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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)

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