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CEE 371 Modeling of Structural Systems Spring 2004

SAMPLE EXAM PROBLEMS

These problems, most from earlier exams in CEE 371 or CEE 372 given by Professor Abel, will
be covered or discussed in the review sessions to be held on May 10, 11, and 17.

WGS Problem 22.1 (to be covered on May 10 and 11, with handout)

Consider a W21x55 beam, simply supported, laterally braced, and spanning 40 ft., with a
uniformly distributed load of 1 kip/ft over its entire length. At 10 ft from the left end, calculate
and plot the bending stress, the shear flow, the shear stress, the principal stresses, the maximum
shear stress, and the directions of first principal stress as measured +CCW from the x-axis.
Section properties of the beam are depth= 20.80”, flange width = 8.22”, flange thickness =
0.522”, web thickness = 0.375”, I = 1,140 in4.

Problem suggested by one student on his/her 4”x6” card

Solve the following beam problem by both the Force Method and the Stiffness Method. The
beam has uniform EI.
q
P

6 @ L/2 = 3L

CEE 372 Prelim I, Fall 1997, Problem 2 (45 points = 45 minutes)

2. [45 points total] Your younger sister, an elementary school student, is building a simplified
model of a suspension bridge for a science fair. The scheme of the bridge is shown in Figure
2. Your sister wishes to place a model truck of weight P at the midspan hinge as shown. She
also knows that you are taking CEE 372 and faxes you a sketch of the bridge with the request
that you tell her how much deflection to expect at midspan. She gives you enough
information to know that (1) the beam has a uniform flexural stiffness of EI and a sufficiently
large cross-section that you can neglect the shearing and axial deformation in the beam, (b)
the main cable is so much larger than the other members that you can neglect any
deformation in it, and (c) the two slender hanger cables each have a uniform axial stiffness
AE and a negligible flexural stiffness. To impress your sister, you will use the high-sounding
“Principle of Virtual Forces” in the form of the unit dummy load method. Take advantage of
symmetry wherever possible and for now use symbolic rather than numerical values of EI
and AE.

(a) Draw the free-body, shear, and moment diagrams for the full length of the beam a-b-c-
d-e. Show all critical values on the diagrams. (Note that the beam is supported only at
CEE 371 Modeling of Structural Systems -2- Spring 2004

a, b, d & e, and has an internal hinge at c.)


(b) Calculate the deflection of point c including the flexural effects of the beam and the
stretching of the hanger cables.

Figure 2

L/12
P
a b c d e
4 @ L/4

CEE 372, Prelim II, Fall 1997, Problems 1 & 2 (each point = 1 minute)

1. [15 points total] What is the degree of static indeterminacy of the idealization of the highway
overpass structure shown in Figure 1? Draw four (4) primary structures for this problem.
Indicate which one of the four you would use if you were to perform a force method analysis,
and explain your rationale for the choice. (Do NOT perform the analysis.)

Figure 1

2. [30 points total] Verify the fixed-end moment case shown in Figure 2 using the force
method. EI is uniform. Neglect axial deformations of the beam. Draw the shear and
bending moment diagrams and sketch the deflected shape for this beam.

M
mA mB mA = + M/4 mB = + M/4

/2 /2 Figure 2


CEE 371 Modeling of Structural Systems -3- Spring 2004

Modification of CEE 372 Prelim II, Fall 97, Problems 3 & 4

3. [30 points total] Use the Direct Stiffness Method to analyze the structure shown in
Figure 3. However, replace the L-shaped bracket with load P with its equivalent loads
at the midspan of member a-b. You may make use of the result shown in Figure 2
above. E is uniform, and the relative values of I are shown in Figure 3. Neglect all
axial deformations, i.e., assume that all members are axially inextensible. What are the
unknown nodal displacements for this problem? Set up the stiffness equations {Pf} =
[Kff] {Δf} for these free degrees of freedom but do NOT solve these for the
displacements.

L/4
P Figure 3
L/4
b
a 4I 2I c

3I P/L L

L/2 L/2 L

CEE 372, Final Exam, Fall 1997, Problems 1 & 2 (each point = 1 minute)

1. [36 points total]. This problem deals with application of the direct stiffness method to grid
structures, i.e., two-dimensional framed structures lying in the x-y plane and with loads
applied only in the z-direction, that is, perpendicular to the x-y plane. For these structures,
axial effects are neglected, and the only relevant displacements are w translations in the z-
direction (perpendicular to the x-y plane) and θ x and θ y rotations about axes in the plane
which are some combination of flexure and torsion. The 6x6 stiffness matrix [k'] for a grid
member with Young’s modulus E, shear modulus G, area A, flexural moment of inertia I,
torsional constant (torsional moment of inertia) J, and length L is given by:
CEE 371 Modeling of Structural Systems -4- Spring 2004

 12 EI 6 EI 12 EI 6 EI 
 L3 0 − | − 0 −
L2 L3 L2 
 
 0 JG JG
 Fzi  0 | 0 − 0   wi 
 L L 
M   6 EI θ 
 x 'i  4 EI 6 EI 2 EI   x 'i 
− 2 0 | 0 
 M y 'i   L L L2 L   θ y 'i 
   
− − −  =  − − − −−− −−− −−− −−− −−− −−− − − − 
 F     w 
 zj   − 12 EI 0
6 EI
|
12 EI
0
6 EI 
 j 
 M x' j   L3 L2 L3 L2   θx' j 
M   JG JG  θ 
 y' j   0 − 0 | 0 0   y' j 
 L L 
 6 EI 2 EI 6 EI 4 EI 
 − 2 0 | 0 
 L L L2 L 

(a) [10 points] First consider a grid member at an arbitrary angle φ (measured CCW from
the x-axis) in the x-y plane as shown in plan view in Figure 1(a). What is the 6x6 [Γ]
matrix for this member?

(b) [26 points] For the two-member grid structure shown in plan view in Figure 1(b), what is
the degree of kinematic indeterminacy? Identify symbolically the vector of free degrees
of freedom, {Δf}. Then assemble (by the member-by-member approach) only the matrix
[Kff] for this structure in symbolic (not numeric) form. The two members have the same
uniform E, G, I, A, J, and L. [Hint: Because members ac and bc are aligned parallel and
perpendicular to the overall x-axis, respectively, you do NOT need to use the [Γ] matrix
from part (a) to obtain [k]bc but can use appropriate row and column permutations.]

θ
y’j
θ
x’j
y x’ y, x’bc

θ
y’i j
φ a c x, x’ac
θ
x’i
i
Figure 1(a) Figure 1(b)
x
b
Note: For each figure, the +z axis is directed up from the page.
CEE 371 Modeling of Structural Systems -5- Spring 2004

2. [36 points total] More on the direct stiffness method. Do not neglect axial effects in this
problem. What is the degree of static indeterminacy for the structure shown in Figure 2?
What is the degree of kinematic indeterminacy? List in vector form symbolically the free
degrees of freedom {Df} that you would use for a direct stiffness analysis. Then, in an order
that corresponds to the entries in {Df}, write the numerical form of the vector {Qf}. Use
units of kN and m.

50 kN 20 kN-m 4 kN/m

5 kN/m B C D
3m

A
4m 5m 6m

Figure 2

CEE 372, Final Exam, Fall 1997, Problem 5 (each point = 1 minute)
[This is intended as a sample of the type of written questions that Prof. Abel frequently asks.
The solutions to this problem will not be specifically discussed. Note that the portions of the
question in small type relate to topics not covered in Spring 2004 CEE 371.]

5. [24 points total] In a few sentences for each, explain and give the significance of only
four of the following eight items (your choice) [6 points each]. (Be sure to re-state the
letter and item name at the beginning of each of your answers.)

(a) Three basic types of equations of structural mechanics/analysis.


(b) 2nd -order inelastic analysis.
(c) Kinematic instability vs. structural stability.
(d) Portal method vs. cantilever method.

(e) Maxwell reciprocal theorem.


(f) Influence coefficients.
(g) Primary (or released) structure.
(h) Slope-deflection equations.