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Design of Arches

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1. Introduction

Curved beams also called arches were invented about 2000 years ago. The purpose was to form

such a structure that would transfer loads, mainly the dead weight, to the ground by the elements

working mostly or only in the state of compression. The reason for this was that the main

construction material in those times was the natural stone. It has relatively large compressive

strength and its tensile strength is about 10 times smaller. Hence, it was vital to avoid tension and

bending involving tension.

One may argue if the invention of arches was an engineering achievement or was it only a clever

imitation of nature, which uses arches and their 3D version concave shells successfully for a

much longer time. Just think of thin walled eggs, shells, turtles, etc

Hence, arches are perfect structures. Under a distributed loading they should exhibit mostly axial

forces with very little bending and shear. The presence of concentrated forces disturbs this picture,

what will be seen in the examples.

2. Statically determinate circular arches

Let us start with statically determinate circular arches. The internal forces: bending moments, axial

forces and shear forces, can be determined using equilibrium equations.

For the beginning we will consider a cantilever circular arch being one quarter of a circle with the

radius R, loaded by the concentrated force P at the tip. The arch is described in the Cartesian set

of co-ordinates x,y with the origin at the centre of the circle.

y

y

M

Ry

P

R T

x

x

However, the calculations are easier, when carried out using the polar set of co-ordinates ,R. The

relations between the co-ordinates are:

x = R cos

y = R sin

To find functions of internal forces we introduce a cross-section at the point defined by the angle

and write down the equilibrium equations for the fragment of arch to the left of the cross-section:

N : N + P sin = 0

T : T P cos = 0

M : M P (R y ) = 0

From these equations the functions of the internal forces can be found:

N = P sin

T = P cos

M = PR (1 sin )

In the third equation the relation between y and was substituted. These functions can be

represented graphically. In the graphs values of the forces are presented for points spaced by

angles /12. Note, that = 0 corresponds to the support and = /2 to the cantilever tip.

1.0

0.0

0.966

0.866

0.707

0.0

0.500

N [P]

0.034

0.134

0.293

0.258

0.500

0.707

0.500

0.866

0.258

M [PR]

T [P]

0.741

0.966

1.0

0.0

1.0

As the next example let us consider a cantilever circular arch being one quarter of the circle with

the radius R, loaded by the uniformly distributed snow-type loading of the intensity q.

y qx x/2

y

q

M

y

R T

qx

x

x

To find the function of internal forces we introduce a cross-section at the point defined by the angle

and write down the equilibrium equations for the fragment of arch to the left of the cross-section.

In this case the part of loading acting on the considered fragment of the arch can be replaced by its

resultant, which is applied at the centre of length x. Thus, the equilibrium equations take the form:

N : N + qx cos = 0

T : T + qx sin = 0

x

M : M + qx 2

=0

From these equations the functions of the internal forces can be found:

N = qR cos 2

T = qR sin cos

M=

qR 2

cos 2

2

In these equations the relation between x and was substituted. These functions can be

represented graphically. In the graphs values of the forces are presented for points spaced by

angles of /12.

0.0

0.0

0.067

0.250

0.0

0.250

0.433

0.500

0.500

0.750

N [qR]

0.933

T [qR]

0.433

0.250

0.0

1.0

0.033

0.125

0.250

0.375

M [qR2]

0.467

0.5

Now let us consider a cantilever circular arch being one quarter of the circle with the radius R,

loaded by the uniformly distributed self weight-type loading of the intensity q.

y

xa

qds

y

qds

x

x

Again, to find the function of internal forces we introduce a cross-section at the point defined by the

angle and write down the equilibrium equations for the fragment of arch to the left of the crosssection. In this case the resultant of the fragment of loading under consideration can be found only

by integration. The same concerns the bending moment, which can be obtained by the integration

of moments due to elementary loads along the considered fragment of the arch. In order to carry

out this integration an auxiliary angular co-ordinate is introduced. It will undergo integration in the

limits from to /2. The elementary load resultant is equal to qds, where s is the curvilinear coordinate measured along the arch. It can be related to the angle via

ds = Rd

a = R cos

With this in hand the equilibrium equations can be given as:

/2

N : N + qds cos = 0

/2

T : T + qds sin = 0

M : M +

/2

(x a )qds = 0

Expressing all variables under integrals in terms of angles and noting, that the angle does not

undergo integration, we express the internal forces as:

N = qR cos

/2

d = qR cos [ ]

/2

T = qR sin

/2

d = qR sin [ ]

/2

M = qR 2

= qR cos

2

= qR sin

2

/2

/2

2

(cos cos )d = qR [ cos sin ] =

2

These functions can be represented graphically. In the graphs values of the forces are presented

for points spaced by angles of /12.

0.0

0.0

0.068

0.262

0.0

0.253

0.555

0.128

0.262

0.555

0.907

N [qR]

0.034

0.453

T [qR]

1.264

0.407

0.524

M [qR2]

0.339

0.523

0.571

0.0

1.571

The next type of loading to be considered is the uniformly distributed hydraulic pressure of the

intensity q. First, let it be applied to a cantilever circular arch being one quarter of the circle with the

radius R.

xa

qdssin

y

b

y

d

y

q

by

qds

qdscos

M

qdssin

qdscos

N

x

x

Again, to find the function of internal forces we introduce a cross-section at the point defined by the

angle and write down the equilibrium equations for the fragment of arch to the left of the crosssection. In this case the resultant of the fragment of loading under consideration can be found only

by integration. The same concerns the bending moment, which can be obtained by the integration

of the moments due to elementary loads along the considered fragment of the arch. In order to

carry out this integration an auxiliary angular co-ordinate is introduced. This will undergo

integration in the limits from to /2. The elementary load resultant is equal to qds, where s is the

co-ordinate measured along the arch. This load now has a varying direction, so it should be

projected on axes x and y. These projections are: qdscos and qdssin, respectively. The value b

is given by

b = R sin

With this in hand the equilibrium equations can be written down as:

N : N +

/2

T : T +

/2

/2

Expressing all variables under integrals in terms of angles and noting, that the angle does not

undergo integration, we express the internal forces as:

N = qR cos

/2

/2

/2

+ qR sin [sin ]

/2

T = qR sin

/2

/2

/2

qR cos [sin ]

/2

M = qR 2

/2

= qR 2 cos

/2

sind + qR

/2

/2

+ qR 2 sin [sin ]

/2

These functions can be represented graphically. In the graphs values of the forces are presented

for points spaced by angles of /12.

0.0

0.0

0.034

0.134

0.0

0.258

0.293

0.134

0.293

0.707

0.500

N [qR]

0.034

0.500

0.500

0.866

T [qR]

0.741

M [qR2]

0.966

0.741

1.0

1.0

1.0

Now let us solve an arch consisting of one quarter circle of radius R with a clamped support and

another quarter circle attached to the former by a hinge and supported by a roller. The arch is

loaded by the uniformly distributed hydraulic pressure of the intensity q.

qdssin

qds

y

A

qdscos

b

y

q

x

a

The first thing to calculate is the reaction in the roller support V. This can be done from the

equilibrium of moments with respect to the hinge A for the right half of the arch. This equation

reads:

/2

0

After substitution for a and b and division by R the reaction can be calculated as:

V = qR

/2

/2

qdssin

M

qdssin qds

N

y

yb

/2

= qR

T

qdscos

qdscos

= qR [sin ]0

qR

x ax a

V=qR

With the value of the reaction V the internal forces in the arch can be obtained from the equilibrium

for the fragment of arch to the right of the cross-section . The adequate equations have the form:

0

0

0

Note, that these equations are also valid for the angle greater than /2, i.e. within the left-hand

half of the arch. From these equations the functions of internal forces follow:

0

0

0

2

2

The most important thing to observe in these results are the vanishing values of the bending

moment and the shear force. In this way we arrive at the notion of the optimal arch shape. It was

mentioned in the introduction, that the arch was invented to carry mostly normal forces. It comes

out, that for a given type of loading an arch shape can be found, which is characterized by the lack

of bending. For the constant hydraulic pressure the corresponding shape is the circular arch,

though the previous example with the cantilever arch might deny this statement. However, there

must be one more condition fulfilled to get the optimal arch serving in the bending-free state.

Namely, its supports at the ends must provide reactions resulting in the axial force at the arch

ends. The cantilever arch with the free end does not fulfil this condition. Hence, there was the

bending moment present.

It is also worth to note, that a circular arch with a hydraulic pressure in the bending-free state

features the constant value of the normal force N equal to qR throughout the entire arch length.

As the last example in this group let us consider a cantilever arch being a quarter circle of radius R

The arch is loaded by the hydrostatic pressure due to the liquid of the specific weight present

only on its right-hand side.

xa

qhdssin qhds

y

qhdscos

b

M

y

d

N

T

y

by

R

qhdssin

qhdscos

N

This loading acts in the same direction, normal to the arch, as the previously considered hydraulic

pressure. But the difference is in the fact, that its value is not constant but varies linearly with the

increasing depth h measured from the liquid free surface. Thus, in the equations corresponding to

the hydraulic pressure the load q must be replaced by

q h = h 1m = (R b ) = R (1 sin )

Hence, the equilibrium equations for the cut-off segment of the arch read:

/2

/2

M : M +

/2

Having expressed all the variables under integrals in terms of angles, introduced the notation for qh

and noted, that the angle does not undergo integration, the internal forces can be given as:

N = R 2 cos

/2

/2

2

(1 sin ) sin d + R sin (1 sin )cos d

T = R 2 sin

M = R

/2

(1 sin ) sin d R

cos

/2

(1 sin ) cos d

/2

3

/2

3

These calculations involve the integrals of the functions sin2 and cossin, which can be easily

found using the following trigonometric relations

1

1

sin 2 = cos 2 +

2

2

1

cos sin = sin 2

2

/2

N = R cos

2

/2

(sin sin )d + R

2

sin

/2

1

1

4

2

/2

4

1

1

4

4

2

4

4

T = R sin

2

/2

(sin sin )d R

2

cos

/2

/2

1

1

4

2

/2

4

1

1

4

4

2

4

4

M = R 3

/2

/2

3

2

(cos cos sin )(sin sin )d + R (sin sin )(cos cos )d =

= R 3 sin

+ R

/2

/2

/2

3

cos d R cos

/2

4

/2

(sin sin )d =

/2

1

1

4

2

1

1

3

4

4

4 2

4

These functions can be represented graphically. In the graphs values of the forces are presented

for points spaced by angles of /12.

0.0

0.0

0.0002

0.0031

0.0

0.003

0.023

0.0152

0.1090

0.0466

0.171

T [R ]

2

N [R ]

0.0152

0.076

0.0466

2

0.0002

0.0031

0.314

0.5

0.2146

M [R ]

3

0.1090

0.2146

Statically indeterminate arches can be solved using the flexibility method. The shape of the arch

determines only a technique to calculate coefficients in the canonical equations of the method.

These coefficients represent displacements in basic loading states and can be obtained from the

principle of virtual work. The adequate well known formula reads:

Mi Mk

ds

EI

s

ik =

The important issue to note is, that the integration must be carried out along the curve representing

the arch. This opens a vast field of problems and different techniques invented to calculate the

curvilinear integrals.

In the case of circular arches this integration can be performed in a quite straightforward way

introducing the polar set of co-ordinates and replacing the integral along the arch length with the

one over the polar angle, as it was done in the examples of statically determinate arches to

calculate loading resultant and its moments.

Let us consider a statically indeterminate arch in the form of the propped cantilever being one

quarter of the circle with the radius R, loaded by the horizontal concentrated force P at the tip.

y

P

R

X1

The modified system for the flexibility method has a removed support at the point A and the

equivalent reaction at this support is considered as the redundant force X1.

The canonical equation of the flexibility method resulting from the condition of zero vertical

displacement of the point A reads

11 X 1 + 1P = 0

For a circular arch the calculation of the flexibility coefficients in this equation can be carried out

analytically after the change to the polar co-ordinates. The analytical functions of the bending

moments in the basic states: X1 = 1 and P are necessary.

State X1 = 1

State P

P

X1 = 1

Ry

x

The corresponding functions of the bending moments, with a sign convention attributing positive

values to the moments setting the internal side under tension (and the external one under

compression), have the form:

M1 = x = R cos

MP = P (R y ) = PR (1 sin )

M1M1

R3

ds =

cos 2 d

EI s

s EI

11 =

M1M P

PR 3

ds =

cos (1 sin )d

EI

EI s

s

1P =

The integral of the function cossin was already discussed previously and the one for the function

cos2 can be found using the trigonometric relation

cos 2 =

1

1

cos 2 +

2

2

11 =

R3 / 2

R3

(

cos

2

+

1

)

d

=

2EI 0

2EI

1P =

PR 3

2EI

/2

/2

1

2 sin 2 +

0

3

R 3

4EI

/2

2 sin + cos 2

2EI

2

0

PR

(2 cos sin 2 )d =

PR 3

2EI

Then the redundant force can be obtained from the canonical equation as

X1 =

1P

2P

=

11

The function of the bending moment in the statically indeterminate arch follows from the

superposition rule:

M (i ) = M1 X 1 + M P =

2PR

To check the correctness of the results a kinematic check should be performed. Let us check if the

cross-section rotation at the clamped support B is zero. To this end the principle of virtual work and

the reduction theorem are used:

M (i )M (0 )

ds = 0 (? )

EI

s

1 B =

The virtual bending moment comes from an appropriate modified system, different than the one

used in the calculations above. Hence, the fixed support B is replaced with a hinge and the virtual

loading in the form of the concentrated unit bending moment is applied there.

y

A

M =1

VA

B

x

The virtual reaction at the support A results from the equilibrium of moments with respect to B

10

MB : VA R + 1 = 0

VA =

1

R

M (0 ) =

1

x = 1 cos

R

M (i )M (0 )

PR 2

ds =

EI

EI

s

1B =

PR 2

=

EI

/2

/2

1

1

1

=0

As the next example let us consider a statically indeterminate arch of a parabolic shape. The arch

central axis is expressed in the co-ordinates system x,y by a function

4f

x (L x )

L2

y=

what for the data given in the figure yields

y =

y

1 2 4

x + x

9

3

6 kN/m

30 kN

D

E

f=4

B

3

[m]

L = 12

The arch consists of two segments connected by a hinge. Externally there are six reactions at the

clamped supports A and B versus four equilibrium equations, the fourth is the equation of moments

with respect to the hinge C. Hence, the system has two redundant forces. The modified system

can be formed by the removal of the hinge C and then the horizontal and vertical internal forces

therein are considered as the redundant forces X1 and X2.

y

6 kN/m

30 kN

C

X1

A

D

X2

X1

X2

3

B

3

11

The kinematic compatibility conditions require, that the relative displacements of arch fragments

tips at the point C measured in the horizontal and vertical directions are zero. This leads to the

canonical equations of the flexibility method in the form

11 X 1 + 12 X 2 + 1P = 0

21 X 1 + 22 X 2 + 2P = 0

and the flexibility coefficients are calculated from the curvilinear integrals

Mi Mk

ds

EI

s

ik =

In the case of the parabolic arch the transformation to the polar co-ordinates is not efficient. The

integrals would be too complex.

Instead, first the integrals are transformed to the straight-line ones. From the figure

ds

dx

the following relation can be deduced

ds =

dx

cos

where is the slope of the tangent to the arch. Now the flexibility coefficients can be obtained from

Mi Mk

dx

EI

cos

x

ik =

It must be noted, that the angle is variable along the arch, depending on the co-ordinate x. It can

be obtained from the first derivative of the arch centre line function.

tan =

dy

dx

In our example

4

2

x+

3

9

= arctan

Substitution of this relation to the formula for the coefficients ik leads to very complex integrals,

which cannot be solved analytically. The only reasonable way to solve them is the numerical

integration. There are several methods available: rectangles, trapezium, Simpson, the family of

Gauss quadratures, etc. Some of these methods are based on a geometrical approach, where the

entire area below the function graph is approximated by a finite number of basic areas. Here we

will apply the trapezium method illustrated in the figure

y

f(x)

fn1

fn

f2

f0

f1

A1

A2

An

x

12

x a, b

is divided into a finite number of n equal intervals x and the determinate integral is represented as

a sum of trapeziums areas

b

f (x )dx = A1 + A2 + ... + An

After a substitution of the formulae for the trapezium area the integral can be finally expressed in

terms of a finite number of function values at the ends of intervals x

b

f (x )dx =

a

x

(f0 + 2f1 + 2f2 + ... + 2fn 1 + fn )

2

The method is approximate and its accuracy depends on the density of the function domain

subdivision. The larger is the number of intervals, the more accurate results are obtained.

In the considered example the integration domain is

x 0,12 m

and it will be subdivided into 12 intervals of x = 1.0 m.

To carry out the calculations the functions of bending moments in the basic states: X1 = 1, X2 = 1

and P are necessary.

M1 = 3 y

X1=1 C

X1=1

3

A

B

3

4

x

M2 = x 3

C

X2=1

A

X2=1

3

B

3

6 kN/m

30 kN

D

E

B

3

6

2

on AD

2 (x 3 )

MP = 6 3(x 4.5 )

on DE

225

27

13

27

81

The results of calculations for the flexibility coefficients are presented in the table.

x

tan

cos

M1

M2

MP

M 1M 1

cos

M1M 2

cos

M 2M 2

cos

M1M P

cos

m

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

10.0

11.0

12.0

m

0.0

1.2222

2.2222

3.0

3.5556

3.8889

4.0

3.8889

3.5556

3.0

2.2222

1.2222

0.0

1.3333

1.1111

0.8889

0.6667

0.4444

0.2222

0.0

0.2222

0.4444

0.6667

0.8889

1.1111

1.3333

0.6

0.6690

0.7474

0.8320

0.9138

0.9762

1.0

0.9762

0.9138

0.8320

0.7474

0.6690

0.6

m

3.0

1.7778

0.7778

0.0

0.5556

0.8889

1.0

0.8889

0.5556

0.0

0.7778

1.7778

3.0

m

3.0

2.0

1.0

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

kNm

27.0

12.0

3.0

0.0

3.0

12.0

27.0

45.0

63.0

81.0

129.0

177.0

225.0

m2

15.0

4.7243

0.8094

0.0

0.3378

0.8094

1.0

0.8094

0.3378

0.0

0.8094

4.7243

15.0

m2

15.0

5.3148

1.0407

0.0

0.6080

1.8211

3.0

3.6423

3.0401

0.0

7.2847

21.259

45.0

m2

15.0

5.9791

1.3380

0.0

1.0943

4.0975

9.0

16.390

27.358

43.269

65.561

95.665

135.0

kNm2

135.0

31.892

3.1220

0.0

1.8240

10.927

27.0

40.976

38.305

0.0

134.25

470.36

1125.0

M 2MP

cos

M(i)

kNm2

kNm

135.0

2.391

35.874

1.894

4.0139

1.097

0.0

0.0

3.2830 1.397

24.585 3.091

81.0

5.085

184.39 4.379

344.71 2.027

584.13 14.136

1208.2 1.945

2116.7 -4.546

3375.0 5.337

Applying the trapezium formula for the coefficients yields the following results

11 =

29.362

25.077

344.75

1150.6

6127.1

, 12 =

, 22 =

, 1P =

, 1P =

EI

EI

EI

EI

EI

With these coefficients found the canonical equations can be solved to get the values of the

redundant forces

X 1 = 25.598 kN ,

X 2 = 15.856 kN ,

The final values of the bending moments in the arch are obtained from the superposition rule

M (i ) = M1 X 1 + M 2 X 2 + M P

and their values are given in the last column in the table above.

The correctness of these calculations should be verified by the kinematic check. Here the crosssection rotation at the clamped support A will be calculated from the principle of virtual work and

the reduction theorem as

M (i )M (0 )

M (i )M (0 )

ds =

dx = 0 (? )

EI

s

x EI cos

1 A =

To this end another modified system is introduced with the appropriate virtual loading in the form of

the concentrated unit moment at the point A.

y

D

E

f=4

B

A

1

4

3

1

12

L = 12

[m]

1

12

x

1

4

Having calculated the reactions at the supports in the usual way the function of the virtual bending

moment in the modified system can be expressed as

M (0 ) =

1

1

x y+1

12

4

14

The calculation of the integral in the kinematic check is also carried out using the trapezium

method and the results are given in the following table

x

M(i)

M (0 )

cos

m

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

10.0

11.0

12.0

m

0.0

1.2222

2.2222

3.0

3.5556

3.8889

4.0

3.8889

3.5556

3.0

2.2222

1.2222

0.0

kNm

2.391

1.894

1.097

0.0

1.397

3.091

5.085

4.379

2.027

14.136

1.945

-4.546

5.337

1.0

0.6111

0.2778

0.0

0.2222

0.3889

0.50

0.5556

0.5556

0.50

0.3889

0.2222

0.0

0.6

0.6690

0.7474

0.8320

0.9138

0.9762

1.0

0.9762

0.9138

0.8320

0.7474

0.6690

0.6

M ( i ) M (0 )

cos

kNm

3.985

1.730

0.408

0.0

0.340

1.231

2.543

2.492

1.232

8.495

1.012

1.510

0.0

0.016

EI

This result related to the maximum absolute value component in the integral calculation, i.e.

8.495/EI is only 0.19%, what allows to conclude, that the angle A is indeed zero and that the

calculated bending moments in the statically indeterminate arch are correct.

To complete the calculations let us also find the functions of shear and axial forces in the arch.

y

6 kN/m

30 kN

C

25.65

15.86

25.65 A

D

25.65

15.86

4

B

25.65

2.4

32.14

33.86

5.3

The values of reactions in supports A and B can be obtained from the equilibrium equations for the

parts AC and CB of the arch. With these values in hand one can write down the appropriate

equations of equilibrium to get the functions of internal forces. For the left half of the arch AD

y

6 kN/m

M

T

25.65 A

2.4

33.86

15

T = 25.65 sin + (33.86 6 x ) cos

For the right half of the arch DB two cross-sections must be considered with the separation point E.

M

30 kN

N

E

x

25.65

3

5.3

32.14

M

N

x

25.65

3

32.14

5.3

for ED section:

N = (30 32.14 ) sin 25.65 cos

T = (30 32.14 ) cos + 25.65 sin

for EB section:

N = 32.14 sin 25.65 cos

T = 32.14 cos + 25.65 sin

It must be noted, that in all the analyzed cases the angle is an angle from the first quarter and is

always positive. So it is related to the oriented angle as =

The values of shear and normal forces are given in the following table

x

m

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

10.0

11.0

12.0

y

m

0.0

1.2222

2.2222

3.0

3.5556

3.8889

4.0

3.8889

3.5556

3.0

2.2222

1.2222

0.0

cos

0.6

0.6690

0.7474

0.8320

0.9138

0.9762

1.0

0.9762

0.9138

0.8320

0.7474

0.6690

0.6

sin

0.8

0.743

0.664

0.556

0.406

0.217

0.0

0.217

0.406

0.556

0.664

0.743

0.8

N

kN

42.5

37.9

33.7

30.1

27.4

25.9

25.7

25.5

24.3

22.5 / 39.2

40.5

41.0

41.1

T

kN

0.20

0.42

0.69

1.04

1.40

-1.79

2.14

3.47

8.46

12.50 / 12.5

6.99

2.44

1.24

16

Note, that for x = 9.0 m, i.e. at the point E, where the point load is applied, the shear and axial

forces are discontinuous. The respective jumps in the functions are equal to the respective

components of the concentrated force along tangent and normal to the tangent.

The values of the internal forces can now be presented graphically.

5.1

+

M

[kNm]

T

[kN]

5.3

12.5

0.2

14.1

2.4

2.14

25.7

N

[kN]

12.5

1.24

22.5

39.2

41.1

42.5

It is worth to observe, that the differential relation between the bending moment and the shear

force is also valid for curved beams. So, the zero value of the shear force corresponds to the local

extreme value of the bending moment.

It is also interesting to observe the disturbing influence of the point load. The left half of the arch

loaded by the distributed force is characterized by a very small bending (and shear), while the right

half with the point load is subjected to a relatively larger bending (and shear).

Now let us consider the same arch subjected to the uniformly distributed load of the snow-type

along the entire length.

y

6 kN/m

f=4

B

9

x

[m]

L = 12

For the convenience of the calculations the same modified system is adopted

y

6 kN/m

C

X2 X1

X1

A

X2

17

11 X 1 + 12 X 2 + 1P = 0

21 X 1 + 22 X 2 + 2P = 0

The states X1 = 1, X2 = 1 are identical and the flexibility coefficients are

11 =

29.362

25.077

344.75

, 12 =

, 22 =

EI

EI

EI

y

6 kN/m

MP =

C

6

(x 3 )2

2

4

A

B

3

243

27

27

108

x

cos

M1

M2

MP

M1M P

cos

M 2MP

cos

M(i)

m

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

10.0

11.0

12.0

m

0.0

1.2222

2.2222

3.0

3.5556

3.8889

4.0

3.8889

3.5556

3.0

2.2222

1.2222

0.0

0.6

0.6690

0.7474

0.8320

0.9138

0.9762

1.0

0.9762

0.9138

0.8320

0.7474

0.6690

0.6

m

3.0

1.7778

0.7778

0.0

0.5556

0.8889

1.0

0.8889

0.5556

0.0

0.7778

1.7778

3.0

m

3.0

2.0

1.0

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

kNm

27.0

12.0

3.0

0.0

3.0

12.0

27.0

48.0

75.0

108.0

147.0

192.0

243.0

kNm2

135.0

31.89

3.122

0.0

1.824

10.93

27.0

43.71

45.60

0.0

153.0

510.2

1215

kNm2

135.0

35.87

4.014

0.0

3.283

24.59

-81.0

196.7

410.4

778.8

1377

2296

3645

kNm

0.030

0.017

0.007

0.0

0.004

0.009

0.010

0.009

0.004

0.000

0.007

0.017

0.030

Using the trapezium formula the remaining flexibility coefficients are found:

1P =

1244

6883

, 2P =

EI

EI

Now the canonical equations can be solved to get the values of the redundant forces

X 1 = 26.99kN ,

X 2 = 18.00kN ,

The final values of the bending moments in the arch are obtained from the superposition rule

M (i ) = M1 X 1 + M 2 X 2 + M P

and their values are given in the last column in the table above. These values are very close to

zero. Indeed, they should be exactly zero, because the parabolic arch is the optimal one for the

snow-type loading and it is in the bending-free state provided the supports allow for the reactions

transmitting the axial force. This conditions are fulfilled in the considered example. Hence, the

18

small non-zero values of the final bending moments are due to the round-up errors and have to be

neglected.

In this situation every kinematic check is fulfilled.

Finally let us find the functions of the shear forces (which should be zero, too) and the non-zero

axial forces.

Having found the reactions

y

6 kN/m

C

D

26.99

18.00

26.99

26.99 A

18.00

26.99

0.0

0.0

36.00

36.00

y

6 kN/m

M

T

26.99 A

36.00

0.0

6 kN/m

M

N

x

26.99

12 x

0.0

36.00

the following equilibrium equations can be written for the left (from A to D)

N = 26.99 cos (36.00 6 x ) sin

T = 26.99 sin + (36.00 6 x ) cos

and the right half (from B to D) of the arch

N = 26.99 cos [36.00 6(12 x )]sin

T = 26.99 sin [36.00 6(12 x )]cos

It must be noted again, that in these cases the angle is an angle from the first quarter and is

always positive. So it is related to the oriented angle as =

19

The values of shear and normal forces are given in the following table

x

m

0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

6.0

7.0

8.0

9.0

10.0

11.0

12.0

y

m

0.0

1.2222

2.2222

3.0

3.5556

3.8889

4.0

3.8889

3.5556

3.0

2.2222

1.2222

0.0

cos

0.6

0.6690

0.7474

0.8320

0.9138

0.9762

1.0

0.9762

0.9138

0.8320

0.7474

0.6690

0.6

sin

0.8

0.743

0.664

0.556

0.406

0.217

0.0

0.217

0.406

0.556

0.664

0.743

0.8

N

kN

45.0

40.4

36.1

32.4

29.5

27.6

27.0

27.6

29.5

32.4

36.1

40.4

45.0

T

kN

0.008

0.007

0.007

0.006

0.004

0.002

0.000

0.002

0.004

0.006

0.007

0.007

0.008

The shear force values are indeed zero, the results in the last column are only due to round-up

errors.

The graphical representation of the axial forces concludes the example

27.0

N

[kN]

45.0

45.0

20

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