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Structures II, MACE, University of Manchester

Topic 3

Torsion

Engineering structures are frequently loaded by twisting couples, known as Torque. Typical structures
that undergo such loading are power transmission shafts such as the prop-shaft (driveshaft) of an
automobile, drill shaft for oil wells and twisting tool such as screwdrivers. It offers a very effective
mechanical means of power transmission. Shafts may be solid (as in the case of the screwdriver) or
hollow (as for the prop-shaft). In this course only shafts with circular cross-sections will be
considered as they allow a number of simplifying assumptions to be made so that the stresses and
deformations due to torsion can be evaluated.
Torque
Torque is a couple (i.e. a moment). It is a vector in nature and has both a magnitude and a sense of
direction. Torque is frequently represented by either a curved arrow around an axis for 3-D sketches
or a double-headed arrow vector (to differentiate it from an axial force) along the axis for 2-D
sketches. The two representations of the same torque in Fig. 1 are related through the right hand rule.

T
T

T
Figure 1
It is essential to distinguish between externally applied loads and internal torques generated in shafts
in response to external loads applied. An internal torque acts over a cross-section of a shaft and a
positive internal torque, when expressed in a double arrowed vector, is in the direction of outward
normal to the cross-section, as shown in Fig. 1, irrespective of the direction of coordinate axis.
Internal torques can only be determined reliably using a Free Body Diagram (FBD) of the shaft with
an appropriate segment of the shaft, considering the moment equilibrium of the segment about the axis
of the shaft. The reactions to a shaft are torques from the supports in order to constrain the shaft from
undesirable motion in space. They can be found through appropriate FBDs like the internal torques.
As torque is a moment it has the dimension of force length.
Example: Calculate the variation of torque along the stepped shaft as shown in Fig. 2 and plot the
torque distribution along the axis in terms of a torque diagram.
Step 1: Take a segment from E to any point between D and E as a FBD (see the inset). Always
assume the internal torque is in a positive sense. From the equilibrium of this FBD, TH=0, i.e. T=H.
Thus, within the segment DE, the internal torque is 16kNm and it is positive.
Step 2: Take a segment from E to any point between C and D as a FBD. From the equilibrium of this
FBD, the internal torque on the chosen cross-section is equal to the sum of those applied at E and D
(opposite in direction, too, and hence positive). Thus, within the segment CD, the internal torque is
T=8+16=24kNm. At the cross-section D where an external torque is applied, the internal torques
distribution shows a step change, i.e. discontinuity, in mathematical terms. The magnitude of the
internal torque at this cross-section is meaningless. Instead, it will be sensible to describe the internal
torque an infinitesimal distance ahead or behind the cross-section.
Step 3: The same procedure leads to internal torques within segments BC and AB.
A torque diagram can be drawn as a graphic representation of the internal torque distribution through
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FBD:
2kNm

12kNm

16kNm

H=16kNm

8kNm

H represents applied torque

3m

2m

1m

2m

30kNm

FBD:

Torque Diagram
T

20kNm

8kNm 16kNm
12kNm

10kNm

Figure 2
What is the reaction at the cross-section A?
Shear Strain
The torque (or shear force) acting on the cross-section produces shear stress and shear strain (shear
deformation). Fig. 3 shows the shear deformation when a rectangular element is subjected to a shear
stress and deforms into rhomboid. There may be rigid body rotation of the element involved as
illustrated in Fig. 3, in general, which should not be counted as a part of shear deformation. An
appropriate measure of the shear deformation is by introducing shear strain.

Figure 3
Shear strain is defined as the change in angle of a right angle as shown in Fig. 4. It relies on a sign
convention to define its sense. The sign convention can be assisted with a definition of positive right
angle and a negative right angle. A positive right angle is a right angle in the first and third quadrants
and a negative right angle is a right angle in the second and fourth quadrants, as indicated in Fig. 4.
With this, a positive shear strain can be defined as reduction of a positive right angle or increase of a
negative right angle. A negative shear strain is defined in exactly the opposite way.

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Structures II, MACE, University of Manchester

x
x

Figure 4
With the sign convention for shear strains introduced, one may find the consistence that a positive
shear stress results in a positive shear strain.
Linear elastic deformation is usually assumed to be very small. In the context of shear strain, small
deformation requires small shear strain or small change in angle of a right angle as a result of
deformation. Because of this, one has the following simplification

tan
Dimension & Units: Shear strain is measured in radians and is dimensionless like direct strain.

Example: Consider a floor tile bonded to the floor of a house by 1mm of adhesive. If a shear force Q
is applied to its upper surface when a kitchen appliance is being slide over the top of the tile (this
upper shear force will of course be reacted by an equal and opposite shear force Q from the floor to
maintain equilibrium) and the tile moves 0.01 mm as shown in Fig. 5. Determine the shear strain in the
For small deformation, assume that the height of the material does not change significantly. Therefore
shear strain in adhesive = tan = /h = 0.01/1= 0.01
y
0.01mm
150mm

0.01mm

1mm

1mm
x
Q

z
150mm

FBD of adhesive layer

Figure 5
Shear Stress-Strain Relationship
For a material under shear stress, if the shear strain is measured as the shear stress increases, one can
plot against to obtain the shear stress-strain curve for the material. One of the typical types of test is
through tube torsion, which will be a subject in the next part of the chapter. Shear stress-strain curve
demonstrates an initial linear (elastic) section where shear strain is proportional to shear stress. This
gives the Hookes law for shear stress and strain:

= G

(1)

where the proportion factor G is called shear modulus, which is another important material property
like Youngs modulus. They have the same dimension and units.

3-3

Example: Shear in an overlap joint (uniform shear stresses and strains)

y

x
z

L
(a)

(b)

Figure 6
A rectangular block of dimensions (Lhb) of a material with a modulus of rigidity G is bonded
between two rigid horizontal plates as shown in Fig. 6(a). The lower plate is fixed while the upper
plate is displaced horizontally by a distance . Calculate the average shear stress in the material and
the force applied to the upper plate.
Consider the FBD of Fig. 6(b). The shear strain in the material is calculated by:

tan =

(Comparing with =

Therefore the average shear stress may be determined by:

= G =

G
h

(Comparing with = E )

and the force Q applied to the upper plate is calculated from:

Q = A =

GLb
h

(Comparing with N = A )

Torsion Deformation
Experimental Observations and Plane Section Assumption
Consider a shaft of a circular cross-section under torsion as shown in Fig. 7(a). Experimental
observations suggest that all cross-sections remain plane and undistorted and the distance between any
two cross-sections does not change after the torsional deformation. This justifies a very important
assumption, called plane section assumption, to be made on the pattern of the deformation in shafts of
circular cross-section under torsion. This will allow a simple theory for torsion to be formulated. The
assumption postulates that any cross-section of the shaft under torsion will remain plane after
deformation and any longitudinal fibre is subjected to neither extension nor contraction.

Figure 71
1

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Structures II, MACE, University of Manchester

The same observations do not apply to shafts of cross-sections other than circular, e.g. square in
Figure 7(b), where the profiles of cross-sections warp. As a result, they will not remain plane. More
complex theory is required to assess the effect of torsion on stress distributions for such shafts and
hence will not be addressed in this course.
Implications on the Deformation Kinematics and Shear Strain in a Shaft
The plane section assumption can be interpreted through the deformation pattern of a segment of the
shaft as shown in Fig. 8. Consider a point B located at radius r from the axis of revolution. As the
shaft is twisted, radii OB and OC rotate about the shaft axis by an angle to new positions OB and
OC. Any longitudinal fibre, such as AB, does not change its length and hence there is no direct strain
involved in the axial direction in this problem.

B C C

C
B

C
L

A
(a)

(b)

Figure 8
Consider the deformation in a segment of a shaft of radius R, as shown in Fig. 8(a). After the
deformation, the top end rotates through an angle , called the angle of twist, relative to the bottom
end. Now, examine a thin surface element ABCD located within the shaft at a distance r from the axis
of revolution. This element can be used to obtain the relationship between the angle of twist and the
shear strain generated in the shaft.
Considering only small deformation in the elastic region of the material as assumed, the thin surface
element ABCD deforms to new shape ABCD as shown in Fig. 8(b). The angle of twist and the shear
strains generated in surface element ABCD at its deformed state ABCD can be related as follows,
bearing in mind that deformation is small (hence <<1) and that shear strain is defined as the change
of angle of a right angle, the shear strain in this surface element can be obtained as

tan =

BB r
=
L
L

It is often helpful to introduce another quantity, angle of twist per unit length, denoted as
to describe the twisting deformation in shafts. The above equation can thus be written as

r
= r
L

= L,

(2)

This equation suggests that the shear strain on a surface element of a circular cross-sectional shaft vary
with the distance from the axis of revolution. This means that the maximum shear strain is found on
the outer surface of the shaft (when r = R).

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Structures II, MACE, University of Manchester

Shear Stress
In the elastic region = G. Substituting equation (2) into this, the shear stress can be expressed as

Gr
= Gr
L

(3)

As G, or and L are constants for a given cross-section, shear stress is seen to vary linearly across
the cross section with a maximum at r = R. The minimum is zero for solid shafts at the centre. For a
hollow shaft, the minimum shear stress is found at the radius equal to the internal radius of the shaft.
Relationship between Torque and Angle of Twist
Take an infinitesimal area dA on a cross-section of a shaft in Fig. 9. The resultant of the shear stress
as obtained in the previous subsection over dA is denoted as dQ which is tangential to the
circumference (The normal component vanishes as direct stress is zero for zero direct strain. There is
no need to consider the radial component as it does not contribute to the torque. In fact, the radial
direct stress is not present in the torsion problem). The contribution of moment from dQ to the torque
over the cross-section is dQ multiplied by r, the distance of dA to the axis of the shaft. The torque
over the whole cross-section is obtained as the integral below.

dA
T = rdQ

dQ

As dQ = dA this may be written as:

r
T

T = rdA
A

Figure 9
Equation (3) may now be substituted into the above expression for the torque

Gr
G
dA =
L
L

T = A rdA = A r

T =

A r

dA =

GJ
= GJ
L

G J
= GJ
L

(4)

where

J = A r 2 dA

(5)

is defined as the Polar Moment of Area of the cross-sectional area.

Rearranging the equation above gives the general form of the torsion equation for a length of shaft:

TL
GJ

or

T
GJ

(6)

The product GJ is referred to as the Torsional Rigidity of a shaft and is an assessment of how resistant
a shaft is to twisting. For a given torque T, the angle of twist is proportional to the length of the
shaft and inversely proportional to the torsion rigidity. In order to reduce in a design problem, these
are the parameters a designer can play with.
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Shear Stress Distribution over a Cross-Section of a Shaft

Substituting Equations (6) into (3), shear stress over the cross-section of a shaft can be obtained as

= G = G
=

r
r TL
=G
L
L GJ

Tr
J

(7)

The shear stress on a cross-section varies linearly with distance from the axis of the shaft with the
maximum stress occurring when r = R or r = Ro as shown graphically in Fig. 10.

max = TR/J

max = TRo/J
min = TRi/J

r
Ri

(a)

Figure 10

Ro

(b)

Complementary shear stress in torsion problem

It has been shown that shear stresses cannot exist in a single plane. Consider a small element of the
shaft as an inset in Fig. 9 with a shear stress acting on the cross sectional face. For equilibrium there
must be complementary shear stresses acting on the axial faces of the same magnitude.
The existence of these axial shear stresses can be shown by considering the relative motion of two
edges of a paper tube when subjected to a twisting motion. Whilst in the paper roll sliding occurs in an
engineering structure the sliding is resisted by the continuity of material and a stress is generated.
Polar Moment of Area for Circular Cross-Sections

Ro

dA=2rdr
The polar moment of an area is defined in equation (5) in general.
It applies to areas of any shape. Polar moment of areas for shapes
other than circles will be of importance in other applications. In
this course, however, only circular areas will be of interest since
only shafts of such cross-sections will be interested here. For a
circular cross-section the simplest way of expressing dA is a thin
disk as shown in Fig. 11 as within dA, r is constant.

dr

Ri

In Fig. 11, dA = 2rdr, and the total area will be integrated across
if r is considered to vary from the inner radius Ri to the outer
radius Ro. Therefore J may be written as:

J =

A r

dA =

Ro

R 4
D 4
=

2
32
2 r 3 dr =

4
4
4
4
2 R o R i = 32 D o D i

3-7

Figure 11

(8)

Structures II, MACE, University of Manchester

Design Perspectives
Shear stress in a shaft vanishes at the centre (r=0). In the part of the shaft close enough to the axis,
material is not stressed much. In other words, the material there does not make much contribution in
taking the load and resisting the deformation. Keeping material there will never be an efficient way of
using material.
If the material around the axis can be moved to outside, i.e. to make the shaft hollow, it will force the
material to work much harder and hence improve the efficiency in material usage. Consider a case of
solid shaft of a cross section area of A. J solid = A 2 2 . If one take half of the material, i.e. a cylinder
of a diameter of

2 A from the inside of the shaft, and spread on the outside of the shaft, making

the external diameter to

6 A . The cross section area remains as A, and hence the same material

consumption. However, the polar moment of area has now increased to J hollow = A 2 , i.e. doubled
and so is the torsion rigidity without consuming any extra material. This can be further increased if
one is prepared to move more material inside out.
However, as one does this, the wall thickness of the shaft will become thinner and thinner. There is a
limit for that. When the wall thickness is too small, a different and undesirable deformation
mechanism may develop, viz. buckling. Advanced knowledge is required to analyse this type of
buckling problem, which is beyond the scope of this course.
Example: Maximum Shear Stress in a Solid Shaft
50mm

For the 50mm diameter solid shaft in Fig. 12, calculate

the maximum shear stress.

2.5kNm
2.5kNm

D
J = = 0.6135 10 6 m 4
2 2

Maximum shear stress in solid shaft is found using equation (7):

Figure 12

max =

TR
TR
=
=
= 101.9 MPa
J
0.6135 10 6 0.6135 10 6

Example: Maximum Shear Stress in a Solid and Hollow Shaft

Find the inner radius (Ri) for the 80mm diameter hollow shaft so that the maximum stress in the
hollow shaft is identical to that in a solid shaft of outer diameter 50mm. Also plot the variation of
shear stress () with radial position (r) for both shafts.
2Ri

80 m m

2 .5 kN m

50 m m

2 .5k N m
2.5kN m
2 .5kN m

(a)

(b)

Figure 13
3-8

From Equation (8) for solid cross-section

J=

R 4

= 0.6135 10 6 m 4

Maximum shear stress in solid shaft is found using equation (7):

max =

TR
TR
=
4
J
R
2

= 101.9 MPa
R

The inner radius is found using equation (8) for hollow shaft:

J=

(R
2

4
o

Ro4 Ri4 =

Ri4 =

TRo

max

2TRo

max

Ri = 4 Ro4

2TRo

max

= 37.3mm

Ri Ro

Example: Twist in an Oil Well Drill Shaft

When an oil well is being drilled at a depth of 1800m,
the typical torque required to commence drilling is
approximately 60kNm. Determine the number of
rotations of the top of the drill shaft (shown as drill
string in Fig. 14) at the point when drilling commences.
Consider the shaft to be made from hollow steel (G =
79GPa) tubes with a polar moment of area of
J=1.07410-4m4.
The angle of twist is calculated using equation (6):

TL
TL
=
GJ G 1 .074 10 4

= 12 .73

= 2.026 revolutions

Figure 14

3-9

Torsion of Shafts with Multiple Sections (Stepped Shaft)

All equations above were derived for a simple shaft with a torque applied at each end. However, it
may also be used to determine the stresses in shafts of variable cross-sections or where torques are
applied at locations between the ends of the shaft. All what is required is knowledge of the torque at
the cross-section of interest, which may be obtained from consideration of a FBD with one end of the
FBD being at the section of interest.
Consider the shaft ABCD shown in Fig. 15 with torques HA, HB, HC and HD applied at points A, B, C
and D respectively. To determine the cross-sectional stress distribution in the shaft in length BC,
divide the shaft into appropriate FBDs at the section of interest (in this case a distance of L from point
B) and solve for the torque (TBC) in length BC.

shaftaxis

= H A H B TBC = 0

HA

TBC = H A H B
H

HB

HB

A
LA B

B
HC

T BC

C
HD

(a )

0 < L < L B C

(b)

Figure 15
Having found the torque TBC within length BC, Equation (7) may now be used to determine the stress
distribution at any cross-section within length BC.

BC =

TBC
r
J BC

and the maximum can be found when r=RBC.

Equation (6) for the twist angle of a shaft may only be used if the entire length of shaft considered is:
(a) of constant G (i.e. homogeneous), (b) has a uniform cross-section (i.e. constant J) and (c) has no
other external torque/load within the length of shaft concerned (i.e. constant T).
If a shaft is subjected to external torques at locations other than the ends and/or has changes in crosssection as in Fig. 15, then the shaft must be divided up into lengths IJ within each of which the above
criteria apply such that the angle of twist for each length can be determined separately. The sum of the
separate angles of twist will give the total twist of the shaft. The angle of twist of a multi-length shaft
may thus be written as:

TIJ L IJ
G IJ J IJ

(9)

In the example of Fig. 15(b), the angle of twist at the cross-section of interest, relative to section A, is
the sum of the twist in length LAB plus the twist in the length L (only two lengths are considered as the
point of application of torque HB and the change in cross-section coincide). Thus the twist (relative to
point A) at a distance L from B may be obtained as:

T AB L AB
T L
+ BC
G AB J AB G BC J BC
3-10

Example: Variation of Twist in a Stepped Shaft

The stepped steel (G=75GPa) shaft shown in Fig. 16 is rigidly fixed at A and has torques applied at B,
C, D and E. Calculate and graph the angle of twist along the shaft relative to section A.
J = 2 10-4 m4

J = 1 10-4 m4

2kNm

12kNm

16kNm
8kNm

0.3m

A
Torque
(kNm)

Twist

30

0.0015

0.2m

0.2m

0.1m

Torque
0.00121

Angle of twist
20

0.0010

10

0.0005

0.00100

0.00036
0.00020

Figure 16
Example: Electric Motor Driving a Gear Shaft
The electric motor of Fig. 17 provides 2.4kNm of torque to a gear shaft. The gears resist the applied
torque as shown. With the dimensions of the solid shafts as shown, calculate the maximum shear stress
in shaft lengths AB and BC.
2.4kNm
1.2kNm
0.8kNm
0.4kNm

54mm
B

44mm
C

44mm
D

Figure 17
3-11

36mm

1.2kNm

54mm
2.4kNm

TAB
TBC

2.4kNm

44mm

M axis = 0

M axis = 0

T AB =

TBC =

AB
=
max

T ABR AB
J AB

BC
=
max

T BC RBC
J BC

Example - Twist in a Stepped Shaft

The steel (G = 79GPa) circular cross-section stepped shaft in Fig. 18 is fixed to a rigid support at A
and has a torque of 2kNm applied at D. The shaft is hollow between A and B and solid for the
remainder. Find the angle of twist at D.

2kNm
0.025m

0.035m

0.05m

0.025m

0.03m

0.04m

Figure 18
The twist in a stepped shaft is calculated from equation (9). As G is constant throughout and there are
no torques applied between A and D, one has only to break the shaft down into lengths of constant
cross-section. Therefore from equation (9):

=
=

=
=

T IJ L IJ
IJ J IJ

T L
T L
L
L
T AB L AB
T L AB

+ BC BC + CD CD =
+ BC + CD
G AB J AB
G BC J BC
G CD J CD
G J AB
J BC
J CD

L
2T
4 AB 4
G Ro Ri

0 .0432

AB

{as T and G are constants}

LBC LCD
2 2000
0.05
0.03
0.04
+ 4 =
+
+

4
9
4
4
4
RBC RCD 79 10 0.0175 0.0125 0.0175 0.01254

2 .47

3-12

Power Transmission Shafts

Relationship between Power and Torque
A power transmission shaft is normally specified by the amount of power to be transmitted and the
rotational speed at which that power is to be transferred. In fact, Power is equal to torque time
angular velocity of the shaft (), i.e.

P = T = T ( 2 f )

(10)

which also relates power to the rotational frequency of the shaft (revolutions per second). Therefore,
if the power and rotating speed requirements of a shaft are known, the torque involved can be
determined. With a given maximum stress the material can take, the diameter of the shaft and wall
thickness may be determined by combining Equations (7), (8) and (10).
Example: Design of Formula 1 Car Power Transmission Shaft
Design the lightest power transmission shaft for driving a Formula 1 car wheels. Assume the full
engine power capability as being transmitted to the wheels to be 350hp per wheel for each of the two
driving wheels. The shaft must be capable of revolving at 1700rpm. The chassis designer advises you
that the largest diameter the shaft may be is 35mm. A titanium shaft may be used with an allowable
shear stress of 500MPa.
Convert to SI units:

1hp = 0.7457kW

700hp = 522kW

Calculate torque to be transmitted:

T=

= 2932.6 Nm

Calculate the inner radius for a hollow shaft with an outer diameter of 35mm:

max =

TRo
=
J

Ri = 4 Ro4

TRo
Ro4 Ri4

2TRo

max

(R

4
o

Ri4 =

2TRo

max

= 13.0mm

Therefore cross-sectional area of hollow tube is (17.52 13.02) = 431.2 mm2. As mass = density
volume = density length area, the mass consumed can be evaluated to complete your design.
Torsional Statically Indeterminate Problems
Statically indeterminate torsional problem is related to such cases that the distribution of torque
through a combination of shafts cannot be determined simply by using a FBD alone (statics). In such
cases, the solution of the problem requires extra conditions associated with geometric compatibility
in the way the shaft deforms. This will allow a series of simultaneous equations to be generated which
will then lead to the solution to the problem.
Example: Torsional Static Indeterminate Shaft (Composite) Parallel Model
A steel shaft (G = 77GPa) and an aluminium tube (G = 27GPa) are connected to a fixed support at A
and to a rigid end plate at B as shown in Fig. 19. If the maximum allowable shear stresses are 120MPa
for steel and 70MPa for aluminium, determine the maximum torque that can be applied at B.

3-13

Structures II, MACE, University of Manchester

0.05m

0.076m

TB

0.06m

0.5m
Figure 19
FBD (Equilibrium):
T Al

T Al

TAl + TSteel = T
T Steel

T Steel

Compatibility (both parts twist the same angle):

Al = Steel =

i.e.

T Al L Al
T
L
= Steel Steel
G Al J Al G Steel J Steel

or

T Al L Al
T L
TL Steel
+ Al Steel =
G Al J Al G Steel J Steel
G Steel J Steel

and

L Al
G Al J Al
T Steel =
T
L Al
LSteel
+
G Al J Al G Steel J Steel

Using the equilibrium equation

(T T Al )LSteel
T Al L Al
=
G Al J Al
G Steel J Steel
LSteel
G Steel J Steel
T Al =
T
L Al
LSteel
+
G Al J Al G Steel J Steel
max
Al
=

T Al R Al
J Al

T Almax =

max
Steel
=

TSteel RSteel
J Steel

max
TSteel
=

= Al = Steel

max
J Al
Al

R Al
max
Steel
J Steel

RSteel

T max 1 =

T max 2 =

Students: Complete the numerical calculations!

L Al
LSteel
G Al J Al G Steel J Steel
=
T
L Al
LSteel
+
G Al J Al G Steel J Steel

3-14

Example: Torsional Static Indeterminate Shaft (Stepped) Serial Model

A stepped shaft is mounted between rigid walls. It is subjected to a torque at the intersecting crosssection. Find the angle of twist at the loading cross-section and the maximum stresses in both sections
of the shaft.

DAB

DBC

Figure 20
GBC
GAB
LBC

LAB

FBD (Equilibrium):

TAB

T AB + TBC + T = 0

TBC

Compatibility (Total angle of twist is zero because of the rigid constraints from the walls):

= AB + BC = 0

i.e.

T AB L AB
T L
+ BC BC
G AB J AB G BC J BC

(T T AB )LBC
T AB L AB
+
=0
G AB J AB
G BC J BC

or

T AB L AB
T L
TL BC
+ AB BC =
G AB J AB G BC J BC G BC J BC

and

L AB
G AB J AB
T BC =
T
L AB
LBC
+
G AB J AB G BC J BC

LBC
G BC J BC
T AB=
T
L AB
LBC
+
G AB J AB G BC J BC

B = AB =

T AB L AB
G AB J AB

L AB
LBC
G AB J AB G BC J BC
T
=
L AB
LBC
+
G AB J AB G BC J BC

Students: Complete the maximum shear stresses in both sections of the shaft!

3-15

Tutorial Questions (Set 3)

3.1

A thin tube of a mean diameter 60mm is required to carry a torque of 150Nm. The shear stress
must not exceed 27 MPa. What is the required wall thickness of the tube?

3.2

A horizontal shaft, securely fixed at each end, has a free length of 10m. Viewed from one end
of the shaft, axial couples of 30kNm clockwise and 40kNm counter-clockwise act on the shaft
at distances of 4m and 7m respectively from the viewed end.
(a) Determine the end fixing couples in magnitude and direction and find the radius of the
solid shaft for a maximum shear stress of 60MPa.
(b) Find the position along the shaft (in metres) where the cross-section undergoes no angular
twist.
Answer: 6kNm, 16kNm, R = 0.0634m, x = 5m

3.3

A hollow shaft is of 25mm outer radius and 15mm inner radius. An applied torque of 1.6kNm
is found to produce an angular twist of 0.4 degrees measured on a length of 0.2m of the shaft.
Find the shear modulus of the shaft material. Also evaluate the maximum power which could
be transmitted by the shaft at 2000 rpm if the maximum allowable shear stress is 65MPa.

3.4

A composite shaft made of a bar and a tube as shown is 10cm

long and is rigidly clamped at both ends. A torque of 125Nm
is applied 4cm from one end. Find the torque transmitted to
each end, the rotation of the plane of application of the torque
and the maximum shear stress in the bar, assuming RA=1 cm,
RB=2 cm, GA=76.9GPa, GB=30GPa.
max = 6.9 MPa

3.5

A composite shaft of circular cross-section 650mm long is rigidly fixed at both ends. 400mm
length of the shaft is 50mm diameter made of bronze. It is joined to another 250mm long
25mm diameter steel section to form a complete shaft. If the permissible shear stress in the
steel section is 55MPa, find the maximum torque which can be applied at the joint, assuming
GSteel = 82 GPa and GBronze = 41 GPa. What is the maximum shear stress in the bronze section?

3.6

A hollow cylindrical steel shaft, 65mm outside radius and 38 inside radius, has a maximum
shear stress of 60MPa. What horsepower is delivered at 200rpm? What is the angle of twist
in a 15m long shaft? What percentage stronger would the shaft be if it were solid having the
same outside radius, assuming GSteel = 82GPa?
Answer: 642hp, 9.67, 13.2%

3.7

A solid circular shaft of radius R has to transmit power P at a given speed of m rpm. A hollow
tubular shaft, with an inner radius equal to 2/3 of its outer radius, transmits the same power at
the same speed. The maximum permissible shear stress is the same for each shaft. Find the
ratio of the weights of the two shafts.
Answer: Solid/Hollow = 1.55

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