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Lecture # 25(13). Frames and ribs strength analysis.

1. Calculation of load-carrying ribs
2. Standard (normal) ribs calculation
3. Frames calculation.

1. Calculation of load-carrying ribs

On load-carrying ribs except distributed air and mass loads the additional concentrated
loads act from a landing gear, from the engine, fuel, and so on. At calculation of load-
carrying ribs we use following assumptions. The wing skin and the spar webs work only on
shear. The load-carrying rib is rigidly connected to a skin of a wing and of spar walls.
Let's consider a load-carrying rib calculation technique. Let us have a load-carrying rib
of a thin-walled design (fig. 1), loaded by a concentrated force P, for example, from engine

Fig. 1. Loading of load-carrying rib

The shear flow from the shear force Qu in front qfQ and rear qrQ spar webs are
determined by the following formulas, as they are distributed by proportionally to bending
Qu I f
q fQ  (1)
I f  Ir
Qu I r
qrQ = ,
I f  Ir
where If, Ir — are moments of inertia accordingly for front and rear spars, Qu – is shear
force in this cross section from engine weight.

For calculation of constant SF on whole contour let us write the equation of equilibrium
for moments relative point 1 on front spar:

Pa – q0( bsp hf + bsp hr ) + qrQ bsp hr = 0 (2)

Fig. 2. Analytical model of load-carrying rib.

Pa  qrQ bsp hr
q0  ,
bsp ( h f  hr )
where bsp – distance between spars, hf, hr – accordingly heights of front and rear spars.
For calculation of total reactions in spar webs we'll have the following formulas:

Qf = ( q fQ+ q 0) hf , (4)
Qr = ( q Qз- q 0) hз.

Further we build shear forces diagrams and the diagrams for bending moments on
length of a rib (see fig. 1).

M max
 max  
hп F ,
h ,

where F — the rib flange cross-sectional area;  — the thickness of a rib web; h — the
altitude of a rib web.

2. Standard (normal) ribs calculation

The standard rib calculation is basically by nothing differs from a load-carring rib
calculation. At the precise standard rib calculation its also accepted, that a wing skin and
spars serve as the ribs legs. At the approximated calculation its considered, that the rib has
only spar legs and the wing skin reactions are not taken into account. At the calculation on
external loads operating on a rib, in approximated statement we need to determine the legs
reactions and to plot the shear forces and bending moments on length of rib diagrams (fig. 2).

Fig. 3. Diagrams of shear forces and bending moment for rib.

The normal stresses in flanges and the shear stresses in a rib web can be determined by
the formulas
h .
It is possible to determine the shear stresses in a web with facilitation holes by the
approximated formula
( h  d ) ,
where d — the hole diameter.
If a standard rib web is cut in a middle part on a diagonal, then in the rib calculation it
should be considered as a frame, and it is necessary to actuate in the rib area flanges and part
of a web.

3. Frames calculation.

As against ribs the air load come on a frame contour is inappreciable and it is usually
not taken into account, taking into consideration only the forces from aggregates or freights
with mounting points located on a frame. There, where the air load is great, it should also be
taken into account.
Thus, the frame loading is determined completely. On fig. 4, 5 the analytical models of
loaded frames are shown.
In a fig. 4 there is the load from the aggregate, in a fig. 5 — the load from vertical unit
sectionals. Now it is necessary to calculate these frames by known from mechanic of
structure methods.

Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6

Sometimes for calculations simplification it is possible to use the shelf solutions

available in the reference literature. With the reference to ring frames of constant cross-
section the formulas and plots of the bending moments for three kinds of concentrated
loading — by radial force P (fig. 6), tangent T (fig. 67 and moment m (fig. 8) are resulted.
Using a superposition principle with the help of these solutions it is possible receiving
the bending moments for rings of constant cross-section at any loading easily. With some
approximation these solutions can be used and for calculation of ring frames with feebly
varied cross-section by a contour.
In plane's fuselage there is a usually located the great quantity of frames not carrying
the concentrated load (normal frames). For this frames (especially in a large plane's
fuselages) their can is essential a load being a corollary of fuselage axis bending deformation.
Let's allocate a ring of length dx from a fuselage with the help of cross sections and
then figure it in a deformed condition under some bending moment Мz operation (fig. 9). In a
fig. 10 its cross-section is shown schematically. Let's allocate from a design one of stringers
with a skin affixed to it (fig. 11).

Fig. 7 Fig. 8

Fig. 9 Fig. 10

It is easy to see, that the Pi forces give vertical component

Pi dx
dN  2 P sin   Pi 2  .

Mz 1 Mz
Pi   i Fi y i 
Iz and  EI z ,
than we'll get
M z2
dN i   i Fi y i dx
EI z2 (1)
These forces together with уi coordinate change the sign and therefore the ring appears
loaded as it is figured in a fig. 12. Toting force (1) by all ring, it is easy to convince, that they
are mutually counterbalanced.
Thin skins are not capable to counteract the cross-section flattening effect and this role
is laid to normal frames. If the arrangement pitch of the last is equal to a than each of normal
frames loading will be recorded as:
M z2  i
Ni 
 EI z2
Fi y i dx
2 ,
at the stationary Mz values and it gives
M z2 a i Fi y i
Ni 
EI z2
. (2)

Fig. 11 Fig. 12

The normal frame should counteract flattening made by this load, which application
scheme is similar figured on a fig. 12.
The calculation can be conducted by known mechanics methods. However it is
necessary to mean, that the sufficient normal frame strength detected by such calculation,
does not guarantee the fuselage will not flatten. This means that as a result of fuselage frame
flattening under an system of Ni forces operation the inertia moment of area Iz will decrease
and that will cause the further flattening loads growth [see formula (2)].
At some normal frame bending stiffness value such process can appear continuous and
the fuselage will be destroyed. This phenomenon has a character of stability loss and it
appears more probable in case of large plane fuselages.
With some reserve for the normal ring frame minimum inertia moment of area can be
determined by the empirical formula
M z2 R 4 a m
I r  0.7 (3)
E 2 I z2
Here Мz — the bending moment of a fuselage cross-section by a frame;
R — the circle radius of a fuselage cross-section;
a — a pitch of normal frames statement;
— the "thickness" of a fuselage skin with the stringers, "spread" on a contour. It is
equal to the area of a stringer with an affixed skin, divided on a stringer pitch. It is
supposed here, that m is constant over the contour:
f  t sk
 m  st ,
EIz - bending fuselage stiffness in this cross-section.
In summary let's mark, that frames calculation methods explained here [except for the
formula (3)] are rested in essence on a hypothesis about a nondeformability of a frame
contour in its plane.
The similar calculations with reference to ribs were justified enough by that the last
usually have the web. The rib deformations in its plane appear minor in this case, and they
can be neglected.

Other picture is observed in a frame. The last, as a rule, one has essentially changes its
shape under load. The frame contour points displacements, observed at it, call additional
shifts in a skin and by that change the bending moments on a frame. Thus the system of
additional stress resultants and moments appears, essentially varying a character of a stress
state as of a frame, and of skin.
The frames calculation including its deformations in its planes is represented by
considerably more composite problem. This problem is not illuminated here. Let's mark only,
that the rectification to the frame elasticity will reduce the bending moments of this frame
and will give an additional shift load to the applied skin.