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Composition and Resolution of

Forces
Unit -1

Force
Force is an agent which tend to cause either
change in motion or deformation.
It is denoted by N (Newton) = kg.m/s2
Effect of Force
Change the motion of body
Retard the motion of body
Deform the body
Bring the body to rest/equilibrium
Change the stress in the body

Characteristics of Force
1.
2.
3.
4.

Magnitude of force (N)

Line of action of force (direction)
Nature of force (pull/push)
Point of action of force

System of Forces
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Coplanar forces
Collinear forces
Concurrent forces
Coplanar forces
Coplanar concurrent forces
Non-coplanar concurrent forces
Non coplanar non concurrent forces

Principle of independence of forces

If a number of forces are simultaneously acting on a
body, then the resultant of these forces will have the
same effect as produced by all the individual forces.

Principle of Transmissibility of forces

The effect of an external force on a rigid body
remains unchanged even if the force is moved, along its line
of action.

P
ine of action

Resultant force
If a body is subjected to n number of forces, acting
simultaneously, the representive single force which
produces the same effect is called the resultant force.
The process of determining the resultant force of a given
system of forces on a rigid body is composition of forces
or compounding of forces.
Methods for determining the resultant force
Analytical Method
Parallelogram law of forces
Resolution of force
Method of resolution

Analytical Method
Parallelogram law of forces
If two forces acting simultaneously on a body, they can
be represented by adjacent sides of parallelogram in
which the resultant may be represented in magnitude
and direction by the diagonal of the parallelogram
which passes through their point of intersection

2 + 2 + 2 cos
sin
tan =
+ cos

Cases
1. If the forces are in straight line( = 0), R = P + Q
2. If the forces are perpendicular( = 0), = 2 + 2
3. If the forces are acting opposite in straight line ( = 180), R=P - Q

4.
If the forces are equal (P=Q), R = 2P cos
2

Numerical
Two forces acting at an angle of 120o of which the higher
magnitude of force was 40N and the resultant is
perpendicular to the other force, find the other force.

F2

90o

120o

Graphical method
Draw a line OA and OB to scale for forces P and Q
respectively, with angle with each other.
Construct the parallelogram OABC by erecting parallel to
OA and OB to intersect at C.
Draw a diagonal OC, which represent the reaction force,
the measure of OC, multiplied with scale gives the
magnitude of R.
B
The angle AOC is the direction of
P
reaction R.
Extent line OA and mark a point D
R
such that OD CD
OD represents the projection of the
Q

resultant R.
O
A

Analytical Method
Resolution of force
The most common method adopted for resolution of forces is
into rectangular components.
So, as per the parallelogram law of forces, Force F can be
written as
F = Fx + Fy
In vector form, the same can be represented as
F = Fx i + Fy j
y
Considering the angle between horizontal component
Fx and
F is ,
j
Fx = F cos
Fy = F sin

=
=

1
tan

Fy
Fx

x
i

Hence, in the given system of forces acting on the body in different

directions, the resultant of the forces can be determined by
resolving the forces in two directions and obtain the vector sum of
these components.
Mathematically, it can be determined as follows:

R = F1 + F2 + F3 +. . .= (F1x i + F1y j) + (F2x i + F2y j) + (F3x i + F3y j) + . . .

Rx i+Ry j = (F1x + F2x + F3x+ . . .)i + (F1y + F2y + F3y + . . .)j
2

R = +

and

1
tan

R is the reaction force magnitude

is the direction, represented by angle of reaction w.r.t. Horizontal

F
y

F
x

x
Fx = F sin
Fy = F cos

Fx = - F cos
Fy = - F sin

Fx = F sin (-)
Fy = - F cos (-)

x
Fx = F cos (-)
Fy = F sin (-)

The foces F1, F2, and F3, all of which act

on point A of the bracket, are specified
in three different ways. Determine the x
and y scalar components of each of the
three forces.
F1x = 600 cos 35 = 491 N
F1y = 600 sin 35 = 344 N
F2x = -500 (4/5) = - 400 N
F2y = 500 (3/5) = 300 N

= tan- 1 [0.2/0.4] = 26.6

F3x = 800 sin 26.6 = 358 N
F3y = - 800 cos 26.6 = - 716 N

Rx = 100 cos 30o + 80 cos 20o = 161.8 N

Ry = 100 sin 30o - 80 sin 20o = 22.6 N
R = 161.82 + 22.62 = 163.4 N
= tan-1 (22.6/161.8) = 8o
R2 = (80)2 + (100)2 + 2(80)(100) cos 50o
tan =

100 sin 50
80+100 cos 50

R = 163.4 N

= 28o wrt F2,

i.e. 8o wrt X axis

Moment
In addition to the tendency to move a body in the direction of its
application, a force can also tend to rotate a body about an axis.
This rotational tendency is known as the moment M of the force,
also referred to as torque.
The moment is a vector M perpendicular to the plane of the
body.
Therefore, the magnitude of the
moment is defined as
M=Fd
where d is also termed as lever arm
distance, perpendicular to the line of
force.
The concept is highly used in hinges
(for doors, windows etc.)

M = F d = r F =F r sin
Varignon's Theorem states that the moment of a force about
any point is equal to the sum of the moment of the
components of the force about the same point.

Mo = Q r + r P = R r

Mo = Q.q + (- P.p) = R.d

Hinge support: The structural component which
supports vertical force, horizontal force, but moment
is zero.

Roller support: The structural component which

supports vertical force, but both horizontal force and
moment is zero.
Fixed support: The structural component which
supports all vertical force, horizontal force and
moment.

Calculate the magnitude of the moment

about the base point 0 of the 600-N
(1) The moment arm to the 600N force is d
= 4 cos 40o + 2 sin 40o = 4.35 m
M= Fd => Mo = 600(4.35) = 2610 N m
(2)

Fx = 600 cos 40o = 460 N,

Fy = 600 sin 40o = 386 N
Mo = 460(4) + 386(2) = 2610 N m

(3) Moving the force to point on X-axis the moment of the component
Fx = 0. Hence, the moment arm for Fy is dy = 2 + 4 cot 40o = 6.77 m
So, Mo = 386(6.77) = 2610 N.m
Similarly, moving force to a point on Y axis, the moment of the component
Fy = 0, So, dx = 4 + 2 tan 40o = 5.68 m , So, Mo = 460(5.68) = 2610 N.m
(4) By the vector expression for moment
Mo = r X F = (2i + 41) X 600(i cos 40o - j sin 40o)
= - 2610 k N.m (The minus sign indicates that the vector is in the negative z-direction)

Couple
The moment produced by two equal, opposite, and non-collinear
forces is called a couple.

These two forces cannot be combined into a single force as their

resultant in every direction is zero, their only effect is to produce a
tendency of rotation, same as moment.
Hence, for the above situation,
Couple M = F.(a+d) F.a = F.d (anticlock)
where d is the distance between the forces
This indicates that the couple is independent on the point of moment.
In vector form, M = ra F + rb (-F) = (ra-rb )F = r F

Anti-Clockwise
couple

Clockwise
couple

A couple is not affected if the forces act in a different but. parallel plane

Translation of forces
.

F
F

F
F

M= F d

Problem
In the given figure, if the force of 100 N is
replaced with force P = 400 N, causing the
same couple. determine the angle,
The magnitude of the moment due to force of
100 N is
M = 100 (100) = 104 N.mm = 10 N.m (anti-clock)
Similarly, the moment due to forces P,
produce a moment of
M = 400 (40 cos ) = 1.6 cos N.m (anti-clock)
Equating both, = 51.3o

Replace the given force by equivalent

force-couple at O
Solution:
Moment at O is
M = 80 (9 sin 60o)
= 624 N.m
Force = 80 N

80 N

Resultants
The resultant of a system of forces is the simplest force
combination which can replace the original forces without altering
the external effect on the rigid body to which the forces are applied

R = F1+F2+F3+. = F
Rx= Fx , Ry= Fy , =
= tan1

2 + 2

= tan1

Problem

Determine the resultant {If the four forces and one

couple which act on the plate shown

Rx= 66.9 N
Ry= 132.4 N
R = 148.3 N
= 63.2o
Mo= 140 50 (5) + 60 cos 45o (4) 60 sin 45o (7)
= -237 N.m = 237 N.m (anticlock)

R = 148.3 N

Mo= 237 N.m O

= 63.2o

= 63.2o

O
Final Line of resultant of R is at distance d from O,
Mo
i.e. d = 237/148.3 = 1.6m
So the line of action forms tangent making an angle 63.2o with horizontal

End of Unit 1