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# Faculty of Engineering and Quantity Surveying (FEQS)

## EGR2214 Engineering Statics

Lab Report

Experiment 1:
Equilibrium of Rigid Body.

Name :
ID :
Name :
ID :
Program : BMEGI
Course Code : EGR2214
Session : August 2018
Lecturer :

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Tables of Contents

Content Page

Introduction 3

Theory 4

Objective 5 & 11

## Results & Calculations 6-8 & 12-16

Discussion 9 & 17

Conclusion 10 & 18

References 19

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1.0 Introduction

To understand the forces in any structure, engineers must understand how forces work
against each other. In this experiment, loads are tied to a series of strings bounded by a ring in
the middle and hung from a magnetic pulley with the angles at which the strings wrap around
the pulley is measured.

Upon calculation of the Fx and Fy components, the resultant force can be determined
and if the resultant force is close to the value zero, it indicates that the system is at equilibrium
as it abides by Newton’s First Law of Motion. The data obtained will be used to draw a free
body diagram to further proof the theory and determine if the resultant force calculated matches
the resultant force on the free body diagram. From this experiment, students learn the correct
method to set up a proper experiment to determine the equilibrium of a rigid body. This
experiment uses cords, magnetic protectors, pulley and masses to show concurrent and non-
concurrent coplanar forces and the condition needed to achieve equilibrium.

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1.1 Theory

## Based on this experiment, in the triangle of forces, the

force diagram utilize the magnitude of one force as it
starting line and then sum up the magnitudes of the
other two so that they could fit into a triangle. By
using the simple geometrical scale drawing,
magnitude of the unknown force can be found
without hassle. For instance, if we are able to
determine the Fc and Fa, we can use the simple
drawing skill to find the force Fb. Furthermore, when
all points of a force diagram meet up, it is proven that the forces are in equilibrium. In addition,
for more than three forces – a ‘force polygon’, to draw the force diagram can be tedious without
a compact numbering system and direction. Moreover, when the forces all pulled from one
same point, they are said to be concurrent. On the other hand, when the forces do not all pull
on the same point, they are said to be concurrent. Therefore, when the forces do not all pull on
the same point, they are said to be non-concurrent.

Generally, the theory for this experiment is about a particle will be in equilibrium
provided it remains stationary or has a constant velocity if originally in motion. To maintain
the equilibrium state, it is required that the resultant force acting on a particle must be equal to
zero. To simplify, Newton’s law of motion stated that

F  0 , where  F is the vector sum of all forces acting on the particle. In order to apply
the equation of the equilibrium, we have to know the known and unknown forces which act on
the particle. A free-body diagram is a tool that will help to determine the forces acting on the
particle. A free body diagram is also means simply a sketch which shows the particle ‘free’
from its surrounding with all the forces that act on it. Here are three main steps:

1. Firstly, draw the outlined shape. Draw the particle at any point that is to be isolated and
free from the factors of surrounding.
2. Secondly, show all of the forces acting on the particle.
3. Thirdly, start to identify each forces. The forces which are known should be labelled
with appropriate magnitudes and directions. Letters or numberings can be used to
represent the directions and magnitudes of forces that are unknown.

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A. Experiment Force Triangle Beam Part A
2.0 Objectives
1. To show how to predict an unknown force in a force triangle using graphical (scale
drawing)
2. To prove that the force diagram should all meet up correctly for coplanar concurrent
forces in equilibrium

3.0 Methodology

## 1. Firstly, fit a magnetic protractor, pulleys and cords to the

Work Panel similar to the picture shown beside.

2. Secondly, hook 2 cords over the magnetic pulleys and attach load son each of their ends.
Attach a weight hanger to the third cord and slowly add weight so that the forces create
a ‘Y’ shape. Keep adding weights to the bottom weight hanger. At that moment,
remember to not count these weights yet.

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4.0 Results Analysis
Based on the Force diagram method mentioned in the Lab Manual, the results are as below:
Force Experimental Value, Theoretical Value, N Percentage of
N error, %

## 3. Fc 0.19 0.20 5.00

1. As mentioned in the lab report, we have to draw the free body diagram and label each
forces with magnitudes and directions following the result we have obtained. To make
it consistent, 1 cm is equal to 0.1 N. The table above shows three different result through
varying the angle and force acting (adding the mass). Based on the drawing, we are able
to determine the Fc.
2. Fc experimental value are calculated from the drawing whereas Fc theoretical value is
equal to the W = mg. In this experiment, the gravitational acceleration g that we used
is 10 m/s^2 instead of 9.81 m/s^2.
3. From the first drawing, Fc value is 0.46 N and the theoretical value is 0.4 N where there
is 15 % of error.
4. Furthermore, from the second drawing, the Fc value is 0.31 N and the theoretical value
is 0.30 N with presence of 3.33 % of error.
5. Lastly, based on the third drawing, we are able to determine that the Fc value is 0.19 N
with only 5.00 % of error.

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5.0 Discussion
To determine if the rigid body is at equilibrium, a series of load is attached to the string and
suspended freely along the pulley system. The angle at which the load suspends is measured
using a magnetic protractor. Once the data is collected, a triangle is drawn according to the
measurement by letting 0.1N of load equivalent to 1cm. The resultant force (FR) when drawn
has to be approximately the same with the resultant force of the pulley system which is set up
experimentally to prove that the system is indeed in an equilibrium state. If the measurement
does not tally with the resultant force obtained from the experiment conducted, thus, the system
is not at equilibrium.

The percentage error upon calculation is quite high when compared to theoretical value due to
human error when handling and conducting the experiment.

Random errors

1) The angles measured may not be accurate as a variation in eye level can affect the angles
obtained tremendously.

2) The placement of the set up may not be exactly as shown in the lab manual and may add up
to the percentage of error and lesser accurate measurements.

3) The sensitivity of the protractor is low as the scales only measure every 5°and may come
with some manufacturing defects thus, enabling us to obtain a more precise measurement.

4) The weight of the load hanger is not taken into consideration as the weight can be considered
negligible however, may add to the percentage of error obtained. This is because the load
hanger may have different weight due to manufacturing defect and also replacement of the
hanger in not made in a set but individual replacement hence, the weight might vary.

Precautions:

1) The magnetic pulley has a strong attraction force thus, when placing the magnets, watch
out for your fingers to avoid unnecessary injuries.
2) Be careful when placing the load onto the hanger as any misplacement may cause the
load to slide off and might cause unwanted injuries.
3) Make sure students are well dressed according to the assigned dress code and wearing
fully-covered footwear at all times in the lab to avoid injury related incidents.

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6.0 Conclusions
1. The unknown forces in a force triangle are able to be predicted correctly using a
graphical scale drawing.
2. The force diagram has all meet up correctly for coplanar concurrent forces in
equilibrium.
3. The forces are all pulled from one point, therefore they are said to be concurrent.
4. A body (or any part of it) which is currently stationary will remain stationary if the
resultant force and resultant moment are zero for all the forces and couples applied on
it.
5. Use a better protractor for example; the 505P-7 Miter Saw Protractor where the scales
provided are highly sensitive and laser engrave hence, maximizing the accuracy of the
angles measured.

## Figure 1: the 505P-7 Miter Saw Protractor

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A. Experiment Forces Polygons - Part B

2.1 Objectives

## 1. To show how to predict an unknown force in a force polygon

2. To prove that the forces in a force diagram should all meet up correctly for coplanar
concurrent forces in equilibrium.
3. To prove that the link polygon method works for coplanar non-concurrent forces in
equilibrium.

Methodology

## Experimental Procedure – Concurrent Force

1. Repeat experiment Part A, but use four or more cords attach to one ring and additional
weights or spring balance and confirm that the theory shown in Figure works
correctly.

## 1. Repeat the experiment Part A, but this time, use two

rings with a short cord between them and two magnetic
protractor and additional weights or spring balance.

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4.1 Result Analysis

Based on the Polygon of forces method mentioned in the Lab Report, the result are as below:

Concurrent Force
Force Experimental Value, Theoretical Value, N Percentage of
N error, %
1. Fd 0.86 0.60 46.69

## 3. Fd 0.93 0.60 51.64

1. As mentioned in the lab report, we have to draw the free body diagram and label each
forces with magnitudes and directions following the result we have obtained. To make
it consistent, 1 cm is equal to 0.1 N. The table above shows three different result through
varying the angle and force acting (adding the mass). We pick Fd as the force that we
need to find.
2. Fd experimental value are calculated from the drawing whereas Fd theoretical value is
equal to the W = mg. In this experiment, the gravitational acceleration g that we used
is 10 m/s^2 instead of 9.81 m/s^2.
3. From the first drawing, Fd value is 0.88 N and the theoretical value is 0.60 N where
there is 46.67 % of error.
4. Furthermore, from the second drawing, the Fd value is 1.05 N and the theoretical value
is 0.80 N with presence of 31.25 % of error.
5. Lastly, based on the third drawing, we are able to determine that the Fd value is 0.91 N
with 51.67 % of error compared to the theoretical value 0.60 N.

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Non-concurrent Force

## Force Experimental Value, Theoretical Value, N Percentage of

N error, %
1. Fc 0.13 0.10 40.00

## 3. Fc 0.25 0.20 20.00

1. As mentioned in the lab report, we have to draw the free body diagram and label each
forces with magnitudes and directions following the result we have obtained. To make
it consistent, 1 cm is equal to 0.1 N. The table above shows three different result through
varying the angle and force acting (adding the mass). We pick Fc as the force that we
need to find.
2. Fc experimental value are calculated from the drawing whereas Fc theoretical value is
equal to the W = mg. In this experiment, the gravitational acceleration g that we used
is 10 m/s^2 instead of 9.81 m/s^2.
3. From the first drawing, Fc value is 0.14 N and the theoretical value is 0.10 N where
there is 40.00 % of error.
4. Furthermore, from the second drawing, the Fc value is 0.33 N and the theoretical value
is 0.30 N with presence of 10.00 % of error.
5. Lastly, based on the third drawing, we are able to determine that the Fc value is 0.24 N
with 20.00 % of error compared to the theoretical value 0.20 N.

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5.1 Discussion
The percentage error is significantly high when compared to the theoretical value and may be
caused by random errors. The data obtained may not be valid to proof the theory for the
experiment where the resultant force drawn should be relatively similar with the calculated
value to be considered a valid result.

1) The way of setting up the experiment may be incorrect to determine the unknown force of
the polygon. Wrong set up of the experiment will drastically affect the result and cause high
percentage of error as certain way of set up may contradict with the law of equilibrium thus,
not applicable.

2) The method of determining the unknown force of the polygon by drawing are subjected to
error as the drawing method may be incorrect and also human error when trying to draw a
polygon with precise measurements and angles.

## Application in daily life:

Understanding equilibrium of a rigid body and methods to discover the unknown force is vital
for an engineering before constructing or placing any object as it may harm the life of others if
not calculated correctly.

For Example:

## In daily life, we always encounter the traffic light while we are

driving tour designated location. The placement of a traffic light
must not be randomly placed and any height and hanging at angles
based on a technicians favourability. Thus, as an engineer, we
must know the forces or the tensions acting on the cable in order
to support the traffic light which can be said W = mg. We have to
ensure the angles are at the right order to support the weight of the
traffic light and hence, having the ability to determine the
unknown force of a polygon will come in handy when dealing with
more complex traffic system.

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6.1 Conclusions

1. Link polygon method works for the coplanar non-concurrent forces in equilibrium.
2. The forces are said to be concurrent as they all pulled from one point.
3. Based on the experiment procedure-concurrent forces, the forces in the force diagram
meet up correctly for the coplanar concurrent forces in equilibrium.
4. Based on the experiment procedure – non concurrent forces, for some of the forces that
do not pull on the same point, they are said to be non-concurrent.
5. A body (or any part of it) which is currently stationary will remain stationary if the
resultant force and resultant moment are zero for all the forces and couples applied on
it.
6. Use a better protractor for example; the 505P-7 Miter Saw Protractor where the scales
provided are highly sensitive and laser engrave hence, maximizing the accuracy of the
angles measured.

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7.0 References list

## 1. Image of Figure 1 is extracted from: http://ecx.images-

amazon.com/images/I/51btSmvO8CL.jpg

2. Hibbler, Yap, 2013, Mechanics for Engineers Statics Thirteenth Edition, Pearson.

## 3. Statics of Non-Concurrent Force Systems: Equilibrium of a Rigid Body. 2015

[ONLINE] Available at:
http://www.ae.msstate.edu/vlsm/non_con_force/non_concurrent_forces/equilibrium.ht
m. [Accessed 01 October 2015].

## 4. Equilibrium of rigid bodies. 2015. [ONLINE] Available at:

http://emweb.unl.edu/NEGAHBAN/EM223/note11/note11.htm. [Accessed 01
October 2015].

## 5. Statics of Non-Concurrent Force Systems: Equilibrium of a Rigid Body. 2015.

Equilibrium of a Rigid Body. [ONLINE] Available at:
http://www.ae.msstate.edu/vlsm/non_con_force/non_concurrent_forces/equilibrium.ht
m. [Accessed 01 October 2015].

## 6. Equilibrium (Statics) - Physics 298. 2015. Equilibrium (Statics) - Physics 298.

[ONLINE] Available at:
http://www.physics.louisville.edu/cldavis/phys298/notes/equilibrium.html. [Accessed
01 October 2015].

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