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Centre of Advanced Design Engineering

ENG4082 Mathematics and Mechanics

GEOMETRIC
PROPERTIES
OF SECTIONS

Geometric Properties of Sections

Dr D Ashman

Page 1

Centre of Advanced Design Engineering


ENG4082 Mathematics and Mechanics
Beams with Sections with One Axis of Symmetry
Parallel Axis Theorem
When a section is not symmetrical then we can make use of the parallel axis theorem, the
proof of which is given below.

We have seen how to calculate the second Moment of Area of sections about their
Centroidal Axis which forms the Neutral Axis when the section is bent. The Parallel Axis
Theorem allows us to calculate the Second Moment of Area about any axis. The usefulness
of this theorem will be seen later.

Consider the arbitrary beam cross section shown below. GG denotes the axis through the
centroid of the section.

I XX y 2 dA
I XX x h dA
2

I XX x 2 dA h x dA h 2 dA
Since

x dA 0 about the centroid


I XX IGG Ah 2

This is the Parallel Axis Theorem. It is used to convert the value of the Second Moment of
Area about one axis to the value about a parallel axis.
We can use this theorem to calculate Second Moment of Areas of sections with only one axis
of symmetry.
Example

Geometric Properties of Sections

Dr D Ashman

Page 2

Centre of Advanced Design Engineering


ENG4082 Mathematics and Mechanics
Calculate the stress in the beam with the section
shown if it bears a hogging moment of 40 kNm.

First we must find the position of the centroid


through which the Neutral Axis will run when the
section is bent.

A y
A
300 40 380 360 40 180
300 40 360 40

270.9 mm
Then we can find the Second Moment of Area
about the Neutral Axis by means of the Parallel
Axis Theorem.

I IGG Ah 2

40 3603
300 403
2
2

40 360 90.9
300 40 109.1 10 12
12
12

4.19 10 4 m 4
To find the maximum stress we need to find the maximum value of y which in this case is
equal to 207.9 mm.

My
I

40 103 0.2709
4.19 10 4

25.9 MNm 2
At the top of the beam we have
a smaller stress

My
I

40 103 0.1291
4.19 10 4

12.3 MNm 2
Note that the convention for sign of the bending moment used earlier does not give the
correct sign for the stress. I.e. a positive sagging moment would predict a tensile stress at
the top when it would actually be compressive.

Geometric Properties of Sections

Dr D Ashman

Page 3

Centre of Advanced Design Engineering


ENG4082 Mathematics and Mechanics
Exercises

1. Calculate the Second Moment of Area of the section shown below. Assume that the
moment is applied in the vertical plane. (1.35x10-4 m4)

2. The sections shown are subjected to a 'hogging' (i.e. tension on top) Bending Moment of
25 kNm in the vertical plane. In each case calculate the maximum tensile and
compressive stresses and sketch the stress distributions across the sections.
(+178, 118, -73.5, 66.8, -175 MNm-2)

Geometric Properties of Sections

Dr D Ashman

Page 4

Centre of Advanced Design Engineering


ENG4082 Mathematics and Mechanics

3. A conveyor belt has the section shown below. If the belt is subjected to a sagging
Bending Moment of 300 Nm calculate the greatest tensile and compressive stresses in
the belt and sketch the stress distribution across the belt. (27.8, -53.2 MNm-2)

4. A beam has the channel section shown below. It is simply supported over a length of 3 m
and carries a uniformly distributed load of 4 kNm-1. Calculate the greatest tensile and
compressive stresses in the beam. (-23.8, 13.8 MNm-2)

Geometric Properties of Sections

Dr D Ashman

Page 5

Centre of Advanced Design Engineering


ENG4082 Mathematics and Mechanics

5. (OEQ) For the beam shown below


a) calculate the reaction at each support,
b) calculate the bending moment at each change in load and sketch the bending
moment diagram for the beam,

b h3

may b e useful ,
c) calculate the Second Moment of Area for the beam I
12

d) identify the greatest bending moment in the beam and calculate the greatest tensile

and compressive stresses

My
.
I

6. Calculate the greatest tensile and compressive stresses in the following beams.

Geometric Properties of Sections

Dr D Ashman

Page 6