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Element Library: Beam Forces and Moments Page 1 of 6

Element Library: Beam Forces and Moments Conventions

Shear Force and Bending Moment

Strand7 provides shear force and bending moment results for a beam element in two principal planes, Plane
1 and Plane 2. Plane 1 is defined by the 1 axis and the 3 axis. Plane 2 is defined by the 2 axis and the 3 axis.

The sign conventions for shear forces and bending moments in each plane are illustrated below.

Positive Negative

Plane 1

Plane 2

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Shear Force Convention

In each plane, a positive shear force shears the N1 side of the beam towards the positive side of the axis.

Bending Moment Convention

In each plane, a positive bending moment generates compressive fibre stress on the positive side of the axis.

The following example shows the bending moment and shearing force diagrams on plane 2 (M2 and V2) for a
continuous I-beam with the conditions shown below.

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Axial Force

The sign of the axial force, denotes whether the beam is in tension or compression:

Positive Axial Force : Tension


Negative Axial Force : Compression

Positive axial force diagrams are drawn on positive side of the 2- axis as shown below.

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Torque

The convention for torque is a right hand moment about the 3-axis. Positive torque diagrams are drawn on the
negative side of the 2-axis as shown below.

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