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Original Title: Chapter 3 Plane Trusses (Revised)

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(i) the method of joints and

(ii) the method of sections.

(B) Identify tension and compression members, zero force members by method of

inspection.

1. Plane Truss

A truss is an assemblage of straight members connected at their ends by flexible

connections to form a rigid configuration. The members are usually formed into

triangular patterns to produce an efficient, lightweight and load bearing structure.

Although joints are typically formed by welding or bolting truss bars to gusset plates,

in most structural analysis, the members are commonly assumed to be connected at the

joints by frictionless pins. Since no moment can be transferred through a frictionless

pin joint, truss members are assumed to carry only axial force either tension or

compression. All the members of a truss and the applied loads lie in a single plane,

the truss is called a plane truss.

The upper and lower members of a truss, which can be either horizontal or sloping, are

called top and bottom chords. The chords are connected by vertical and diagonal

members.

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Fig

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The simplest internally stable plane truss can be formed

f by connecting three members

triangle. This triangular truss is called the basic

at their ends by hinges to form a triangle.

truss element.

In contrast, a rectangular t ends by

hinges is internally unstable because it will change

change its shape and collapse when subject

to a general system of coplanar forces.

Figure

re 3 Stable and Unstable Configurations

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Example 1

30 kN

30 kN

20 kN

5m

A B

5m 5m 5m 5m

Solution

30 kN

30 kN

20 kN

5m

A B

HA

VA VB

5m 5m 5m 5m

X = 0, HA = 20 kN

30*10 + 30*15 20*2.5 VB*20 = 0

VB = 35 kN

Y = 0, 30 + 30 = VA + VB

VA = 25 kN

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All members are connected only at their ends by frictionless hinges in plane

trusses.

All loads and support reactions are applied only at the joints.

The centroid axis of each member coincides with the line connecting the centers

of the adjacent joints.

The member forces in a statically determinate truss can be found by making use of the

equations of equilibrium. The process is to consider different free-body diagrams of

parts of the structures.

(i) Method of Joint

(ii) Method of Section

In practice, it is often convenient to use a combination of the two methods. The key

is to choose the most convenient free-body diagram.

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If a truss is in equilibrium, then each of its joints must also be in equilibrium. Hence,

the Method of Joints consists of satisfying the equilibrium conditions Fx = 0 and Fy

= 0 for the forces exerted on the pin at each joint of the truss.

1. In this method, a free-body of each joint is considered, one joint at a time.

2. Two independent equilibrium equations are available for each joint.

3. You should work each time with at a joint with only TWO unknown member

forces.

4. Once the unknown forces at one joint are determined, they become known forces

for other joints.

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Example 2

Determine the magnitudes and the types of forces in all members of the

following truss.

Solution

Step 1

In order to simplify the analysis, we just only consider part of the truss.

Take joint B as free body,

Step 2

If a truss is in equilibrium, then each of its joints must also be in equilibrium.

Fx = 0

FBC = -707.1kN(Negative value means that we assume the wrong sense of the

member force BC. Member BC should be in

compression.)

Fy = 0

-707.1 sin 45o + FBA = 0

FBA = +500 kN (Positive value means that we assume the right sense of the

member force BA. Member BA should be in tension.)

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Step 3

Repeat steps 1 to 2 for joint C.

Fx = 0

FAC = 500 kN (Positive value means that we assume the right sense of the

member force AC. Member AC should be in tension.)

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Example 3

Determine the magnitudes and the types of forces in all members of the following

truss.

Solution

Take joint B as free body

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Fy = 0

FCD * sin 26.6o+ 115 = 0

FCD = -257 kN(Negative value means that we assume the wrong sense of the

member force CD. Member CD should be in

compression.)

Fx = 0

FBC + FCD * cos26.6o = 0

FBC + (-257) * cos26.6o = 0

FBC = 230 kN (Positive value means that we assume the right sense of the

member force BC. Member BC should be in tension.)

Fy = 0

FBD = 120 kN (Tension)

Fx =0

FAB = 230 kN (Tension)

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Fx = 0

FDE * cos26.6o +FAD * cos 45o = -257 * cos 26.6o

FDE + 0.8 * FAD = -257

257

Fy = 0

FDE * sin 26.6o =FAD * sin 45o + 120 +(-257) * sin 26.6o

FDE = 1.58 * FAD +11

FAD = -112.6

112.6 kN (Compression)

FDE = -167 kN (Compression)

Fy = 0

167) * sin 26.6o = 0

FAE +(-167)

FAE = 75 kN (Tension)

1. It is necessary to choose a joint having two unknowns.

2. Realize that once the force in a member is found from

from the analysis of a joint at one

of its ends, the result can be used to analyze the forces acting on the joint at its

other end.

3. Remember that a member in compression pushes on the the joint and a member in

tension pulls on the joint.

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This method consists of passing an imaginary section through the truss, thus cutting it

into two parts. The three equations of equilibrium may be applied to either one of

these two parts to determine the member forces at the cut section.

1. Make a decision as to how to cut or section the truss through the members where

forces are to be determined.

2. Determine the support reactions.

3. Draw the free body diagram of that part of the sectioned truss, which has the least

number of forces on it.

4. By inspection, attempt to show the unknown member forces acting in the correct

sense of direction.

5. All three equations of equilibrium are available and THREE unknown bar forces

can be determined.

Figure7 Illustration of the Method of Section

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Example 4

Determine the magnitudes and the types of force in members DE, EK and JK of the

following truss.

Solution

Take moment at point A,

VH *(4*600) = 5*(600*tan 40o) + 8*(2*600)

VH = 5.05 kN

!Fy = 0,

8 = VA + VH

VA =2.95 kN

!Fx = 0,

HA = 5 kN

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FJK *(600*tan 40o) = 5.05*600

FJK = 6.02 kN (Tension)

FDE *(600*tan 400) + 5.05*600*2 = 0

FDE = -12

12 kN (Compression)

Fy = 0,

FEK * sin 40o = 5.05

FEK = 7.85 kN (Tension)

a made:

(1) Choosing the free body,

(2) Choosing the points for taking moments about.

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body, remember that the cut does not need to be a straight line.

In choosing a point for taking moment, remember that

tha it can be any point in the plane.

It does not have to be a joint or a support.

Truss analysis using the method of joints is greatly

greatly simplified if one is able to

first determine those members that support no loading.loading. The zero zero-force

members of a truss can generally be determined by inspection

inspection of the joints.

Case 1 If no external load is applied to a joint that consists of two bars, the

force in both bars must be zero.

Fx= 0 requires F1 = 0

Fx= 0 requires F2 = 0

Figure9

ure9 Case 1: Zero Force Members

which are collinear, the force in the bar that is not

n collinear is zero.

Figure10

ure10 Case 2: Zero Force Members

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Figure11

ure11 Examples of Zero Force Members

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Figure12

ure12 Examples of Zero Force Members

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Example 5

Using the method of joints, indicate all the members

members of the truss shown that have zero

forces.

Solution

Joint D, fig b

Fy= 0, FDC sin = 0, FDC = 0

Fx= 0, FDE + 0 = 0, FDE = 0

Joint E, fig c

Fx= 0 FEF = 0

a force in member CF.)

Joint H, fig d

Fy= 0 FHB = 0

Joint G, fig e

The roller support at G exerts only an x component of

force on the joint. HenceFFy= 0 FGA = 0

By visualizing the way a truss deflects under given loading, it is often possible to

determine quickly whether the force in a member is tension or compression.

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1. The top members are in compression.

2. The bottom tom members are in tension.

3. The diagonals are in tension.

4. The verticals are in compression.

The three zero-force

force members should also be identified easily.

Member

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diagonals can be determined by

first imagining them to be

removed and then ascertaining

their role in preventing the

probable type of truss

deformation that would occur.

Thus, a diagonal placed

between Band F in truss A

would have to be in tension

because its role is to prevent B

and Ffrom

from drawing apart in the

manner indicated.

trusses:

C, compression; T, tension.

also be used to determine the

senses of the forces in different

members. In the truss to the left,

member FBDis is imagined to be

a "cable" and is obviously in

tension. Other members serve

roles related to maintaining

ing the

equilibrium of this basic "cable"

configuration.

in some simple truss configurations

can be determined through intuitive approaches.

References

1. R.C. Hibbeler (2005), Mechanics of Materials, SI 2nd

2nd edition, Prentice Hall

2. R.C. Hibbeler (2005), Structural Analysis, SI edition,

edition, Prentice Hall

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