)

ii)Frames: Frames are widely used in buildings and are composed of beams and
columns that are either pin or fixed connected. The loading on a frame causes
bending of its members, and so do rigid joint connections. The strength of a frame is
derived from the moment interactions between the beams and the columns at the
rigid joints. (HIBBELER 2009)

Figure 2 Showing the construction setup of a frame (Source: (HIBBELER


2009), date accessed:06/09/13)
iii)Cables and Arches: Cables carry applied loads & develop mostly tensile stresses Loads applied through hangers - Cables near the end supporting structures
experience bending moments and shear forces . Arches carry applied loads and
develop mainly in-plane compressive stresses; three-hinged, two-hinged and fixed
arches - Loads applied through ribs - Arch sections near the rib supports and arches,
other than three-hinged arches, experience bending moments and shear forces.
Cables and arches are used widely in the construction of bridges.

Figure 3 Showing the use of cables and arches in the construction of


bridges (Source: (HIBBELER 2009), date accessed:06/09/13)

iv) Surface Structures: A surface structure is made from a material having a very
small thickness compared to its other dimensions. This material is very flexible and
can take the form of a tent or air-inflated structure. In both cases the material acts
as a membrane that is subjected to pure tension. Surface structures may also be
made of rigid material such as reinforced concrete. As such they may be shaped as
folded plates and cylinders etc. This structure behaves similar to cables and arches
in that the support loads in tension or compression with minimal bending.
(HIBBELER 2009)

Figure 4 Showing an example of the use of a surface structure in a


structural system (Source: (HIBBELER 2009), date accessed:06/09/13)

Question 3
a) Two main types of Structural Loads
The two main types of structural loads are
-

Dead Loads: This consists of the self-load of the structure and that of any
immovable part attached to it. These loads are fixed in magnitude and
remain permanently in their own positions during the entire life span of the
structure. (Nautiyal 2006)

Imposed Loads: these are associated with the fundamental aspects of the
structure, its location and the surroundings. These loads are live loads, wind
load, seismic load, snow/rain load, soil pressure etc. (Nautiyal 2006)

b) Types of Loading
i) concentrated load : a load acting on an infinitely small area, converging to a point.
(Nautiyal 2006)
ii)Pure Moment
iii)Distributed load : when the intensity of the load on every unit loaded length is the
same

Figure 5 Showing two types of loading (Source: (Nautiyal 2006), date


accessed:06/09/13)

References
1.Brian, Marshall. HowStuffWorks - How house construction works. March 15, 2008.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/repair/house9.htm (accessed
September 06, 2013).
2. HIBBELER, R. C. "STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS." Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009.
3. Nautiyal, B.D. "Introduction to Structural Analysis." New Age Internationltd., 2006.
4. WIKIPEDIA. Structural Analysis- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. July 12, 2013.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_analysis (accessed Septemeber 6, 2013).
5. . Wikipedia, the free encylopedia. August 22, 2013.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_engineering (accessed September 6, 2013).