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Civil Engineering Department Structural Lab

Experiment 9: No-Sway Portal Frame

9.1 Aim

Apply increasing vertical load to the center of the uniform portal frame and
investigate how this affects the horizontal reactions and fixing moments.

9. 2 Apparatus
Hanger loaded with different masses.
Digital Force Display.

9. 3 Instructions and Procedure

- Position a hanger in the center of the frame cross-member. A line indicates
the center. Ensure that the force meter reading is zero, then put a mass
of a 100 g on the hanger.

- Record resulting force meter readings. Increase the mass in 100 g


- Record the force meter readings for each increment in Table 1.

Civil Engineering Department Structural Lab

Note: (Measure the section of the frame and calculate the second moment
of area of the section).

9.4 Results

Table 1 Results of Experiment

Mass Horizontal Moment force Fixing Moment,
(g) reaction, (N) MA (Nm)
HE (N)

- Calculate the moments from the moment force(By multiplying it by the

length of the moment arm (0.05m) and complete table 1.
- Plot graphs of the moment and horizontal reaction against the applied
load (convert the mass to a load in Newton).
- Use static equilibrium and the symmetry of the frame to calculate
values for the vertical reactions, VA and VE.
- Calculate the opposite reaction and moment to the measured values,
HA and ME for a 500 g mass (4.9 N load). From these calculate the
values of the bending moments at B, C and D.