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Principles of Statics

Statics is a branch of mechanics which studies the effects and distribution of forces of
rigid bodies which are and remain at rest. In this area of mechanics, the body in which
forces are acting is assumed to be rigid. The deformation of non-rigid bodies is treated
in Strength of Materials.

Topics in Statics:

 Resultant of Force System

 Equilibrium of Force System

 Analysis of Trusses

 Cables

 Friction

 Centroids and Centers of Mass

 Moments of Inertia

Forces acting at some angle from the the coordinate axes can be resolved into mutually
perpendicular forces called components. The component of a force parallel to the x-axis
is called the x-component, parallel to y-axis the y-component, and so on.

Components of a Force in XY Plane

Resultant of
Concurrent Force
Resultant of a force system is a force or a couple that will have the same effect to the
body, both in translation and rotation, if all the forces are removed and replaced by the

Note that according to the type of force system, one or two or three of the equations
above will be used in finding the resultant.

Resultant of Coplanar Concurrent Force System

The line of action of each forces in coplanar concurrent force system are on the same
plane. All of these forces meet at a common point, thus concurrent. In x-y plane, the
resultant can be found by the following formulas:

Coplanar Parallel Force System

Parallel forces can be in the same or in opposite
directions. The sign of the direction can be chosen
arbitrarily, meaning, taking one direction as
positive makes the opposite direction negative.
The complete definition of the resultant is
according to its magnitude, direction, and line of

Resultant of Distributed Loads

The resultant of a distributed load is equal to the area of the load diagram. It is acting
at the centroid of that area as indicated. The figure below shows the three common
distributed loads namely; rectangular load, triangular load, and trapezoidal load.
The body is said to be in equilibrium if the resultant of all forces acting on it is zero.
There are two major types of static equilibrium, namely, translational equilibrium and
rotational equilibrium.

Equilibrium of Force System

Concurrent force system

Parallel Force System


Non-Concurrent Non-Parallel Force System