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10.1 Introduction

10.2 General Considerations

10.3 Types of Trusses
10.4 Analysis of Trusses - Method of Joints
10.4.1 Assumptions
10.4.2 Truss Notations
10.4.3 Method of Joints
10.4.4 Special Loading Cases
10.5 Analysis of Trusses - Method of Sections
10.6 Special Trusses
10.7, Analysis of Trusses - Graphical Method
10.8 Geometric Stability and Static Indeterminacy
10.9 Summary
10.10 Key Words
10.11 SolutionsIAnswers to S AQs
In the earlier units, the principle of plane statics were developed and their use in actual
practice illustrated, by application to the study of simple beams and rigid frames. In this unit,
the principle of statics will be applied to the study of another simple structure, the truss,
which is used extensively in engineering field.
A truss is a structure whose members are connected. arranged and supported in such a
manner that they are primarily subjected to axial loading. When all members of a truss lie in
one plane, the truss is referred to as a plane truss. A three dimensional Uuss is referred to as
a space truss. Space trusses will not be discussed in this unit.
The study of this unit will enable you to determine the axial forces in different members of a
plane truss by analytical and graphical methods.
After studying rhis unit, you should be able to :
identify stable and unstable trusses,
distinguish between statically determinate and indeterminate trusses.
analyse a determinate truss and find the forces in all members by method of
find the forces in specified members by method of sections, and
understand clearly the graphical method of determining the forces in various
members of a truss.
-- -
--- - - - - - - - - - -

A plane truss can be defined as a fraloework of bars or members situated in one plane and
joined together at their ends by pins 01 hinges so as to form a geometrically stable structure
capable of supporting the loads imposed on it. By the term geometricallystable is meant that
there is no relative movement between the members when the truss is subjected to external
The basic element of a truss is a triangle composed of three straight members pinned or
hinged together at their ends. Such a simple plane frame is shown in Figure 10.1 (a) which
can resist loads P I ,P2 P3 applied on it without changing its shape, apart from negligibly
srriall elastic deformations. Hence it is geometrically stable and can he used as a structure to
l ~Structural
I n t t ~ d u ~ lo ~n carry loads if it is sultahly supported as in Figure 10.1 (b). The mss of Figure 10.1 (Is) can be
enlarged hy adding two nlore members to form a vuss composed of two triangular elements
as shown in Figure 10.1 (c). Various combinations of basic trial~gularelements produce
general plane truss structures such as that in Figurc 10.1 (d).

Figure 10.1 (e) shows a Sramework ABCD for~liedby joining together fbur members at their
ends by frictionless hinges. It is ohvious that ~f two forces P I and P2 are applied at joints A
and C, respectively the framework will be unable to resist these forces and will deform to the
shape shown by dotted line in the same figure. The slightest value of forces. PI and P2will
cause relative movement between the members. Such a framework is termed as
"geometrically unstable" and cannot be used as a structure to carry external loads. In fact
such a framework is a mechanism. The rnechanisnl ot Figure 10.1 (a) can be made stable by
adding an extra member AC as show11 in Figurc 10.1 (f). This will actually consist of two
triangles ABC and ACD as discussed earlier. Alternatively, instead of member AC, and
additional member BD could have been added as shown in Figure 10.1 (g). This also will be
a stable configuration. Such a ~onfigurat~on can now he used as a simple truss by supporting
~t suitably to carry external loads similar to that shown in Figure 10.1 (c).
Figure 10.2 shows a number of trusses commonly met with in practice which are built up
! from the basic unit which is a triangle.

Figure 10.2

The trusses shown in Figures 10.2 (a), (b) and (g) are used as roof trusses. Generally the
uusses of Figures 10.2 (c), (d), (e) and ( f ) are used as bridge girders hut could also be
employed as roof trusses. The trusses of Figures 10.2 (a) to ( f ) have been provided with a
hinged support at one end md a roller support at the other end similar to that of a simple
beam and are called simply supported trusses. Figure 10.2 (g) however shows a cantilever
m s s obtained by building the structure from a fixed support such as a wall. A truss with an
overhang similar to that of an overhanging heam is shown in Figure 10.2 (h),
Trusses used to he named after the engineers who have popularised their use. For instances,
the trusses of Figures 10.2 (a), (d) are termed as Howe trusses. the trusses of Figures 10.2
(b), (c) are termed Pratt trusses; the trusses of Figure 10.2 (e) as a Warren truss etc.
Sometimes, the trusses are named after their shapes. Thus the truss of Figure 10.2 (d) is
called as N-truss while that of Figure 10.2 (tJ is known as K - truss.


10.4.1 Assumptions
The calculation of internal forces in the members of a truss sbbjected to external loads or
forces is termed as the analysis of the truss. The analysis of plane trusses is hased on the
following assumptions :
1) The members of the truss are connected together at their ends hy frictionless
hinges ,or pins.
2) The external loads are applied only at the joir!ts in the plane of the truss arid
not directly on any member.
3) The individual members of the truss are straight.
Introduction to Structural The first of the above assuniptions is seldom completely satisfied in an actual truss. In olden
days, trusses used to be constructed with actual pins at the joints. Even in such cases, unless
the joints are greased and maintained properly, they will not act as frictionless hinges. In
modem practice, the trusses are mostly made of steel sections and the joints are made with
the help of gusset plates and bolts or by using welding as shown in Figures 10.3 (a) and (b).
Such joints do not exemplify a hinged or pinned connection and that LOO a frictionless one, In
many cases, however, where the members of the truss are long and slender, very little
moment is transmitted by the members and the assumption of a frictionless pinned
connection produces acceptable results and the calculations are greatly simplified.

Figure 10.3

Let us see now how the calculations are simplified by the assumptions made. By assumption
2, since the loads are applied only at the joints, no bending moments will be caused
anywhere along the length of the member. By assumplion 1, because the members are
connected by frictionless hinges, there are no moments acting at the ends. Therefore, the
only possible reactive forces transmitted by the hinges are denoted by horizontal and vertical
components at the ends. These are indicated by (HA, VA) and (HB,VB) in the general
free-body diagram of a uuss member shown in Figure 10.4 (a).

The hinge reaction (HA, VA), (HB, VB) at A and B can also be represented by their
resultants RA and RB.For equilibrium of the member AB, since only two forces RA and RB
are acting on it, they must be equal and oppositely directed along the same line. The member
is therefore subjected to either axial tension or axial compression as shown in Figure 10.4 (b).
10.4.2 Truss Notations
In this text, the joints will be arbitrarily indicated by alphabets A,B,C etc. and the members
of the truss by numerals 1.2.3, etc. as shown in Figure 10.5 (a).
External loads on the structure at the joints are denoted by the letter P subscripted with the
letter of the joint at which it ac;a. In Figure 10.5 (a) since two loads are shown acting at joint
C, they are indicated as PC, and PC,.
The axial forces in the members are denoted by the letter N with proper subscript; thus N3 is
the m a 1 force in the member (3).
Tensio~iin a member is denoted by a plus sign ( + ) and compression is denoted by a minus
sign ( -- ).
//?kN3\ N g P c x c
Plane Tmsses

HA - N3


Nl t 0-


NI+ ,f +N,
Figure 10.5

10.4.3 Method of Joints

One of the methods used in analysing a truss for member forces is the method of joints. The
analysls entals the use of free-body diagrams of the joints with the application of equilibrium
equatlons C H = 0 and Z V= 0 for each joint.
Thls can be best understood by studying the simple triangular truss ABC of Figure 10.5 (a).
Flgure 10.5 (b) shows the free body diagrams for all the three joints A,B,C and all the three
members 1,2,3. The member forces are indicated as N 1 , N 2 , N3 111 the free-body diagrams
for the members. The axial force N 1 is assumed as tension and axial forces N2, N3 are
assumed as compression and indicated accordingly.
Cons~dernow the jolnt A where the memhers AC and AB are connected. In addition to the
feactlons VA and HA, additional forces N 1 and N 3 equal and opposite to those at the
member ends will also act at joint A as shown. Similarly the forces act~ngat joints B and C
are lnd~catedin Figure.
Slnce the truss is In equilibrium, the members and the joints must also be in equilibrium. The
equlllbrium of the member has already been considered by showing equal and opposite
forces such as N 1 at ends A and B of the member AB etc. It is clear from Figure 10.5 (b) that
the forces N 1 , N2 and N 3 are the internal forces in the truss. The analysis of the truss
requires the calculation of these unknown forces. These internal unknown forces can be
found by considering the equilibrium of the joints by applying equations C H = 0 and
Z V = 0 for each jolnt. For the truss shown in Figure 10.5, there are totally 6 unknown
forces-three reaction components VA, HA, VB and three internal forces N 1 , N2, N 3 . There
are three joints A,B,C and two equatlons of equll~briumfor each joint thus totalling
3 x 2 = 6 equations. Therefore, we have 6 equations for the solution of 6 unknowns. Thus
the axial forces N 1 , N2 and N 3 can be determined.
In the general case of a truss with ' j ' joints and 'm' members, the total number of equations
of equilibrium available would be 2 j. If, in general, the number of unknown reaction
components 1s indicated by ' f , then the total number of unknowns would be m+r. If
2 j = m+r, then 2 j equations will be enough to calculate the 'm' internal forces in the
members and the ' f reaction components at the supports.
The sketching of ftee-body diagruns separately for various members and joints as shown for
a simple truss in Figure 10.5 (b) is onlyessential for understanding clearly the concept of
analysis of truss by method of joints. For a larger truss with several members and joints, the
sketching of free-body diagrams may become laborious and cumbersome at times. What is
essential is to know that equilibrium equations for joints is to be written down for
determining the member forces. For this purposes, the member forces acting on the joints
are shown by arrows on the diagram of the truss ifself as indicated in Figure 10.6
corresponding to the truss in Figure 10.5 (a).
For example, the force N 1 is indicated as a pull on the joints A and B which means that the
member 1 is in tension. Similarly the forces N;! and Nj are shown as pushes on the joints A, B
and C meaning thereby that the members 2 and 3 are in compression. Now, from
Figure 10.6, we can directly write down the equations of equilibrium at the joints. If any of
the forces say N I turns odt to be negative, then it means that the member 1 is actually in
Introduction to Stmetural

The procedure can be well explained by illustrative examples given below.

Example 10.1
Using the method of joints, analyse the uuss shown in Figure 10.7.

Figure 10.7 (a)

Figure 10.7 (b)

The truss consists of 9 members and 6 joints. Since the truss is supported on a hinge at
A and roller at F, the number of unknown external reactions is 3 (VA1HA and VF).
:. Number of unknown forces = m + r = 9 + 3 = 12
Number of equilibrium equations = 2 j = 2 x 6 = 12
:. The truss can be analysed with the 12 equations of equilibrium available and thus
the truss is statically determinate. However writing out the 12 equations of
equilibrium at the 6 joints and solving them for the member forces and support
reactions may be unnecessarily laborious and generally tedious. The better method
will be to solve the problem step by step.
One of the aspect of the method of joints that sometimes causes difficulty is in
determining the joint at yhich analysis should begin and the order in which the
succeeding joints should be taken. The governing ~xiteriafor the choice of a joints is
that there must no1 be more than two unknown member forces.
me task will be made easier if we first calculate the reactions from the overall
6-quilibsium of the structure in the case of simply supported and overhanging,trus,ses.
ID ;his example Z H = 0 gives HA = 2 kN
Taking moments ahout F , C M= 0 gives
I (VAx 1 0 + ( 2 x 3) - ( 6 x 7) - ( 3 x 3) = 0

Again V = 0 gives,

... vF= 9 - 4.5 = 4.5 kN. HA=2kN

--c A

The reactions along with the external loads are shown in Figure 10.7 (b). After finding
the reactions, the next important step is to study the structure and determine which
path can he taken so that the joints will have oi~lytwo unknowns. One path that will
FSgure 10.7 (c)
work is the order of joints A-B-C-D-E-F. There are other paths that can be followed
hut this will illustrate the method.
Free-hody diagram of joint - A is shown in Figure 10.7 (c). In drawing the free-hody 4.5JZkN N3
diagram of joints, it is convenient to show the unknown member forces acting in
tension. If the aiswer comes out negative. then the member is in compression.
From Figure, c V = 0 gives, 2kN B
F i p 10.7
~ (d)

N l sin 0 = 4.5
N1 = 4.5.\12= + 6.37 kN
NOW C H = o gives,

Ffguro 10.7 (e)

Therel'r)re, member - 2 IS in compression. The results ohtained at each joint can he

recorded on n summary diagram of the lruss as shown is Figure 10.7 (1). Such a
diagram showing thc sign and ~nagnitudeof member forces enables us to proceed to
the succeeding joiii~smore expeditiously. N9
Proceeding to joint - B, we show the previously determined value of N 1 on the
free-body diagram in its determined direciion (Figure 10.7 (d)). The values of N7
unknown forces N g and N 4 can be obtained from equilibrium equations at this joint. Figurn 10.7 (0
V = o gives,

Now. proceed~ngto join1 - C. the previously delermined values of N2 and N3 in their Figuns 10.7 (g)
cortect tiirectlnn 1s shown 011 the free-body diagram of Figure 10.7 (e).
Resolviiig vertically, we get
N5 sin$ + 1.5 = 0

.'. Ns + 1.5 X

= 0

Resolving horizontally, we get

.'. N5

N 6 + 6.5 - 2.5 x - = 0 :. N 6 =
= - 2.50 kN

N 6 + 6.5 + Ns cos 9 = 0

Now. conling to joint - E, it is easily seen that

N7 = - 3.0 kN and N9 = - 4.5 kN
- 4.5m
2kN qq,/


-- ---


Again, referring to joint - F (Figure 10.7 (g)) N 8 cos O = 4.5 +6.5kN

N8 = + 4.5 fi = + 6.37 1dV ~ i ~ 10.7

u k(i)

At the last joint - D, it will be observed that all the forces are already known from
previous calculations. The two equilibrium equations applied at this joint merely
serves as a check on the preceding analysis. Thus, refercing to joint D (Figure 10.7 (h))
Intmduction lo Stmeturn1
V = 2.5 sin $ + 3.0 - 4.5 6sin 8

H = 6.5 - 2.5 cos 4 - 4.5 ~r'i--cos8

After you have hecome more adept at analysing trusses, you might find less need for
complete free-hody diagrams of joints, particularly for joints, such as E at which the
~nernherforces are obvious. However, the value of free-body diagrams during the
leaniilig stages and for the more complicated joints cannot be overemphasized.
Analyse the cantilever-type tnlss shown in Figure 10.8 (a) and find the forces in all the

u = -
tan$ = - 1
2u 2

sin 4 = n1 = 0.446

cos 41 = = 0.892

tan@= -= 1

sin 8 = ~1- =
2 0.707
cos 8 = = 0.707

Figure 10.8 (a)

Since the uuss consists of triangles and it is supported on hinge and roller supports at
F and E, it is geometrically stahle. Further since NZ = 9, r = 3 and j = 6, m + r is
equal to 2 j . Therefore, the truss is statically determinate.
Unlike the simply supported truss in Example 10.1, in the case of cantilever truss such
as that under discussion, you can start aiialysiiig the truss without calculatioil of
support reactions. j

For example, In this case, you can start from joint - A where there are only two
unknown rnemher forces N 1 and N 2 Further, as discussed earlier, there is no need to
draw free-body diagrams of all joints. Wherever the need arises, the free-hody
diagrams are drawn.
The order of joints that will he considered is A-B-C-D-E and then reactions w ~ l lbe
checked at supports E and F by overall equilihriurn of Iruss. For the purpose of
clarity, the sketch of truss is draw11 in Figure 10.8 (h) where the calculated member
forces will he indicated.
Joint A
By inspection, for vertical equilibrium at A, the force exerted hy member - 2 at the joint must
he a push-shown hy an m o w in Figure 10.8 (a).
:. V = 0 gives N 2 sin $ = 2 P
:. N 2 = 26 P = 4.47 P (compression)
Pirule Trusses

Fiaim 10.8 (h)

Again. by inspection, for horizontal equilibriuln at A, the force exerted by member 1 at the
joint must be a pull, again shown by an arrow
C H = o gives N , = P + h2 cos(/1

Now, since the nature of member forces, N , and N 2 are known, the forces exctkd by them at
far joint8 B and C are iudicated by arrows as pull and push respectively.
Joint - R -
Proceeding as discussed earlier at joint A, the fotce exerted by member 4 at the joint B
must be a pull,
:. CH= 0 gives N4 case = N, = 5P

. 6
2 = 2.5 6~= 5.59 P (tension)
N 4 = SP x -
V = 0 gives N 3 = N4 sin I$
= 2.5 6-P x q=j- = 2.50 P (compression)
Since N 3 and N 4 ;ire calculated, the forces exerted by the corresponding members at the far
joints C and D call be llldicated on h e truss.
Joint C
Proceeding as before,
C H= 0 gives N s = N 2 cos 4
= 2 6P x = 4 P (compression)
XV = 0 gives N 8 = N 3 + N 2 sin I$

= 2.5 P +2 P = 4.50 P (compression)

Again, thc forces exerted by members 5 and 8 at far joints D and E are indicated on the truss.
.loint D
There may be a need for free-body diagram of this joint which is drawn. Both the uiilaiowii
forces N6 and N7 are assumed to be tensile.

C H= o gives
NJ= 2 4 6 ~
:. N7 = - fiP = .\IZP (compression)

/" ZV= 0 gives Ns+ N7 sine - N4sin+ = 0

1 1
.'. N6 - ~ F XP -jT- 2 . 5 6 X~ -;$5= 0
N6 = P + 2.5 P = 3.5 P (tension)
The arrows are shown correctly a$ calculated on joint D itself and far joints F and E in
respect of forces exerted by members 6 and 7 respectively.
Joint E
Resolving horizontally, since there is no horizontal reaction at roller support at E,
CH= 0 gives N9 = N7 cost)
N9 = G Px - j =~ P (tension)

Again, the force exerted by member - 9 at far joint F can be indicated by arrow correctly.
For vertical equilibrium of joint E,
CV = 0 gives V E = Ns+ N7 sin8

For equilibrium of joint F,

V = 0 gives VF = Nn = 3 . 5 P downwards
CH = 0 gives HF = N9 = P towards left
From overall equilibrium of truss,
C H =P - P= o
cv= 3.5P + 2P - 5 . 5 P = 0
Taking moments about E,
Z M= ( P X 3a) + ( Z P X 20) - ( 3 . 5 ~a
~ ~
= 3Pa + 4Pa - 7 P a = 0
Example 103
For the simply supported mss shown in Figure 10.9, find the nature and magnitude of
f ~ r c e sin all the members.

Figure 10.9 (a)

Plane Trusses
The truss is subjected to a vertical load of 6 kN at B and a horizontal load of 3 kN at
C. The reactions at A and D can be obtained as usual from overall equilibrium of the

The reader should check these values for himself.

m = The total number of members (AB, AC, BC, CD, BD)

r = Total number of external reactions (VA, HA, VD)
j = Total l ~ ~ m h of
e r joints (A,B,C,D)
= 4.

Please note that there is no joint where the two members (2) and (5) overlap.
It call be seen that m +r= 2j .

:. The structure is statically determinate.

111 this special truss, at every joint, there are two inclined members unlike the trusses
i n Examples 10.1 and 10.2.
Therefore, the equilibrium equations Z H = 0 and C V = 0 applied at joints A or D
to start with, will contain two unkt~ownmember forces.
Hence the equations will have to be solved simultaneously as shown below r ,

3 1
tan 8 = - = 1, sin 8 = cos 8 = = 0.707
Introduction to Structural
Joint A
Consider equilibrium of joint A with both symbol N1 and N2 assumed to be positive
(tension) - See Figure 10.9 (b)
CH = 0 gives NI cos0 + N2cosg = 3
C V= 0 gives Nl sin0 + NzsinO = - 3
Solving the simultaiieous equations, we get
N1 = - 12.7 kN = 12.7 kN (compression)
N2 = + 13.4 kN = 13.4 kN (tension)
Joint B
[Figure 10.9 (e)]
Resolving vertically, v= 0 gives
6 + Ns sin 4 - 12.7 sin 0 = 0
:. Ns = + 6.7 klV = 6.7 kN tension
Resolving horizontally, x H = 0 gives
12.7 cos 0 + Ns cos 4 + NS = 0
12.7 cos 0 + 6.7 cos 4 + N3 = 0
N3 = - 14.96 kN = 14.96 kN (compression)
Joint C
[Figure 10.9 (d)]
Resolving vertically, Cv = Ogives
13.4 sill 41 + N4 sin t) = 0
N4 = - 8.45 kN = 8.45 kN (compress~on)
Resolving horizontally,
xli = 14.96 + 3.0 + Nq cos t) - 13.4 cos 4
= 14.96 + 3.0 - 5.98 - 11.95 = 0
Check at Joint - D
Resolving horizontally, C H = N4 cns 0 + Ns cos 4

= - 8.45 x 0.707 + 6.7 x 0.892 r 0

The final results are shown in Table 10.1.

Table 10.1

Force (kN) 1

3 14.96 (compression)

1 4 1 08.45 (compression) 1
5 06.70 (tension)
P l w e Trusses
10.4.4 Special Loading Cases
Very often, certain members of a Uuss carry no axial force under the action of external loads
acting at certain joints. The equilibrium of forces at some of these joints where no external
loads act can be more easily handled if the general concepts are clear and the forces are
resolved in two mutually perpendicular directions rather than horizontal and vertical.
Consider, for instance, the joint B of the Uuss shown in Figure 10.10 (a) where 3 members
are only connected. No external load is applied at joint B and the memhers BA and BC are
in a straight line. Consider the free-body diagram of joint B. Resolving all forces at the joint
parallel to and perpendicular to the line ABC, and using the equations of equilibrium, you
will find that NBD sin 0 = 0 and NBA = NBC .

Figure 10.10

Hence the force NBD = 0 in the third member BD which is not in line with the other two.
Consider, another instance of joint P in Figure 10.10 (b) where the two members PQ. PR are
not in the same line and the joint carries no external load. Refernil to free-body diagram of
joint P and resolving the forces horizontally, equilibrium equation
NpQ cos 8, = NpR cos %, But, vertical equation of equilibrium gives
H = 0 gives

NpR sin + NPR sin 82 = 0

The two equilibjum equations cannot be simultaneously satisfied unless NPLZ= N p R = 0

Both the above results hold good as long as no external load acts at the joint under

a) Find the forces in all the members ' the Uuss shown Figure 10.1 1 below :

Figure 10.1 1

b) Figure 10.12 below shows a saw-tooth roof truss with wind bads acting on it.
Determine i) the reactions at the two supports
ii) the forces in all the members and their nature.
Iatmductitiua b Structural

10 kN

Figure 10.12

C) A tower used for a transmission line is shown in Figure 10.13. If ~tis subjected
to a horizontal force of 540 kN, find the forces in all members and indicate
their magnitude and nature.


The distinguishing feature of the method of sections is that ~t enables us to detenn~nethe
forcelforces in a particular memberlmembers of a truss without first having to determine
many other member forces iis we might have to do with method of joints. The melhod of
joints would require a j o i ~ ~byt joint analysis till the axial forces in the chosen members are
n g u l ~10.13 obtained. Whereas, the required result ciln be obtained more s~mplyby the method of
sections. The critical aspect of this metho0 is the choice of proper frw-body diagrams. The
student, when first learning this method, is encouraged to concentrate only on selecting an
appropriate free-body diagram and to forego the computational aspects until this has been
masteyed. Exercises at the end of this unit will aid in develop~ngthis ability.
This method can be illostrated first with respect to the truss shown in Figure 10.14 (a) which
has dready been analysed before in Example 10.1. This time, it is required to find the axial
forces only in lhe members (4), (5) and (6).

figure 10.14

To apply method of sectiol~sas i:~ the case of method of joints, the reactions at the supports
have to be calculated by using equations of equ~libriumfor the whole structure. This has
already b:en done earlier which gives V A = 4.5 kN, VB = 4.5 kN and H A = 2 kN.
To ti-!.! .forces in members (4), (5) and (6) by method of sections, the structure is cut by
sec:ln*i I thr011gh members (4). (5) and ( 6 ) so as to divide the truss into distinct parts or

free k rt::ies As a rule. the section must not cut more than 3 members including the member
in W:'IC~I f l l a axlal force is to be determined. The internal axial forces N4,N5,N6 ill these
members are now "revealed" acting in opposite directions on either side of ihc sectioli a-a. Plane Trusses
For convenience, lhese unknown forces are assumed to be acting in tension so that the forces
N4 N5,N6 pull on the joints as shown in Figure 10.14 (b) which indicates the free-body
diagrams to the left and rlght of the section. Since lhe entire rruss was considered to be in
equilibrium, each part of the truss to the left and right of the section is also in equilibrium
under the action of the corresponding external loads and the internal forces in the members.
Now, equilibrium equations may be applied to either of the two free-bodies. In applying the
equations of equilibrium, calculations are silnplified by a suitable selection of coordinate
axes or moment centres.
For instance, consider the equilibrium of the right part of the truss in Figure 10.14 (b) (since
this part involves 2 external force components compared to 4 in the left part). Taking joint
D, which is the point of interaction of the forces N4 and Ns,as the moment cenue and
appling equilibrium equation
C MD = 0, we get - 4.5 x 3 - N~ x 3 = o
:. N6 = - 4.5 kN = 4.5 kN (compression)
To calculate the force N4.the joint C is taken as the monient centre.
C M ~o =gives
:. N4 = + 6.5 kN = 6.5 kN (tensile)
Finally, resolving all forces acting on the right part in Ole vertical direction,
C V = 0 gives N5 sine + 4.5 - 3 = 0
N5 = - 2.5 kN .= 2.5 kN (compression)
The same results would be obtained if the equilibrium of the left part of the tnlss were
considered. (The student should check this and confirm for himself.)
Similarly, by taking sections b-b and c-c as shown in Figure 10.14 (a), the forces in numbers
(I), (2) and (8), (9) can be determined. The resultant equations of equilibrium become the
equatio~~s of equilibrium of the joints A and F respectively.
Example 10.4
One pin-jointed frame of a simple pylon is loaded as shown in Figure 10.15 (a). By
method of sections, determine the magnitude and nature of forces in members AC,
CD, AD and BD. Also determine the magnitude and direction of reactions at
supports A and B.

(a) (a)
Figure 10.15

The members AC, CD, AD and BD are named as (I), (2), (3) a d (4) respectively.
For convenience, the inclined load of 10 kN applied at top joint J is resolved into
vertical and horizolltal components of 5 kN and 8.66 kN respectively.
Introduction to Structural Consider section a-a and the free-body diagram of the part frame above the section as
shown in Figure 10.15 (b), revealilig the forces N 1 , N3 and N4.
The equilibrium equations, in this case, cannot be written down easily unless some
geometric properties are first determined.
Dotted lines AL, DM, JK, D P are drawn perpendicular to BJ, AJ, AJ, AT3
JK 12
tan 0 = - = -= 6 , sin 0 = 0.9863, cos 0 = 0.1644
KB 2
AL = A B s i n 0 = 4 x 0.9863 = 3.945 m
DM = CD sin 0 = 3 x 0.9863 = 2.959 m
AD = dAP2+ np2 = = 4.61 m

JN = A J sin $ = 12.17 x 0.6419 = 7.812 m

Taking moments of all forces above section a-a about A, C M= 0 gives
- 123.92
:. N4 = = - 31.41 kN = 31.41 kN (compression)
Taking moments about D, M = Ogives
- N 1 x D M + 1 ( 3 + 6 + 9 ) + 8 . 6 6 ~9 + 5 x . 1 . 5 = 0

N 1 = --- - + 34.96 kN = 34.96 kN (tension)
103'44 -
Taking moments about J. C
M = 0 gives N 3 x JN - 1 ( 3 + 6 + 9) = O
:. N J = - + 2.30kN (tension)
- 'I-
For determining the force N2, consider section b-b and taking moment of all forces
about J,
We get -N2x 9- 1

9 = - 2 kN = 2 kN (compression)
N2 = - -

Reactions at A and B
The member forces NAC (= N1), NAD (= N2) and N B D (= N4) acting on the joints
A,B,C,D are shown by arrows on the diagram of the truss in Figure 10.15 (c). The
magnitudes of the forces in the members meeting at the base supports are also shown.
For joint B to be in equilibrium, the reaction R B at support B must be equal and
opposite to N4.
RB = 3 1.41 kN as shown. The reaction IhA at support A [nust be equal and opposite
to the resultaiit of forces N 1 and N g .
Analytically, RA can be calculated as follows :

VB R B sin 0 = 31.41 x 0.9863 = 30.98 kN

Now for equilibrium of whole truss,

C H =0 :. HA + HB = 1 + 1 + 1 + I + 8.66 = 12.66
:. HA = 12.66- HI,= 12.66 - 5.16 = 7.50kN
Plane Trusses

acting at an angle of tan-' HA

= tansup-l -
7'50 -
11.7' with the vertical

a) Determine the forces in members DF and DC in the turns shown in
Figure 10.16 below. The magnitude of the three applied forces are indicated in

Figure 10.16

b) Determine the magnitude and nature of forces in the members U2 L3, U2 L3

and L2 L3 of the truss shown in Figure 10.17

Figure 10.17
Mechanics 10.6 SPECIAL TRUSSES
The examples in the previous section 10.5 have illustrated the general procedure for
analyzing a truss by the method of sections. Basically, the procedure involves the selection
of a free-body diagram of a portion of the structure such that the desired unknown will
appear in an equilibrium equation. Occasionally it may be necessary to solve simultaneous
equilihriutn equations of the free-body and sotnetimes we must solve some other member
force before the desired member force can be determined. The method of sections can also
be used in combination with the method of joints for the most efficient analysis of some
trusses. As an illustration, consider the F i - t y p e truss shown in Figure 10.18

Figure 10.18
Since the truss is supported on a hinge at A and roller at B,
Total number of external reactions r = 3
Number of joints 'j'= 15
Number of members 'm ' = 27
Number of unknown forces = m + t' = 27 + 3 = 30
Nuinber of equilibrium equations available = 2 j = 2 x 15 = 30.
-Thus the truss is statically determinate.
Now if we want to ,malyse the truss completely and determine the forces in all the members,
it is easier to adopt the "merhod of joints" for the solution. Starting from joint A, two forces
N1 and N2 can be obtained from two equilibrium equations applied at this joint. Proceeding
to joint C, N3 and N4 can be found. Similarly at joint J, Ns and N6 can be determined.
After this, when we proceed to joints K or D, it will he noticed that there are 3 unknown
forces N7.N8 and N9 at joint K or N7,Nloand N 11 at joint D.
Three unknown forces camlot be determined with the help of two equilibrium equations
V = 0 and H = 0 either at joint K or D. Bat we know that the truss in statically
determinate. Therefore, we have to find an alternative method.
Consider a section line m-m as shown in figure crossing three members 8, 13 and 14
revealing the internal forces N8 , N I S and N I 4 .Adopting "method of sections" and
applying 3 equations of equilibriums to the free-body of the part-truss to the left of the
section m-m, we can now find the unknown forces N8 , N13 and N14.
Then, we can come back to joint K. Now, using "method of joints" again, we can determine
N7 and N9 since N5 and N8 are known. We proceed to joint D and find N l o and N l 1 . Lastly
we prcxeed to joint E and tirid N12.
Thus. we see that, a judicious combination of "method of joints" and "method of
sections" is necessary for andysing special Uusses such as the one discussed above.
Plane Trusses
Graph~calmethods in structured mechanics have lost some of their importance due to the
development of modem calculating techniques with the help of computer and the demands
for greater accuracy. However, the graphical xilethod for the analysis of trusses retains a fair
degree of popularity due to the speed with which the analysis can be completed.
The graphical method is a graphical version of the method of joints. It makes use of the fact
that each joint of the truss is subjected to a system of concurrent forces in equilibrium.
Hence if a tbrce palygon is drawn for this system of forces, it must bc closed for equilibrium
to exist. For a truss of 'j'joints, 7' such closed force polygons can be drawn.
The drawing of these force palygons is very much simplified if Bow's notation is used.
Bow's notation can be understood with reference to Figure 10.19 which shows a cantilever
truss subjected to loads PA , PB and PC .
The free-body diagram for the joint B has been shown in Figure 10.19 (b). To facilitate
L drawing of the force polygon, the spaces in F~gure10.19 (b) between the forces P B , Nm ,
?VBC NBAhave been numbered in clockwise direction as a, b, c, d. In Figure 10.19 (a) these
spaces would be the spaces a, b on either side of force PB and the spaces c, din the triangles
BCD and ABC. Figure 10.19 (a) is called as the space diagram.

Each force is designated by the spaces on either side of it, counting the spaces around the
joint in a fixed direction. Thus using a clockwise direction and referring to Figures 10.19 (a)
and (b), the forces acting at joint B can be written as
PB = ab; NBD= be; NBCz cd; NBA = da
We know that the forces acting at any joint are in equilibrium. Thus, if two of the forces
acting at joint B, say PB and NBAare known, then a closed force polygon can be drawn for
the joint as shown in Figure 10.19 ic). Once again, in constructing the force polygo~l,the
forces are considered in the same direchon as that used in numbering of the spaces,

Figure 10.19
The bow11 forces PB and NRAare represented by the vectors $and $drawn in
Figure 10.1Y (c) to a suitable scale.,From the points b and d, lines bc and dc are drawn
parallel to the forces NBn and NBCwhich are acting along the lines BD and BCrespectively.
The point of intersection of these lines determine the point C.
Since the joint B is in equilibrium, the force polygon abcd must close. Hence the vectors 2
and d o f the force polygon represent to s a l e tile forces NBo and Nsc.
The actual directions of the forces are also obvious from the force polygon. Thus the force
NBn r bc acting from b to c in the force polygon pushes on joint B and hence the member
BL) is in compression. Similarly, the force NBC -- cd acting from c to d i n Figure 10.19 (c)
is also compressive.
It should be noted that a closed polygon car1 be drawn if not more than two forces at a joint
are unknown. The graphical analysis of a truss can now be completed by repeating the basic
construction explained above for each of the jo~nts.In the above case of the cantilever truss,
the analysis can start from joint A and then proceed to joint5 B and C in that order. In
addition to the force polygon shown in Figure 10.19 (c) for joint B, two additional force
polygons for jo~ntsA and C will have to be drawn.
Time can be saved and duplication and graphical errors can be avoided if all the force
polygons are superimposed or]each other w~ththeir common sides coinciding. The resulting
figure, which is the superposibon of all force polygons, is called the Maxwell Diagram.
The construction of Maxwell diagram for a typical truss will become clear from the
following example.
Example 10.5
Determine the magnitude and nature of the forces in all the members of the truss of
Example 10.1 by graphical method by constructing the Maxwell diagram.
For the sake of convenience, the truss of Example 10.1 is drawn in Figwe 10.20
Before commencing the Maxwell diagram for any truss, the reactions of the truss at
the supports have to be calculated. hi this case, they have already been found as ,
VA = 45kN'T', HA = 21rN + & V F = 4.51cN 'I'
According to Bow's notation, the spaces between any two forces are des~gnatedm
sequence a, b, c, .,.. etc. as discvssed earlier or 1,2, 3,...etc. as used for th~sproblem.
The spaces between the known external forces and reactions are designated first as
a to$ See Figure 10.20 (a). Since forces exist in the various members of the truss, the
triangular spaces between the members are assigned numbers g to j. Figure 10.20 (a)
thus represents h e space diagram for the external and internal forces in the truss.

6kN 3kN

The Maxwell diagram can now be commenced by drawing the polygon of forces for Plane Trusses
the external loads including reactions.

$= 4.5 k N ? and fl;)= 2 kN +

Since these forces are in equilibrium, the force polygon ubcdefa must close as shown
in Figure 10.20 (b).
The polygon of forces for determining the internal axial forces in the members can
now be drawn starting from joint A. Going round the joint in a clockwise direction,
the forces acting on the joint are 2, $, and 2. The first two know11 forces
have already been drawn while completing the force polygon for the known external
forces and reactions. From the points a and e, lines ug and eg are drawn parallel to
the members AC and AB. Their point of intersection determines the point g. Theii
agefa is the closed polygon for this joint from which the values, of
3 +
NAB = ge = 6.4 kN and NAC = ag = 6.5 kN. It can also be seen that the force
NAB = &?actfirom g to e in the Maxwell diagram. In the actual truss in
Figure 10.20 (a), the force acting in this direction would exert a pull on the joint A.
Hence the member AR is in tension. Again, the force NAC = ag acts from u to g
pushes on the joint A and thus the member AC is in compression.
+ + +
At the next joint B, forces de = 2 kN, eg = 6.4 kN, and gh = NBC and
h d = NBD are acting. The force polygon for this joint will be deghd . Referring to
the Maxwell diagram it will be seen that 3 vertices d, e and g of this polygon are
already known. The vertex h is found by drawing lines gh and dh parallel to members
BC and BD respectively. The forces N B =~ g$- and NBD = dean now be scaled
off. Arguing as before, it will be clear that members BC and BD will be in
compression and tension respectively.
Proceeding in this manner, it will be seen that at every joint, one missing vertex of
the closed force polygon relating to that joint has to be located. This can be done
without 'any difficulty for joints C and E as explained above in detail for joints A and
Finally when we come to joint D, only unknown force is the internal force Nm in
member FD which has to be represented b y g in force polygon. But both the points j
and d are already located earliey. It should therefore, be verified as a check that linejd
is parallel to member FD.
It can be seen that there are as many vertices or points in the Maxwell diagram as
there are spaces marked in the space diagram in Figure 10.20 (a). Though each side
of a polygon is used more than once to denote an axial force, no confusion should
arise as to the nature of this axial force, whether it is tensile or compressive. For
example consider the force NCn represented by vector z i n the Maxwell diagram.
Referring to space diagram it will be seen that one remembers to go round any joint
in a clockwise direction, ih refers to the form NcD acting at joint E. This force acts in
the direction i to h and hence pushes on joint E. Therefore, the member C D is in
* .
compression. On the other hand, the vector h, refers to the force NDc acting at joint
D. Again this force, which acts in the direction h to i in the Maxwell diagram pushes
on joint D and again the same conclusion is reached that the member D C is in
compression. The magnitude of forces in various menlbers can be scaled off from the
Maxwell diagram and their nature also verified as explained above. The results are
indicated in Table 10.2 and they can be compared with results obtained analytically
by method of joints earlier in Example 10.1.
The student will realise after attempting a few problems that drawing the Maxwell
diagram is much simpler than explaining it in words.
In the case of large trusses with several joints, it is advisable to check a few results by
using method of sections and verify that it agrees with the result given by Maxwell
Table 10.2
Member 1 Force kN
6.4 (tension)
6.5 (compression)
4.5 (compression)
6.5 (tension)
2.5 (compression)
4.5 (compression)
3.0 (compression)
4.5 (compression)
6.4 (tension)

a) Analyse graphically the truss shown in Figure 10.21 and check the answers by
method of joints.

b) Analyse the truss of Example 10.3 (Figure 9 (a)) shown again in Figure 10.22
below graphically and compare the results with those shown in Table 10.1 on
page 56.

VD= 3kN

Figure 10.22


In the illustrative examples used in this unit, we have assumed that thb configurations of the
trusses were capable of supporting the loads and the member forces coukd be determined
from equations of statics.
It was stated earlier that the basic element of a truss is a triangle composed of three straight
members pinned together at their ends such an element is geometrically stable. Geometric
stability can also be maintained if the basic element is expanded as discussed earlier in
section 10.2 by adding two members to the existing system for each new joint established.
The stability of a truss also depends on proper support conditions. In general, we can state
that for stability, the structure must be supported by at best three reaction forces, all of
which are neither parallel nor concurrent.
If m- = number of members
r = number of reaction components
and j = number of joints
then the following general statements can be made concerning the relations between m,

1) m + r = 2 j . The structure is statically determinate and the unknowns c

h be
obtained from the 2j equations.
2) m + r > 2 j. There are too many unluiowns to be determined from the
available equations. The structure is therefore, statically indeterminate. To
analyse statically indeterminate structures, we need additional relationships
such as compatibility of deformations. Statically indeterminate structures will
be treated in later courses.
3) m + r < 2 j. The number of available equations are more than the unknowns.
The structure is unstable.
These are three simple statements which are generally acceptable but may not be correctly
justified for specific truss configurations and support conditions. For a more complete
understanding of the above three statements and to find out possibilities of misusing the
statements, the reader will find it interesting to learn the same in later courses in structural
analysis. Until then, the reader should consolidate his analytical capabilities by
understanding clearly the basic concepts introduced in this unit by continuous practice of
solution of a variety of problems of plane trusses.

In this unit, you have made yourself familiar with the application of the principle of statics
to determine the axial forces in different members of plane trusses which is extensib 'v uskd
in civil engineering structures.
You have been introduced to the definition of plane truss, geometrically stable and unstable
configurations,type of trusses used in practice. conditions for static determinacy and
indeterminacy and the assumptions made in the analysis.
You have studied in detail the following methods of analysis of plane trusses
Method of joints
Method of sections
Graphical method
The learner has to keep in mind that the ability to find quickly and correctly the magnitude
and nature of forces in various members of a plane truss is not only important for design of
the various components and joints but will also greatly facilitate the calculation of
deflections due to external loads and temperature changes which is also necessary for
analysing statically indeterminate trusses.


Truss : A structure whose members are connected arranged
and supported in such a manner that they are
primarily subjected to axial forces.
Latroduetion to Simdural Geometrically stable truss : There is no relative movement between
the members of the trusses when it is
subjected to extemal loads.
Statically determinate truss : The truss can be analysed completely
including determination of reactions,
internal forces in members, deflections
etc. with the help of only members,
deflections of statics or equilibrium.
Analysis of truss : The calculation of internal forces in
the various memebrs of a truss
subjected to external loads.
Bow's notation The numbering of spaces between
extemal loads, reactions and the
various members by short letters or
numerals to facilitate drawings of
force polygon.
Maxwell Diagram : The diagram obtained by
superposition of a11 force polygons
constructed for maintaining equilibrium
at every joint.


tan 0 =-
sin 0 = -

Figure 10.23
Considering equilibrium of Joint E,
x V=Ogives N2sin0=100
:. N2 = 1 0 0 6 = 223.6 kN (compression)
x H = O gives N1=N2cos0
= 100 6 x -- 200 k~ (tension)
Considering equilibrium of Joint D,
V= 0 gives N3 = N2 sin 0

= l ~ $j==
xl o 0 kN (tension)

x H= o gives

= 1 06 x -& = 200 kN (compression)

Considering equilibrium of Joint C and assuming both members 5 and 6 to be under
x V = 0 gives N6 sin 0 - Ns sin 0 - N~ = 0

. . . (a)
x H = O gives N6cosO+N5cosO-N1=O

. . .(b)
From equations (a) & (b), N5 = 0 ;N6 = 1 0 0 6 = 223.6 kN (tension)
Considering equilibrium of Joint A,
reactionRA ( equal & opposite to N6) = 100\15-kN
& considering equilibrium of Joint B,
reaction RB ( equal & opposite N4 since N5 = 0) = 2WhN
Now .considering overall equilibrium of structure (external loads and reactions)

~ H = R ~ C O S ~ - R ~ = ~ M X 0~ -(OK)
~ ~ ~ =

figure 10.24
i) Calculation of Reactions VA, VB and HB
span L = ------ - 6.93 m
cos 30
x H = o gives HB = (20 + 10 + 10) coo m0
z MA= 0 gives,
vB~6.93-1oX6-20X3= 0

C V = VA + VB - (10 + 20 + 10)cos 300 = 17.32 + 17.32 - 34.64 = 0 (OK)
ii) Determination of forces in members
At Joint A, V = 0 gives,

N1 sin 60° = VA

:. NI = 17.32 x
E=20 kN (compression)
z 1
H = 0 gives N2 = NI cos 600 = 20 x - = 10 lcN (tension)
At Joint C, resolving all forces in direction CA,
N3 c-6O0 =N1- 10=20- 10= 10
:. N3 = 10 x 2 = 20 kN (tension)
Now, resolving all forces along CD ,
N4 = N3 cos 30' = 20 x 0.866 = 17.32
= 17.32 kN (compression)
At Joint D, Ns = N4 = 17.32kN (compression)
& N7 = 20 kN (compression)

At Joint E, H = 0 gives,
N6= N2+ N3 cos60°+ N7 cos 60°
1 1
= 10+20x-+20x-=30kN (tension)
2 2
Check @ Joint B
H=N6+~ O C O S ~ O ~ - N ~ C O S ~ O ~ - H ~
= 3 0 + l o x 2 - 17.32~0.866-20

=30+5-15-20=0 (OK)
z v = v ~ - N ~ s ~1 ~0 ~o h~ 6- 0 ~

= 17.32 - 8.66 - 8.66 = 0 (OK)

c) Generally as was mentioned earlier in the case of cantilever trusses, we can
proceed from the free end and find the forces in all the members without
determining the reactions at supports.
In this problem, starting with joint C, we can find the forces in members (1) &
(2) using two equations of equilibrium But we cannot proceed to joint B or D
since there are 3 unknown forces at each of these joints. Therefore, we can try
joints A or E where there are: only two unknown forces provided we determine
the reactions at A & E from overall equilibriumof the truss.
Alternatively, we determine reactions at A & E first. Then, starting with joints
A lk E, we proceed to B & D for finding the froces in all members. Finally, we
can check the equilibrium at joint C.

E l p r e 10.25

Determination of Reactions
At hinge support A, there are two reactions HA & VA.
At roller support E, there is only one reaction VE.
x H = 0 gives HA = 540 kN

x V= 0 gives the sum of the vertical reactions equal to zero.

Therefore, the reactions VA & VE will be equal & opposite as shown
I x ME = 0 gives
VAx3 = 540x6 ... VA=1080kNL
:. VE = 1080 kN I'
Determination of internal forces

.: 2.4
tan 8 = -= 1
:. 8 = 45'

sin 8 = cos 8 = -- 0.707
Again, $ = L BAE = L DEA

cos $ = -= 0.2425
Inti-aduction to Structural At Joint A, assuming both members (4) & (6) in tension
C V = o gives N4 sin I$ + N~ sin 6 = VA
:. 0.9702 N4 + 0.707 N6 = 1080
C H=OgivesNq~~~$+N6~~~O=HA
0.2425 N4 + 0.707 N6 = 540

Solving (a) and (b), we get

N4 = 742 kN (tension)
& N6 = 509 kN (tension)
At Joint E, assuming member (5) in compression and member (7) in tension,
H = 0 gives N7cos0=NScosI$
:. 0.707 N7 = 0.2425 N=j
:. N7 = 0.343 N5 ...(c)

x V= 0 gives,

Ns x 0.9702 = N7 x 0.707 + 1080
Ng x 0.9702 = 0.343 x 0.707 N5 + 1080
0.970 Ns = 0.243 N5 + 1080
.: N5 = 1485 kN (compression)
N7 = 509 kN (tension)
At Joint B, assuming member (I) in tension and member (3) in compression,
V = o gives,
N1 sin$-N4sin$ -N7sinO=0
:. 0.9702 N1 - 742 x 0.9702 - 509 x 0.707 = 0
:. 0.9702 N1 = 720 + 360 = 1080
:. N1 = 1113 kN (tension)
C H = o gives,
N3 -N1 ens$+ N4cos$-N7cos 0 = O
:. N3 = (1113 - 742) 0.2425 + 509 x 0.707
= 371 x 0.2425 + 509 x 0.707
= 90+360=450
:. N3 = 450 kN (compression)
At Joint D, assuming member (2) in compression

C H = O gives,
:. N2 = 1113 kN (compression)
At Joint C,
= (1113 + 1113) 0.2425 - 540
= 2226 x 0.2425 - 540
= 540-540~0 O.K.

SAQ 2 5 5 kN 55 kN

Calculation of Reactions

C H = o gives,

V = 0 gives,

Determination of forces In members DE(1) and DC(2) by method ofsections

Consider section a-a crossing members DE (1). DC (2) & AC (3) and the free-body
of the part-frame to the right of the section line revealing the forces N1, N2& N3
assumed to be in tension. Taking moments of all forces acting on the part-frame to
the right of section a-a, about C, we get
20x4-55x2+IV1 ~ 2 6 ~ 0
N1 = + 5 6 = 5 6 k N tension
Now, resolveg all forces acting on the right part in the vertical direction,
C V = o gives,
;. N - + 7 0 - 1 0tension

Figure 10.27
b) Calculation of Reactions
Since there are no external horizontal forces acting on the truss, HI,,

ML,= o gives,
:. VL0= 9 rn
V = 0 gives,
V L o + V L , = 6 + 4 + 3 + 2 =15
:. V4=15-9=61rN
Determination of forces in members U2U3(I), U& (2)& L2L3(3)
Draw section a-a crossing the members (I), (2) & (3) and consider the equilibrium of
the free-body of the frame to the left of the section revealing the internal forces
N1,N2 & N3 assumed to be in tension.
Force N3
Taking moments of all forces acting on the left-part about U2, we get
, N3 = + 8 kN tension
Force N1
tan 8 = - = 4; sin 8 = 0.97; cos 8 = 0.2425
A h = U3 h sin 8 = 7 x 0.97 = 6.79 m
Taking moments of all forces acting on the left part about L3,
Plane Trusses

Force N2
From Figure 19.26,it carn be seen bat lines Lj -6: h U3 U2meet at G . OC is drawn
perpe~dicularto &U2.PJso U2B is drzv~nperpendiculu to U3L3. From proportiorral
triangles OU3& & U2U3B,we get

:. sin I$ = 0.835& ccs 4 = 0.555

Now, taking moments of all rorces acting on the left-parr about 0, we get
N 2 ~ A C + 4 ~ 2 4 + 6 ~ 2 0 -= 9~ O 16

= 3.08 kN (compression)
Considering equilibrium of the left part

~ ~ = 9 - 6 - 4 + ~ ~ c o s ~ - ~ s i n g
= 9 - 6 - 4 - 6.48 x 0.2425 + 3.08x 0.835
=9-6-4- 1.57 + 2.57
=-1 -1.57+2.57=0
a) For the sake of convenience, the truss is shown in Figure 10.28(a).

(a) Space Diagram

Intmduction to Stmctural

(b) Maxwell Diagram

Rgure 10.28
Figure 10.28 (a) shows the space diagram with spaces marked a to f starting with a & b on
either side of known vertical load at C , c on the right space of known vertical load at E and
finally the spaces d , e, f for the triangular portions.
The Maxwell diagram is commenced with known external forces a7f (10 kN) and @ (10 ,
drawn to a suitable scale. Looking at joint E, lines bd and cd are drawn in the Maxwell
diagram parallel to members CE and DE. These two lines will meet at d .
Then coming to joint D, lines de and ce are drawn in the Maxwell diagram parallel to
members CD and BD respectively. These two lines will intersect at point e .
Finally at joint C, lines ef and af are drawn parallel to members AC & BC respectively.
These two lines will meet at point f .
Now the Maxwell diartram is ~ 0 m ~ l e t eThe
d . magnitude of internal forces in members can
be scaled off and the iature of the-force can be ghged by moving round every joint in a
clockwise direction. The results are indicated below in Table 10.3.
Table 10.3

Member ~ o r (kN)
CE 25 (tension)
ED 28 (compression)
CD 10 (tension)
BD 25 (compression)
14 (compression)
42 (tension)

The reader is advised to check the above values by method of joints.

b) Figure 10.29 is again represented below in Figure 10.29 (a) for convenience of

(a) Space Diagram

scale 0.7

ib) Maxwell Diagram

Figure 10.29
Figure 10.29 (a) shows the space diagram with spaces marked cs to h as shown. The
reactions at two supports A & D have already been calculated earlier. They are
v A = 3 k ~ I. H
' A = 3 k ~ andt v D = 3 k ~ ? .
The Maxwell diagram can be started at any joint where not more than two unknown internal
forces have lo be determined. Let us start with joint A where there are two unknown forces
NAB& NACand two known forces VA = 3 kN I' and HA = 3 kN t
The Maxwell diagram can be started by drawing the forces & (= VA = 3 kN I') and
.d(= HA = 3 kN t)in the force polygon to a suitable scale. Through a and d draw lines
parallel to members AB and AC to meet at f. Now, looking at joint B , Nm =@and external
load of 6 kN = i d are known. Through h and fin the force polygon, draw lines parallel to
members BC and BD to meet at g. Then coming to joint C , NBC= 8 and external load of
3 kN = bc are known. Through c and 8, draw lines parallel to lnemers CD and CA to meet at
h. Finally j o u ~h and d and check that line hd is parallel to member BD. The Maxwell
diagram has thus been completed. The magnitude of internal forces in the members can be
~caledoff and the nature of the forces be found by moving round every joint in a clockwise
direction. The results are indicated in Table 10.4 and can be compared with those obtained
by method of joints and shown in Table 10.1.
Table 10.4

I Member I Force (kN) I

2 2.80 (compression)
13.30 (Lcnsion)
14.70 (compression) I
08.60 (comprebsion) I
06.80 (tension) i