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# 5.2.3.

Elastic-Beam Theory
This is also another method for determining the slope and deflection of structures.
The following approach is used:
1. Curvature of the Bending Beams
Consider a beam AB subjected to a bending moment. Let the beam deflect from
ACB to ADB into a circular arc as shown in the figure below.

O
R
L/2

i
L/2
A

C
y

## l = Length of the beam AB,

M = Bending moment
R = Radius of curvature, of the bent up beam,
I = Moment of inertia of the beam section,
E = Modulus of elasticity of beam material,
y = Deflection of the beam (i.e., CD) and
i = Slope of the beam (i.e., angle which the tangent at A makes with AB).
From the geometry of a circle, we know that
AC CB = EC CD

or

l l
(2 R y ) y
2 2

l2
2Ry y 2
4

(neglecting y 2 )

l2
y
8R

M E

I
R

or

EI
M

## Now substituting this value of R into y

l2
, we get the value of deflection,
8R

l2
Ml 2
y

EI 8EI
8
M

Now from the geometry of the figure, we find that the slope i of the beam at A or B
is also equal to angle AOC.
sin i

AC
l

OA 2R

Since the angle i is very small, therefore, sin i may be taken equal to i (in radians)
i

l
2R

## Again substituting the value of R in equation i

i

2R

l
2

EI
M

Ml
2EI

l
, we get the value of slope,
2R

## 2. Relation between Slope, Deflection and Radius of Curvature

d
ds

dy

P
dx

+d
0

Consider a small portion PQ of a beam, bent into an arc, as shown in the figure
above.
Let
ds = Length of the beam PQ,
R = Radius of the arc, into which the beam has been bent,
C = Centre of the arc,
= Angle, which the tangent at P makes with x-x axis, and

## From the geometry of the figure, we find that

< =
and

ds
d
R

ds
dx

d d

(Considering ds=dx)

or

1 d

R dx

tan =

dy
dx

= dy
dx

d d 2 y

dx dx 2

1 d

)
R dx

We also know
M E

I
R

or
M EI

1
R

M EI

d2y
dx 2

## 3. Double Integration Method for Slope and Deflection

We have already discussed that the bending moment at a point is given by
d2y
M EI 2
dx

dy

M EI dx

## Integrating the above equation once again,

M EIy
It is thus obvious, that after first integration, the differential equation we get is the
value of slope at any point. On further integrating, we get the value of deflection at
any point.
Example 5.9(1)
Consider a simply supported beam AB of length l and carrying a point load W at the
centre of beam C as shown in Fig. 6-3. From the geometry of the figure, we find that
the reaction at A,
R A RB

W
2
x
C
yc

A
w/2
L/2

x
L/2

w/2

this section,
M X RB .x

M EI

W
x
2

d 2 y Wx

2
dx 2

EI

dy Wx 2

C1
dx
4

5

l
2

## We know that when x , the slope

EI

dy Wx 2

C1 ,
dx
4

Wl 2
C1
16

or

dy
0 . Substituting these values in equation
dx

C1

Wl 2
16

## Substituting this value of C1 in equation EI

EI

dy Wx 2

C1 gives,
dx
4

dy Wx 2 Wl 2

dx
4
16

This is the required equation for the slope, at any section, by which we can get the
slope at any pint on the beam. A little consideration will show, that the maximum
slope occurs at A and B. Thus, for maximum slope at B, substituting x 0 in
equation EI
EI.iB

dy Wx 2 Wl 2
gives,

dx
4
16

Wl 2
16

iB

Wl 2
(Minus sign means that the tangent at B makes an angle with AB in
16EI

## the negative or anticlockwise direction)

or iB

Wl 2
16EI

By symmetry iA

Wl 2
16EI

dy Wx 2 Wl 2
Integrating the equation EI
once again gives,

dx
4
16
EIy

Wx 3 Wl 2

x C2
12
16

Where C2 is the second constant of integration. We know that when x=0, y=0.
Substituting these values in equation EIy
EIy

Wx3 Wl 2

x C2 , we get C2=0.
12
16

Wx 3 Wl 2

x
12
16

This is the required equation for the deflection, at any section, by which we can get
the deflection at any point on the beam. A little consideration will show, that
maximum deflection occurs at the mid-point C. Thus, for maximum deflection,
substituting x = l/2 in equation (v),
3

EIy

W l Wl 2

12 2
16

or yC

3
Wl 3
Wl 3
l Wl

32
48
2 96

Wl 3
(Minus sign means that the deflection is downwards)
48EI

Example 5.9(2).
A beam 3 meters long, simply supported at its ends, and is carrying a point load (P)
at its center. If the slope at the ends of the beam is not to exceed 1 , find the deflection
at the center of the beam.
Solution.
Given. Length, = 3 m
Slope at A,

iA 1

1
180

iA

Pl 2
16EI

## and deflection at the cente

yC

Pl 3
Pl 2 l

48EI 16EI 3
l
iA
3

Wl 2
i A

16EI

3
0.01745 0.01745m 1.745cm
3

Example 5.10(1)
Consider a simply supported beam AB of length l carrying uniformly distributed load
of w per unit length as shown below.

w/Unit length
A
wL/2

B
wL/2

R A RB

wl
2

this section,
MX

wlx wx2

2
2

M EI

d 2 y wlx wx2

2
2
dx 2

EI

dy wlx 2 wx3

C1
dx
4
6

## Where C1 is first the constant of integration.

l dy
0 . Substituting these values in equation
2 dx

dy wlx 2 wx3
EI

C gives,
dx
4
6
2

wl l w l
C1
4 2
6 2

or

C1

wl 3
24

## Substituting this value of C1 in equation EI

dy wlx 2 wx3

C1 ,
dx
4
6

dy wlx 2 wx3 wl 3
EI

dx
4
6
24

This is the required equation for the slope at any section, by which we can get the
slope at any point on the beam. We know that maximum slope occurs At A and B.
Thus for maximum slope, substituting x = 0 in equation EI

dy wlx 2 wx3 wl 3

dx
4
6
24

gives,
wl 3
24
wl 3
(Minus sign means that the tangent at B makes an angle with AB in the
iB
24EI
EI.iB

Or
iB

wl 3
24EI
9

iA

By symmetry

wl 3
24EI

## Integrating the equation EI

dy wlx 2 wx3 wl 3
once again gives,

dx
4
6
24

wlx3 wx4 wl 3 x
EIy

C2
12
24
24

## Where C2 is the second constant of integration.

We know that when x=0, y=0. Substituting these values in equation
EIy

wlx 3 wx4 wl 3 x

C2 we get,
12
24
24

EIy

wlx 3 wx 4 wl 3 x

12
24
24

This is the required equation for the deflection at any section, by which we can get
the deflection at any point on the beam. We know that maximum deflection occurs
at the mid-point C. Thus, for maximum deflection, substituting x = l/2 in equation
wlx 3 wx 4 wl 3 x
EIy

12
24
24
3

EI. yC

or yC

wl l
w l wl 3 l wl 4 wl 4 wl 4
5wl 4

12 2 24 2
24 2 96 384 48
384

5wl 4
(Minus sign means that the deflection is downwards)
384EI

5wl 4

384EI

10

Example 5.10(2).
A timber beam of rectangular section has a span of 4.8m and is simply supported at
its ends. It is required to carry a 10kN/m uniformly distributed over the whole span.
Find the maximum values for the breadth (b) and depth (d) of the beam, if maximum
bending stress is not to exceed 7000 kN/m2 and the maximum deflection is limited
to 9.5 mm. Take E =105 105kN/m2
Solution.
Given. Span, = 4.8 m
wl = 10kN/m
Bending stress,
= 7000 kN/m2

Maximum deflection,
yC 9.5mm 0.0095m

Young's modulus,
E = 105 105kN/m2
Let b = Breadth of the beam and d = Depth of the beam.
We know that the maximum bending moment in a simply supported beam, carrying
a uniformly distributed load, is at the centre, i.e.
M

wl 2 10x4.8x4.8

28.8kNm
8
8
11

M

I
y
28.8 7000

d
bd 3
2
12
bd 2

( I

bd 3
d
and y )
12
2

28.8 12
0.025m3
7000 2

0.025
m
d2

yC

5Wl 4
384EI

0.0095

5 10 4.8 4
384 105 105

bd 3

bd
12

26542
3.36 x108 bd 3

26542
0.0083m 4
8
3.36x10 x0.0095

But b

0.025
d2

0.025 3
xd 0.0083
d2
d

0.0083
0.332m
0.025

12

0.025
gives,
d2

0.025
0.227m
0.332 2

## Therefore d=332mm and b=227mm

Example 5.11(1).
Consider a cantilever AB of length and carrying a point load w at the free end as
shown in the figure below. Consider a section X, at a distance x from the free end B.

## We know that the bending moment at this section,

M x P.x (Minus sign due to hogging)

M EI

EI

d2y
Px
dx 2

dy
Px 2

C1
dx
2

## Where C1 is first the constant of integration.

We know that when x l ,

dy
0.
dx

0

Pl 2
C1
2

or C1

dy
Px 2

C1 gives,
dx
2

Pl 2
2
13

## Now substituting this value of C1 in equation EI

dy
Px 2

C1 gives,
dx
2

dy
Px 2 Pl 2
EI

dx
2
2

This is the required equation for the slope at any section, by which we can get the
slope at any point on the cantilever. A little consideration will show, that maximum
slope occurs at the free end. Now using the abbreviation for the angle of inclination
(in radians) and considering tan = , for very small angles.
Now for maximum slope, substituting x = 0 in equation EI
EI.iB

iB

dy
Px 2 Pl 2
gives,

dx
2
2

Pl 2
2

Pl 2
2EI

dy
Px 2 Pl 2
Integrating the equation EI
once again gives,

dx
2
2
EIy

Px3 Pl 2 x

C2
6
2

## Where C2 is the constant of integration.

We know that when x=l (at A), y=0. Substituting these values in the above equation,
0

Pl 3 Pl 3

C2
6
2

or C2

Pl 3
3

## Substituting this value of C2 in equation EIy

Px3 Pl 2 x

C2 ,
6
2

Px3 Pl 2 x Pl 3
EIy

6
2
3

This is the required, equation for the deflection, at any section, by which we can get
the deflection at any point on the cantilever. A little consideration will show, that
14

maximum slope occurs at the free end. Now for maximum deflection, substituting x
= 0 in equation EIy

Px3 Pl 2 x Pl 3
,

6
2
3

Pl 3
Pl 3
or y B
(Minus sign means that the deflection is downwards)
EIyB
3EI
3

Example 5.11(2)
Consider a cantilever AB of length , carrying a point load W at C at a distance 1 ,
from the fixed end as shown in the figure below.

A little consideration will show, that the portion AC of the cantilever will bend into
AC', while the portion CB will remain straight, and displaced to CB.
The portion AC of the cantilever may be taken as similar to a cantilever above. (i.e.,
iC

Pl12
2EI

iB iC

Pl12
2EI
15

And yC

Pl13
3EI

## From the geometry of the figure, we find that

y B yC iC (l l1 )

Pl13 Pl12

(l l1 )
3EI 2EI

If
l1

l
2

yB

P l 3 Pl l 2 l 5Pl 3
( )
( )
3EI 2
2EI 2
2 48EI

Example 5.11(3).
A cantilever beam 0.15m wide and 0.2m deep projects 1.5m out of a wall, and is
carrying a point load of 50kN at the free end. Find the slope and deflection of the
cantilever at the free end. Take E 2.1108 kN / m 2 .
Solution.
Given. Width, b = 0.15m
Depth, d = 0.2m
I

bd 3 0.15 0.23

0.0001m 4
12
12

## Length, l= 1.5m = 150cm

16

Young's modulus,
E = 2.1 l08 kN/m2
Slope at the free end
Let iB= Slope at the free end.
Using the relation
Pl 2
50 0.152
iB

2EI 2 2.1108 0.0001

## Deflection at the free end

Let yB = Deflection at the free end.
Using the relation,
Pl 3
yB
3EI

50 0.153
0.27cm
3 2.1108 0.0001

x
w/unit length
A

iB

B
yB

## Consider a cantilever beam AB of length l, and carrying a uniformly distributed

load of w per unit length as shown in Fig. 6-7. Consider a section X, at a distance x
from the free end B.
17

MX

wx2
2

EI

d2y
wx2

dx2
2

EI

dy
wx3

C1
dx
6

## where C1 is the constant of integration.

We know when x l ,

Substituting
wl 3
0
C1
6

Now

these
or

dy
0.
dx

values

in

the

equation

EI

dy
wx3

C1 ,
dx
6

EI

dy
wx3

C1 ,
dx
6

wl 3
C1
6

Substituting

this

value

of

C1

in

equation

dy
wx3 wl 3
EI

dx
6
6

This is the required equation for the slope at any section, by which we can get the
slope at any point on the cantilever. We know that maximum slope occurs at the free
end B. Now for maximum slope, substituting x = 0 in equation EI

EI.iB

wl 3
6

18

dy
wx3 wl 3
,

dx
6
6

iB

wl 3
6 EI

dy
wx3 wl 3
Integrating the equation EI
once again,

dx
6
6
EI. y

wx4 wl 3 x

C2
24
6

where C2 is the constant of integration. We know that when x=l, y=0. Substituting
these values in the above equation,
wl 4 wl 4
0

C2
24
6

or C2

wl 4
8

## Substituting this value of C2 in equation EI. y

wx4 wl 3 x

C2
24
6

wx 4 wl 3 x wl 4
EI. y

24
6
8

This is the required, equation for the deflection, at any section, by which we can get
the deflection at any point on the cantilever. We know that maximum slope occurs
at the free end. Therefore for maximum deflection, substituting x = 0 in equation
EI. y

wx4 wl 3 x wl 4
,

24
6
8

EI. yB

wl 4
8

wl 4
Or yB
(Minus sign means that the deflection is downwards)
8EI

19

wl 4
8EI

Example 5.12(1).
A cantilever 120mm wide and 200mm deep is 2.5m long. What uniformly
distributed load should the beam carry to produce a deflection of 5 mm at the free
end? Take E=200 103 N/mm2.
Solution.
Given. Width, b = 120 mm
Depth, d = 200 mm

bd 3 120 2003

80 106 mm4
12
12

## Length, l = 2.5 m = 2.5 103 mm

Deflection at the free end,
yB 5mm

## E = 200 103 N/mm2

Let W = Total uniformly distributed load.
Using the relation,
yB

Wl 3
8EI

## with usual notations.

W (2.5 103 )3
W
5

3
6
8 200 10 80 10 8192
W 5 8192 40960N 40.96KN
20