Department of Civil Engineering

University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan
Three Moment
Equation
Theory of Structure - I
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Technology, Taxila, Pakistan
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Lecture Outlines

 Introduction
 Proof of Three Moment Equation
 Example
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Introduction
 Developed by French Engineer Clapeyron in
1857.
 This equation relates the internal moments in
a continuous beam at three points of support
to the loads acting between the supports.
 By successive application of this equation
to each span of the beam, one obtains a set
of equations that may be solved
simultaneously for the unknown internal
moments at the support.
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Proof: Real Beam
 A general form of three moment equation can
be developed by considering the span of a
continuous beam.
L
C R
M
L
M
C
M
C
M
R
P
1
P
2
P
3
P
4
W
L
W
R
L
L
L
R
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Conjugate Beam (applied
loads)
 The formulation will be based on the
conjugate-beam method.
 Since the “real beam” is continuous over the
supports, the conjugate-beam has hinges at
L, C and R.
L’
X
L
X
R
L
L
L
R
C
L
1
C
R
1
R’
A
L
/EI
L
A
R
/EI
R
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Conjugate Beam (internal
moments)
 Using the principle of superposition, the M /
EI diagram for the internal moments is
shown.
L’ L
L
L
R
C
L
2
C
R
2
R’
M
L
/EI
L
M
C
/EI
L
M
C
/EI
R
M
R
/EI
R
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 In particular A
L
/EI
L
and A
R
/EI
R
represent the
total area under their representative M / EI
diagrams; and x
L
and x
R
locate their
centroids.
 Since the slope of real beam is continuous
over the center support, we require the shear
forces for the conjugate beam.
) (
2 1 2 1
R R L L
C C C C + ÷ = +
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( ) ( )
L
L C
L
L L
L
L L
L L
L
C
L L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L L
EI
L M
EI
L M
EI
x A
L L
EI
M
L L
EI
M
L
x
EI
A
L
C C
3 6
3
2
2
1
3
1
2
1 1
) (
1
2 1
+ + =
(
¸
(

¸

|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = +
 Summing moments about point L’ for left
span, we have



 Summing moments about point R’ for the
right span yields
( ) ( )
R
R C
R
R R
R
R R
R R
R
C
R R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R R
EI
L M
EI
L M
EI
x A
L L
EI
M
L L
EI
M
L
x
EI
A
L
C C
3 6
3
2
2
1
3
1
2
1 1
) (
1
2 1
+ + =
(
¸
(

¸

|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = +
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 Equating


 and simplifying yields
) (
2 1 2 1
R R L L
C C C C + ÷ = +
¿ ¿
÷ ÷ = +
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
R R
R R
L L
L L
R
R R
R
R
L
L
C
L
L L
L I
x A
L I
x A
I
L M
I
L
I
L
M
I
L M 6 6
2
General Equation
(1)
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Eq. Modification for point load
and uniformly distributed load
 Summation signs have been added to the
terms on the right so that M/EI diagrams for
each type of applied load can be treated
separately.

 In practice the most common types of
loadings encountered are concentrated and
uniform distributed loads.
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L C C R C R
L
L
K
L
L
L
K
R
L
R
P
L
P
R
w

( ) ( )
R
R R
L
L L
R R
R
R R
L L
L
L L
R
R R
R
R
L
L
C
L
L L
I
L w
I
L w
k k
I
L P
k k
I
L P
I
L M
I
L
I
L
M
I
L M
4 4
2
3 3
3
2
3
2
÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ = +
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
¿ ¿
 If the areas and centroidal distances for their
M/EI diagrams are substituted in to 3-Moment
equation,
(2)
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Special Case:
 If the moment of inertia is constant for the
entire span, I
L
= I
R
.

( ) ( ) ( )
4 4
2
3 3
3 2 3 2
R R L L
R R R R L L L L R R R L C L L
L w L w
k k L P k k L P L M L L M L M ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ = + + +
¿ ¿
(3)
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Example:
 Determine the reactions at the supports for
the beam shown. The moment of inertia of
span AB is one half that of span BC.
15k
3 k/ft
I 0.5 I
25 ft 15 ft 5 ft
A C
B
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 M
L
= 0
 L
L
= 25ft
 I
L
= 0.5I
 P
L
= 0
 w
L
= 3k/ft
 k
L
= 0
 M
C
= M
B
 L
R
= 20ft
 I
R
= I
 P
R
= 15k
 w
R
= 0
 k
R
= 0.25
 M
R
= 0

Data
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 Substituting the values in equation 2,
( )
f t k M
I I I I
M
B
B
. 5 . 177
0
5 . 0 * 4
25 * 3
25 . 0 25 . 0
20 * 15
0 0
20
5 . 0
25
2 0
3
3
2
÷ =
÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ = +
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
¿
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 For span AB:
k V
V
F
k A
A
M
A F
BL
BL
y
y
y
B
x x
6 . 44
0 75 4 . 30
; 0
4 . 30
0 ) 5 . 12 ( 75 5 . 177 ) 25 (
; 0
0 ; 0
=
= + ÷
=
=
= + ÷ ÷
=
= =
¿
¿
¿
75 k
A B
12.5’ 12.5’
V
BL
177.5k.ft
A
y
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 For span BC:
k V
V
F
k C
C
M
BR
BR
y
y
y
B
6 . 12
0 15 38 . 2
; 0
38 . 2
0 ) 15 ( 15 5 . 177 ) 20 (
; 0
=
= + ÷
=
=
= + +
=
¿
¿
15 k
B C
15 ft 5 ft
V
BR
177.5k.ft
C
y
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 A free body diagram of the differential
segment of the beam that passes over roller
at B is shown in figure.
k B
B
F
y
y
y
2 . 57
0 6 . 12 6 . 44
0
=
= ÷ ÷
=
¿
B
y
44.6 k

12.6 k

177.5k.ft 177.5k.ft
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Practice Problems:
 Chapter 9
 Example 9-11 to 9-13 and Exercise
 Structural Analysis by R C Hibbeler
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