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# The deformation of a beam is usually expressed in terms of its deflection from

its original unloaded position. The deflection is measured from the original neutral
surface of the beam to the neutral surface of the deformed beam. The configuration
assumed by the deformed neutral surface is known as the elastic curve of the beam.

Methods of Determining Beam Deflections

Numerous methods are available for the determination of beam deflections.
These methods include:

1. Double-integration method
2. Area-moment method
3. Conjugate-beam method
4. Strain-energy method (Castigliano's Theorem)
5. Method of superposition

Of these methods, the first three are the ones that are commonly used.

Double Integration Method

The working equation for the double integration method is:

EI (d
2
y/dx
2
) = M
EI dy/dx

= Mdx + C
1

EI y = M(dx)(dx) + C
1
x

+ C
2

where x and y are the coordinates shown in the figure of the elastic curve of the
beam under load, y is the deflection of the beam at any distance x.

E = the modulus of elasticity of the beam,
I = represent the moment of inertia about the neutral axis,
M = bending moment at a distance x from the end of the beam.

EI is called the flexural rigidity of the beam.

The first integration dy/dx yields the slope of the elastic curve and the second
integration y gives the deflection of the beam at any distance x. The resulting solution
must contain two constants of integration, C
1
and C
2
, since EI d
2
y/dx
2
= M is of
second order. These two constants must be evaluated from known boundary
conditions concerning the slope and deflection at certain points of the beam. For
instance, in the case of a simply supported beam with rigid supports, at x = 0 and x = L,
the deflection y = 0, and in locating the point of maximum deflection, we simply set
the slope of the elastic curve dy/dx to zero.

The first important part of the method is the formulation of a single moment
equation M which is applicable for any value of x. For this purpose, the pointed
bracket < > is used such that the value of the function inside the pointed bracket is
neglected or made zero if it is negative for a certain value of x.

Problem: Obtain the deflection at point B of the beam below. Assume EI is constant all throughout.
the span of the beam.
Figure:

Solution: 200N
450 N/m

Moment equation M: A B C D

0 x < 2 2m 1m 2m

M = 400x
400N 920N

2 x < 3: V M

M = 400x - 200 <x-2>

3 x < 5
x 200N
M = 400x - 200 <x-2> - 450<x-3><x-3>/2 400 N
V M
Single Moment equation
2m x-2
M = 400x - 200 <x-2> - 450 <x-3><x-3>/2 x
= 400x - 200 <x-2> - 450 <x-3>
2
/2
400N 200N 450N/m
V M
Note: the single moment equation is formulated
by cutting at the last beam segment with possible
change in moment. 2m 1m x-3
400N x

M = 400x - 200 <x-2> - 225<x-3>
2

EI (d
2
y/dx
2
) = M

EI (d
2
y/dx
2
) = 400x - 200 <x-2> - 225 <x-3>
2

EI dy/dx

= 400x
2
/2 - 200<x-2>
2
/2 - 225<x-3>
3
/3 + C
1

= 200 x
2
- 100<x-2>
2
- 75<x-3>
3
+ C
1

EI y = 200x
3
/3 - 100<x-2>
3
/3 - 75<x-3>
4
/4 + C
1
x + C
2
eqn. 1

Boundary conditions:

At point A : At point D :
x = 0 ; y = 0, x = 5 : y = 0
Thus, from eqn. 1 Thus, from eqn. 1
0 = 0 0 0 + 0 + C
2
EI (0) = 200(5)
3
/3 - 100<5-2>
3
/3 - 75<5 - 3>
4
/4 + C
1
5 + 0

C
2
= 0 C
1
= - [8333.33 - 900 - 300] / 5
= - 1426.67
Thus:

EI y = 200x
3
/3 - 100<x-2>
3
/3 - 75<x-3>
4
/4 - 1426.67x

At point B , x = 2 m. negative
EI y
B
= 200(2)
3
/3 - 100<2-2>
3
/3 - 75<2- 3>
4
/4 - 1426.67(2)
EI y
B
= 533.333 - 2853.33
y
B
= - 2320 /EI (answer) . The NEGATIVE SIGN means downward.

Problem: For the previous problem, obtain the maximum deflection of the beam.

Solution;

For simply supported beams, the point of maximum deflection is where the slope of
the tangent to the elastic curve is zero, or dy/dx = 0

Assume that the point of maximum deflection is within the range 0 x < 2

EI dy/dx

=

200 x
2
- 100 <x-2>
2
- 75 <x-3>
3
- 1426.67
0 = 200x
2
- 100 <x-2>
2
- 75 <x-3>
3
- 1426.67
x = 2.67 m which is outside the range 0 x < 2, hence, analysis not correct

Assume that the point of maximum deflection is within the range 2 < x < 3

EI dy/dx

=

200 x
2
- 100 <x-2>
2
- 75 <x-3>
3
- 1426.67
0 = 200x
2
- 100 <x-2>
2
- 75 <x-3>
3
- 1426.67
0 = 200x
2
- 100 x
2
+ 400x - 400 1426.67
0 = 100 x
2
+ 400x 1826.67

- 400 + (400)
2
- 4(100)(-1826.67)
x = ------------------------------------------------------------------ = 2.72 m which is within 2 x <
3,
2(100) therefore, analysis is correct.

Thus, the maximum deflection is at x = 2.72m and

EI y = 200x
3
/3 - 100<x-2>
3
/3 - 75<x-3>
4
/4 - 1426.67x

EI y
max
= 200(2.72)
3
/3 - 100 <2.72-2>
3
/3 - 1426.67(2.72)
= 1341.576 12.442 - 3880.542

y
max
= - 2551.408/EI (answer) The negative sign means downward.

Problem: Obtain the deflection at the free end of the cantilever beam shown below. Assume
that EI is constant all throughout the beams span.

Solution: Figure: w
P

M
A
= 0 A B
C
M
A

w(L/2)(L/4) + PL M
A
= 0 L/2 L/2
M
A
= w(L
2
/8) + PL R
A

F
y
= 0 w
P
R
A
w(L/2) P = 0 M
A

R
A
= wL/2 + P

Single moment equation: (Note: extend w to end of w
beam and counter the extended w so that R
A

the net effect is zero.)

L/2 L/2
M = -M
A
+ R
A
(x) - wx
2
/2 + w < x L/2> < x L/2>/2 wx
= - M
A
+ R
A
x - wx
2
/2 + w <x L/2>
2
/2 w
thus: V
EI d
2
y/dx
2
= - M
A
+ R
A
x - wx
2
/2 + w<x L/2>
2
/2 M
A
M
EI dy/dx = - M
A
x + R
A
x
2
/2 - wx
3
/[(2)(3)] w
+ w<x L/2>
3
/[(2)(3)] + C
1
eqn. 1 R
A

EIy = - M
A
x
2
/2 + R
A
x
3
/[(2)(3)] - wx
4
/[(2)(3)(4)] L/2 x L/2
+ w<x L/2>
4
/[(2)(3)(4)] + C
1
x + C
2
x
w(x L/2)
EIy = - M
A
x
2
/2 + R
A
x
3
/(6) - wx
4
/(24) + w<x L/2>
4
/(24) + C
1
x + C
2
eqn. 2

Boundary conditions:
at A : x = 0 ; y = 0,
thus , from eqn. 2 , C
2
= 0
at A : x = 0 ; dy/dx = 0 (slope of tangent to the elastic curve is horizontal at the fixed support)
thus, from eqn. 1, C
1
= 0

Thus:
EIy = - M
A
x
2
/2 + R
A
x
3
/(6) - wx
4
/(24) + w<x L/2>
4
/(24) eqn. 2

At free end (point C), x = L, and

EIy
C
= - M
A
L
2
/2 + R
A
L
3
/(6) - wL
4
/(24) + w<L L/2>
4
/(24)

= - [w(L
2
/8) + PL] L
2
/2 + [wL/2 + P] L
3
/(6) - wL
4
/(24) + w<L L/2>
4
/[(24)]

= - wL
4
/16

- PL
3
/ 2 + wL
4
/12 + PL
3
/ 6 - wL
4
/(24) + wL
4
/(384)

= wL
4
[ -1/16 + 1/12 1/24 + 1/384] + PL
3
[ -1/2 + 1/6]

= wL
4
[ -24 + 32 16 + 1]/384 + PL
3
[ -3 +1]/6

y
C
= [ - 7wL
4
/384 - PL
3
/ 3 ] / EI (answer) The NEGATIVE SIGN means DOWNWARD..

AREA MOMENT METHOD

Theorem I :
M/EI diagram Area =
A
The change in slope between tangents drawn
to the elastic curve at any two points A and B is
equal to the product of 1/EI multiplied by the area c.g.
in the moment diagram between these two points
(
AB
= A) A
B
x
Theorem II:
elastic curve
The deviation of any point B relative to a
tangent drawn to the elastic curve at any other A
B
point A, in a direction perpendicular to the original
position of the beam, is equal to the product of
1/EI multiplied by the moment of area about B
AB

t
B/A

of that part of the moment diagram between points
A and B.
(t
B/A
= A x )

Sign Convention:

+ve : A B

AB
: counterclockwise
t
B/A
: point B is above the tangent at A

AB
t
B/A

-ve:

AB
: clockwise
t
B/A
: point B is below the tangent at A

AB
t
B/A

A B
Problem: Using area-moment method, obtain the deflection at point C of the beam
below. Assume EI is constant all throughout the beams span.
P P

Solution: A B C
D

Theorem II:

EIt
D/A
= [(1/2)(PL/3)(L/3)(2L/9) P L/3 L/3 L/3
P
+ (PL/3)(L/3)(L/6 + L/3)
+(1/2)(PL/3)(L/3)( L/9 + 2L/3)] V diagram P

= PL
3
[1/81 + 1/18 + 7/162]
= PL
3
/9

EIt
C/A
= [(PL/3)(L/3)(L/6) M- diagram -P
+ (1/2)((PL/3)(L/3)(L/3+L/9)] PL/3

= PL
3
[ 1/54 + 4/162]
= 7PL
3
/162]
L/9 L/6 L/9 2L/9
By similar triangles;
Elastic curve A C
D
t
D/A
/L = [ t
C/A
+
C
] / (2L/3)

c

C
= (2/3) t
D/A
- t
C/A
) t
C/A

t
D/A

= ( PL
3
)[ (2/3)(1/9) 7/162]/EI

C
= 5PL
3
/(162EI) (Answer)

Problem: For the beam in the previous problem, find the maximum deflection.

Solution:

At the point of maximum deflection m, the M diagram: PL/3
tangent to the elastic curve is horizontal.

From the figure of the elastic curve, 2L/9
L/3 L/3 L/3

A
=
Am
x

For small angles: A m D

A
= t
D/A
/ L = PL
2
/9EI (eqn. 1)
A

m

am
t
m/A
t
D/A

From theorem I:
EI
am
= (PL

/3)(L/3) + PL /3( x L/3) (eqn. 2)

Thus, the location of maximum deflection is solved:
PL
2
/ 9 = (PL

/3)(L/3) + PL /3( x L/3)
x = L/2 (or at midspan) By similar triangle:
(
m
+ t
m/A
)/ (L/2) =

t
D/A
/L
Theorem II:
m
= t
D/A
/2 - t
m/A

EIt
m/A
= (PL/3)(L/3)(L/2 2L/9) = PL
3
[1/18 5/648]/EI
+(PL/3)(L/2 L/3)(L/2 L/3)/2

= 31PL
3
/648EI

= 5PL
3
/ 648
MOMENT DIAGRAM BY PARTS:

1. The resultant bending moment at any section caused
by any load system is the algebraic sum of the bending
moments at that section caused by each load acting
separately, or:

M = (M)
L
= (M)
R

where (M)
L
= sum of moments caused by all forces to
the left of the section.

x

(M)
R
= sum of moments caused by all forces to y = kx
n

the left of the section.

h
2. The moment effect of any single specified loading is
always some variation of the general equation

y = k x
n
b

with area = [1/(n+1)] bh

and center x = [1/(n+2)] b

Moment diagrams of cantilever beam:

1. Couple or moment 3. Uniform w
o

Area = -CL Area = -1/6w
o
L
3

x = L/2 x = L/4
degree of curve = 0 degree of curve = 2

2. Concentrated P 4. Triangular w
o

Area = - PL
2
Area = -1/24w
o
L
3

x = L/3 x = L/5
degree of curve = 1 degree of curve = 3

Problem: For the beam loaded as shown in the figure below, (a) Draw the moment diagram by
parts
with respect to left support A . (b) Compute the deviation of point A with respect to
a tangent drawn at point B. (c) Compute the deflection at 3m from left support of the
beam.
Assume constant EI.

Solution: Figure:

M
A
= 0
R
2
(4) = 500(2) + 400(3)(1.5) c
R
2
= 700N

F
y
= 0
R
1
+ R
2
= 500 + 400(3)
R
1
= 500 + 1200 +- 700
R
1
= 1000N

(a) The moment diagram by parts, with respect to
point A, are drawn by considering a fixed support
at A and drawing the moment diagrams due
to each load.

- The moment diagram due to R
2
of 700N is triangular with moment at A = 700(4) = 2800 N.-
m.
- The moment diagram due to 500 N is triangular with moment at A = -500(2) = -1000 N.-m.
- The moment diagram due to 400N/m is parabolic with moment at A = -(400)(3)
2
= - 1800 N.-
m.

(b) t
A/B
: By Theorem II

EI t
A/B
= (2800)(4)(4/3) + (-1000)(2)(2/3) +
1/3(-1800)(3)(3/4)

= 5450 N-m

(c) Deflection at point C, 3m from left support

EI t
C/B
= (2800/4)((1)(1/3)
= 116.67

by similar triangles:

t
A/B
/4 = (t
C/B
+
c
)/1

c
= t
A/
B /4 - t
C/B

= 1/EI[5450/4 116.67]

= 1245.83/EI downward as assumed (Answer) A C
B

c

t
A/B

t
C/B

Problem : For the beam shown in figure below, compute the value of P that will cause
the tangent to the elastic curve over support C to be horizontal. What will then
be the value of EI under the 100-lb load?

Figure: 100 lb.
P
Solution:
A B C
D
M
C
= 0

R
A
(10) = (100)(6) - P(3) 4ft 6ft 3ft
R
A
= 60 - 0.3P R
A
= 60 - 0.3P R
C

20/3 ft

10R
A
= 600
3P

The moment diagram by parts with = 432
lb-ft
respect to point c is shown at the left. 172.8.

If the tangent to the elastic curve over support
C is horizontal, then; 2ft
4ft - 3P
EI t
A/C
= 0
0 = (600 3P)(10)(20/3) + (-600)(6)(8) -600

P = 56 lbs. A B C
thus:
600 3P = 432

B
= t
B/C

and, under the 100-load:
EI
B
= EI t
B/C
= (432)(6)(4) + (172.8)(6)(2) (600)(6)(4)
= - 979.2 lbs. ft
3
( negative sign means that point B in the elastic curve is below the tangent drawn at
C.)
CONJUGATE BEAM METHOD

Actual Beam Conjugate Beam

EIy = deflection EI d
2
y/ dx
2
= M

EI dy/dx = slope EI d
3
y/ dx
3
= dM/dx = V

EI d
2
y/ dx
2
= moment = M EI d
4
y/ dx
4
= dV/dx = load

Thus:

1. If M/EI of the actual beam is used as the fictitious load in the conjugate beam,

2. The fictitious or conjugate shear is equal to the actual slope, and

3. The fictitious or conjugate moment is equal to the actual deflection.

Actual beam Conjugate beam

y = 0 y = 0 M = 0 M = 0
slope 0 slope 0 V 0 V 0

y = 0 y 0 M = 0 M 0
slope = 0 slope 0 V = 0 V 0

y = 0 M= 0
slope 0 V 0

Problem: Using conjugate beam method, obtain the deflection at point C of
the beam
below. Assume EI is constant all throughout the beams span.

Solution: Figure: P P

The moment diagram of the beam is A B C
D
shown in figure (b).

The conjugate beam in this case is L/3 L/3 L/3
the same as the actual beam, and it is P (a)
P
loaded with M/EI diagram as shown in PL/3
figure (c)

Analyzing the conjugate beam: (b)
M
D
= o PL/3EI
R
A,con
(L) = 1/EI [(1/2)(PL/3)(L/3)(2L/9)
+ (PL/3)(L/3)(L/6 + L/3)
+(1/2)(PL/3)(L/3)( L/9 + 2L/3)]
R
A,con
= PL
2
/9EI L/9 L/6
2L/9
R
A,con

Cutting at C, and obtaining moment (c)
M
C.con
= R
A,con
(2/3)(L) (PL/3EI)(L/3)(L/3 + L/9) (PL/3EI)(L/3)(L/6)

= 5PL
3
/162EI (answer)