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Only consider the forces to the left of the section.

The shear force is the sum of all the force acting to the left of the section.
Since the beam is in equilibrium, it must also be the sum of all the forces acting to the right
If the beam is cut at this section as shown, a force F must be placed on the end to replace the
shear force that was exerted by the material when joined. List all the forces to the left.
Remember up is plus.
There is a reaction force Ra up.
There is a uniform load over the length x metres and this is equivalent to a downwards load of
wx Newton.
There is a point load F1 acting down.
The total load to the left is F = Ra wx F1
If the result for F is positive (up) then it produces positive shear.
In the case of uniformly distributed loads, the shear force increases proportional to length. If the
u.d.l. is w N/m then the shear force increases by w Newton for every metre length.
Determining the position of greatest bending moment.
It can be shown that where ever the shear force changes from positive to negative, the bending
moment is a maximum and where it changes from negative to positive the bending moment is a
minimum. This means that anywhere on the SF diagram where the value goes through zero, the
bending moment reaches a peak.
On more complex beams, the SF diagram might pass through the zero value at several points
resulting in several maximum and/or minimum points on the BM diagram. The bending moment
that produces maximum stress could be the greatest positive value or the greatest negative value.

The complete diagram reveals that the bending moment is always negative (hogging) so
tensile stress would occur on the top layer of the beam. This stress will be a maximum at
x = 1 when the bending moment has a value of -500 Nm. The minus sin has no bearing
on the stress value and serves to tell us that it is a hogging moment.
What is a Beam ?
In a beam transverse load is acted, which in fact comes from the slabs to the column or walls.
Length of the beam is much higher than its lateral dimensions. So axial strain developed in a
beam will be very small compared to shear strain, or strain induced due to bending.
So for design purpose of beams, analysis of shear force and bending moment induced are of the
at most importance.
Shear Force
Shear force is the internal resistance created in beam cross sections, in order to balance
transverse external load acting on beam. Consider following beam, it does not matter from where
you take a section, when you add forces acting on it, it should be in equilibrium. Shear force is
induced exactly for this purpose, to bring the section to equilibrium in vertical direction. It acts
parallel to cross section. So just by applying force balance in vertical direction on the free body
diagram, we can determine value of shear force at a particular cross section.
Bending Moment
But balance of transverse forces alone does not guarantee equilibrium of a section. There is
another possibility of beam rotation, if moment acting on it is not balanced. If this is the case a
bending moment will be induced in cross section of beam, to arrest this rotation. It will be
induced as normal forces acting on fiber cross section as shown.

Fig.6 Bending moment is induced in section to balance external moment, section is zoomed in left figure for better
viewing

Resultant of those forces will be zero, but it will produce a moment, to counter balance the
external moment. So we can calculate moment induced at any cross section by balancing the
external moment acting on the free body diagram.

This sign convention approach is valid for simply supported beam. For cantilever case sign
convention is exactly opposite to this.
Example of Cantilever
Consider this case, a cantilever carrying 3 loads.

Here we can start analysis from the free end.


Section A-B
So for between A and B, if you take a section the only external force acting on it is F 1. So a shear
force should induce in section to balance this force. So value of shear force between A and B is
F1. But force balance alone does not guarantee equilibrium of the section. There is an external
moment on the section. So a bending moment will be induced in section, in order to balance the
external moment. Since value of external moment is F into x, bending moment will vary linearly.

Section B-C
Between B and C effect of force F 2 also comes. So shear force becomes, F 1 plus F2. And in
bending moment effect of F2also gets added. Similar analysis is done between section C and D
also
Now consider this problem. A simply supported beam with uniformly distributed load. First step
here would be determination of reaction forces. Since the problem is symmetrical reaction forces
will be equal, and will be half of total load acting on beam.
Distributed load can be assumed as a point load passing through centroid of distributed load.
Bending moment (point load) = Force x Distance ( This is actually for a horizontal beam with
load acting is a point load) (Kg-mm or Kg-m)
Well a UDL is like a "rectangularly" distributed load, so the load effectively acts at the center of
the beam i.e. at a distance of L/2. Since the entire length is L, the load is WL (since UDL = W
N/m) so BM = Force*distance = (WL)(L/2)
For a horizontal simply supported beam of length L subject to udl w, the maximum bending
moment is at the centre and equal to wL^2/8 distributed along the span parabolically. For a
horizontal simply supported beam of length L, and subject to a point load P at mid-span, the
maximum bending moment is PL/4. If the point load is applied at aL (0<a
A shearing force occurs when a perpendicular force is applied to static material (in this case a
beam). Think of a knife cutting through a carrot. Imagine the beam is the carrot and a point load
is the knife. As the knife applies a downward force, it cuts (or shears) the carrot. These forces
occur along numerous points of a beam, and it is important to determine where these shears are
at the greatest points as this may be where a beam fails.
Udl rectangular loading so it assumed to act at the centroid of it.
Things to keep in mind:

The area under the SFD above the x axis should equal the area between the x-axis and the

SFD below the x axis. i.e the area should sum to zero. Check this is true in our above
example.
Any points where the SFD cross the x-axis, will be a max or min Bending Moment
The SFD should always equal zero at both ends 9 simply supported)

A Bending Moment is simply the bend that occurs in a beam due to a moment. It is important to
remember two things when calculating bending moments; (1) the standard units are Nm and (2)
clockwise bending is taken as negative.

How to Calculate the Reactions at the Supports of a Beam


first remember that the beam is static; meaning it is not moving. From simple physics, this means
that the sum of the forces in the y direction equals zero i.e. the total forces pushing down equal
the total forces pushing up. A second formula to remember is that the sum of the moments at any
given point is equal to zero. This is because the beam is static and therefore not rotating.
NOTE: The sign convention we have chosen is that counter-clockwise moments are positive and
clockwise moments are negative. This is the most common sign convention but it is up to you.
You must ALWAYS use the same sign convention throughout the whole problem. Always use the
same sign convention from the start.
Beams are usually long, straight, prismatic members and always subjected forces perpendicular
to the axis of the beam
Two observations: (1) Forces are coplanar (2) All forces are applied at the axis of the beam.
Roller Support resists vertical forces only
Hinge support or pin connection resists horizontal and vertical forces
Hinge and roller supports are called as simple supports

Continuous beam: More than two supports


Hollow bars are move efficient than solid bars of same A.
Pure bending (i.e., M=constant) occurs only in regions of a beam where the shear force is
zero.
Point moments couples acting at a point
Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL)
Below is a brick lying on a beam. The weight of the brick is uniformly distributed on the beam
(shown in diagram A). The brick has a weight of 5N per meter of brick (5N/m). Since the brick is
6 meters long the total weight of the brick is 30N. This is shown in diagram B. So as you can see
there are 2 different diagrams to show the same thing. You need to be able to convert from a type
A diagram to a type B
[Oh no, this is wrong, the placement of the force along the x-axis will influence the deflection of
the beam. With your logic (whoever wrote this), we could spread out the load over the entire
beam and it would be equivalent, but everyone knows a force applied directly above or near the
supports will not bend the beam anywhere near as much as if you apply the same force at the

center. 30N distributed over an area of the beam will not deflect it as much as 30N concentrated
at the center...]
[To whoever wrote the message above: Yes, You're right. However this all
gets accounted for in the analysis shown on this page. So consider 2 cases In the first, a 30N is concentrated in the centre, and in the second the 30N
force is spread over the whole beam. If you draw the bending moment
diagrams for both cases, you will see that the bending moment (at any point
on the beam), would be lower in the second case. And a lower bending
moment would result in less bending/deflection. Still, I probably should not
have written that these 2 diagrams 'show the same thing', but rather that
being able to convert from a type A diagram to a type B is a useful hack for
doing these types of questions.]
you want to work out the values of R1 and R2. You now need to convert to a
type B diagram, as shown below. Notice the 30N force acts right in the
middle between points B and D.

v
Shear force is not necessary to maintain equilibrium of a segment of the beam. If Only a constant
bending moment must be resisted by the beam. Such a state of bending or flexure is called pure
bending.
bending moment is maximum when its derivative, the shear force is zero.
A internal hinge can transfer axial force and shear force but not bending moment. So, bending
moment at the hinge location is zero. Also, without the hinge, the system is statically

indeterminate (to a degree 1). The hinge imposes an extra condition thus rendering the system
determinate.
It is worth pointing out that one should not completely replace such a UDL by its corresponding
resultant concentrated force Rw (=wx) in the beginning of the solution. There is a significant
difference of the Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams between a concentrated force
(Example 5.0) and a UDL (Example 5.1). It is also interesting to note that the UDL corresponds
to an inclined line in the Shear Force Diagram and a quadratic curve (parabola) in the Bending
Moment Diagrams.
Rigid Joint prevents relative translations and rotations between connected members.
Types of Internal Supports

Like external supports there are different types of internal supports adapted from Hibbeler ] .
Some of these supports are:

Hinge - A hinge resists horizontal and vertical translation but allows rotation. Therefore a
hinge consists of horizontal and vertical support reaction

Internal Roller - This is the same has a roller that is used has an external support since it
allows rotation and horizontal translation. Therefore it will have a vertical support reaction.

A uniform load on a beam is shown below. It has a value of 2.5 kN per metre. If the load is 2.5
kN for each metre of length then the total load is 4 x 2.5 = 10 kN. This load is equivalent to a
single point load at the middle of 10 kN. It should be apparent that in this case, the reactions
must be equal to half the total load so are both 5 kN acting up. ( Taking moments about Rb)
VERY IMPORTANT:
To calculate reactions, we need to take moments at a point and check for equilibrium. For that we
need to convert udl to equivalent point load acting at the centre of the length through out which
udl is spread.
But coming to SFD, we need to draw SFD by finding SF at each and every point of udl spread.
So u cannot take equivalent load like in case of moments taken above.
Use an equivalent load diagram to determine the reaction forces.
Distributed Loads on Beams
dw = w(x)dx

R
w(x)

dx

x=L

The goal is to replace the distributed load with an equivalent point force. The equivalent force R
and location x are shown above in the right picture above. To find R we take the original load,
break it up into strips of width dx with a small force dw = w(x)dx centered on each strip. The
0
equivalent force R is then just the sum of all the small dws. As dx
, there are more and
more dws to add up and the sum becomes an integral. The equation to find R is then

dw

w( x)dx
0

The location x is found based on the principle of moments. Each small dw has a moment about
some point (say x = 0). The total moment of all the dws about this point must equal the moment
of R about the same point. Hence x is found from the equation
x'R

xdw
0

xw( x)dx
0

From the above results it is easy to see that the equivalent force R is equal to the area under the
distributed load curve. The location of the force (given by the distance x) is at the centroid of
the distributed load area.
a/2

w0a

w0
a
2a/3

w0a/2

w1a

(w2- w1)a/2

w0
a

w2

w1
a

a/2

a/3

if you are not required to draw load, shear force, bending moment, angle of rotation or deflection
diagrams you may be able to simplify the distributed load to a point force, for example if the
reaction forces of the simply supported beam above were being determined, the whole UDL
would be transformed into a point force for the purpose of the calculation.
To
1:
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To find the total force, you must find the area enclosed by the object being analysed, the left of
the UDL, the right side of the UDL and the top of the UDL. for a simple shape such as a
rectangle, you multiply the force applied per metre (such as 10kN/m) by the length it acts over
(such as 0.5m) to determine the entire force. For more complex loading shapes (non-uniform
distributed loads) you may need to integrate the area enclosed by the load to determine this.
To find the point it acts through you must find the centroid of the shape of the load, for any UDL,
the centroid is in the direct centre of the load, for more complex shapes such as a right angled
triangle (centroid is located 1/3 length from big end) you may need to lookup a table to find the
centroid or use integration to find it.
If a uniformly distributed load is not symmetrical, then we need to convert the distributed load
into a point load equivalent to the total load W = wL1 where L1 is the length of the distributed
load. The equivalent point load is located at the centroid of the distributed loadthe center of the
rectangle.
A uniformly distributed load is like an infinite number of small point loads along the length of
the beam, so the shear diagram is like a stepped multiple point load shear diagram with infinitely
small steps. Since the loading is symmetrical, the reaction forces equal half the total load
Some uniformly distributed loads do not extend along the entire length of a beam. Draw an
equivalent load diagram to the right, and calculate the reaction forces.
The value of the moment diagram at any point equals the area of the shear diagram up to that
point
A uniformly distributed load produces a parabolic moment diagram. Close to point A, a large
shear produces a steep slope in the moment diagram. As you approach the midspan, the smaller
shear produces a shallower slope in the moment diagram. Beyond the midspan, an increasingly
negative shear produces an increasingly steeper slope downwards.
The value of the moment diagram at any point equals the area of the shear diagram up to
that point.
A uniformly distributed load produces a parabolic moment diagram. Close to point A, a large
shear produces a steep slope in the moment diagram. As you approach the midspan, the smaller

shear produces a shallower slope in the moment diagram. Beyond the midspan, an increasingly
negative shear produces an increasingly steeper slope downwards.
The shear diagram of a cantilever beam with a uniform distributed load is a triangle. Use an
equivalent load diagram to find the reaction force and reaction moment.

In summary, the value of the moment diagram at a given point equals the area of the shear
diagram up to that point. The slope of the moment diagram at a given point equals the value of
the shear load at that point.