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Chapter 4: Axial Load

Chapter objectives:
1. Develop a method to find the normal stress in axially
loaded members.
2. Develop a method to find the support reaction when
these reactions cannot be determined strictly from the
equations of equilibrium.
3. Analysis the effects of thermal stress and stress
Chapter outline
1. Elastic deformation of an axially loaded member
2. Statically indeterminate axially loaded member
3. Thermal stress 1
1. Elastic Deformation of an Axially
Loaded Member
The tensile forces supporting the weight of the
Mackinaw bridge as shown in fig. below, act along
the longitudinal axis of each cable.
The compressive forces raising the weight of dump
on a truck act along the axis of hydraulic cylinders.

By using Hooks law and the definitions of stress and
strain, we will now develop an equation that can be
used to determine the elastic displacement of a
member subjected to axial loads.

Hooks law = E , Axial Stress

= Displacement of one
Axial strain
point relative to another

L= Distance between

A= Cross-sectional area
E= Modulus of elasticity
Sine convention
Force and displacement are positive if they
cause tension and elongation

Force and displacement are negative if they

cause compression and contraction

Example 1:
The A-36 steel bar shown in
figure below is made from
two segments having
cross-sectional area of
A AB = 600mm2 and A BD =
1200mm 2 . Determine the
vertical displacement of end A
and the displacement of B
relative to C.

Example 2

Example 3:
Rigid beam AB rests on the two short posts shown in
figure below. AC is made of steel and has a diameter
of 20mm, and BD is made of aluminum and has a
diameter of 40mm. Determine the displacement of
point F on AB if a vertical load of 90 KN is applied
over this point. Take Est= 200 GPa, Eal = 70 GPa.

2. Statically indeterminate axially
loaded member

This type of problem is called statically
indeterminate, since the equilibrium equation
(s) are not sufficient to determine the two
reactions on the bar.
In order to establish an additional equation
needed for solution, it is necessary to consider
how points on the bar displace. Specifically, an
equation that specifies the conditions for
displacement is referred to as a compatibility.

Example 4:
The steel rod shown in figure below has a diameter of
10 mm. It is fixed to the wall at A, and before it is
loaded, there is a gap of 0.2 mm between the wall at
B` and the rod. Determine the reactions at A and B` if
the rod is subjected to an axial force of P= 20 KN as
shown. Neglect the size of the collar at C.
Take E st =200 GPa

Example 5

The A-36 steel pipe has a 6061-T6 aluminum
core. It is subjected to a tensile force of 200
KN. Determine the average normal stress in
the aluminum and the steel due to this
loading. The pipe has an outer diameter of 80
mm and an inner diameter of 70 mm.

Example 6:
The three A-36 steel bars
shown in figure below are
pin connected to a rigid
member. If the applied
load on the member is 15
KN, determine the force
developed in each bar. Bars
AB and EF each have a
cross-sectional area of
50 mm2, and bar CD has a
cross-sectional area of
30 mm2.
3. Thermal Stress
Changes in temperature cause materials to change
dimensions, generally, when temperature goes up,
materials expand, and when decreased, materials

If the material is homogeneous and isotropic, it has
been found from experiment that the displacement of
a member having a length L can be calculated using
the following formula.

Sign convention: expansion is positive (+)
contraction is negative (-)

The change in length of a statically determinate

member can easily be calculated by using the
pervious equation, since the member is free to
expand or contract when it undergoes a
temperature change.
However, in a statically indeterminate member,
these thermal displacements will be constrained
by the supports. So, to determine the thermal
stresses it should be used compatibility which
explained before or the superposition method.
Principle of Superposition
It is also possible to solve statically indeterminate
problems by writing the compatibility equation using
the principle of superposition. This method of solution
is often referred to as the flexibility or force method
of analysis.

The following two conditions must be satisfied if the

principle of superposition is to be applied:

1. The loading must be linearly related to the stress or

displacement that is to be determined. For example,
the equations = P/A and = PL/AE involve a
linear relationship between P, and .
2. The loading must not significantly change the
original geometry or configuration of the member.

To show how it is applied;

Consider the following bar,
if we choose the support
at B as redundant and
temporarily remove its effect
on the bar, then the bar will
become statically determinate.

By using the principle of
superposition, we must add
back the unknown
redundant load FB

If load P causes B to be displaced downward by and

amount p, the reaction FB must displace end B of
the bar upward by an amount B, such that no
displacement occurs at B when the two loadings are
superimposed. Thus, 0= p - B
This equation (0= p B) represents the compatibility
equation for displacements at point B, for which we
have assumed that displacements are positive
By applying the load-displacement relationship
to each case, we have
P= PLAC /AE and B= FBL/AE,

Then, the reaction at A can be determined
from the equation of equilibrium.

Example 7:
The A-36 steel rod shown in figure below, has a
diameter of 10 mm. It is fixed to the wall at A, and
before it is loaded there is a gap between the wall at
B` and the rod of 0.2 mm. Determine the reactions at
A and B`. Neglect the size of the collar at C.
Take E st =200 GPa

Example 8:
The A-36 steel bar shown in the figure is constrained
to just fit between two fixed supports when
T1 = 30C. If the temperature is
raised to T2= 60 C, determine
the average normal thermal
stress developed in the bar.