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# Chapter 5

Torsion
Torque
Torque
• Torsion refers to the twisting of a
straight member (bar shaped in
particular) when it is loaded by
moments (or torques) that tend
longitudinal axis of the bar.
• For instance, when you turn a
torque T to the handle and twists
the shank of the screwdriver.
• Other examples of bars in torsion
are drive shafts in automobiles,
axles, propeller shafts, steering
rods and drill bits.
Torque
pictured in the figure, which shows a
straight bar supported at one end and
loaded by two pairs of equal and
opposite forces.
• The first pair consists of the forces P1
acting near the midpoint of the bar and
the second pair consists of the forces P2
acting at the end.
• Each pair of forces forms a couple that
tends to twist the bar about its
longitudinal axis.
• The first couple has a moment T1 = P1d1
and the second has a moment T2 = P2d2.
Torque
• The moment of a couple may be represented
by a vector in the form of a double-headed
arrow.
• The arrow is perpendicular to the plane
containing the couple, and therefore in this
case both arrows are parallel to the axis of the
bar.
• The direction (or sense) of the moment is
indicated by the right-hand rule for moment
vectors namely, using your right hand, let your
fingers curl in the direction of the moment,
and then your thumb will point in the
direction of the vector.
• An alternative representation of a moment is
a curved arrow acting in the direction of
rotation.
• Both the curved arrow and vector
representations are in common use.
Torque
• Moments that produce twisting of a bar about its
longitudinal axis, such as the moments T1 and T2 in
the figure, are called torques or twisting moments.
• Cylindrical members that are subjected to torques
and transmit power through rotation are called
shafts; for instance, the drive shaft of an automobile
or the propeller shaft of a ship.
• Most shafts have circular cross sections, either solid
or tubular.
Torsional Deformation of
Circular Bars / Shafts
Torsional Deformation
• When the torque is applied, the circles and
longitudinal grid lines originally marked on
the shaft tend to distort into the pattern
shown in the figure.
• Twisting causes the circles to remain
circles and each longitudinal grid line
deforms into a helix that intersects the
circles at equal angles.
• Also, the cross sections from the ends
along the shaft will remain flat, that is,
they do not warp or bulge in or out, and
radial lines remain straight during the
deformation.
• The angle of twist is considerably small,
thus the length of the shaft and its radius
remain unchanged.
• Considering a prismatic bar of circular cross section twisted
by torques T acting at the ends.
• Since every cross section of the bar is identical and since
every cross section is subjected to the same internal torque T,
the bar is said in pure torsion.
• If the left-hand end of the bar is fixed in position, under the
action of the torque T, the right-hand end will rotate (with
respect to the left-hand end) through a small angle 𝜙, known
as the angle of twist (or angle of rotation).
• Because of this rotation, a straight longitudinal line pq on the
surface of the bar will become a helical curve pq, where q is the
position of point q after the end cross section has rotated through
the angle 𝜙.
• The angle of twist changes along the axis of the bar, and at
intermediate cross sections it will have a value 𝜙(x) that is between
zero at the left-hand end and 𝜙 at the right-hand end.
• If every cross section of the bar has the same radius and is
subjected to the same torque (pure torsion), the angle 𝜙(x) will
vary linearly between the ends.
Shear Strains
• Consider an element of the bar between two cross sections
distance dx apart.
• On its outer surface we identify a small element abcd, with sides ab
and cd that initially are parallel to the longitudinal axis.
• During twisting of the bar, the right-hand cross section rotates with
respect to the left-hand cross section through a small angle of twist
d𝜙, so that points b and c move to b’ and c’ respectively.
• The lengths of the sides of the element, which is now element
ab’c’d, do not change during this small rotation.
• However, the angles at the corners of the element are no
longer equal to 900.
• The magnitude of the shear strain at the outer surface of
the bar, denoted 𝛾max , is equal to the decrease in the
angle at point a, that is, the decrease in angle b-a-d.
• The decrease in this angle is :

## 𝛾max = bb’/ab …(1)

• 𝛾max is measured in radians, bb’ is the distance through
which point b moves, and ab is the length of the element
(equal to dx).
• With r denoting the radius of the bar, we can express the
distance bb as rd𝜙, where d𝜙 also is measured in
• Thus, the preceding equation becomes :

## 𝛾max = rd𝜙/dx …(2)

• The equation relates the shear strain at the outer
surface of the bar to the angle of twist.
• The quantity d𝜙/dx is the rate of change of the angle of
twist 𝜙 with respect to the distance x measured along
the axis of the bar.
• We will denote d𝜙/dx by the symbol 𝜃 and refer to it as
the rate of twist, or the angle of twist per unit length :

𝜃 = d𝜙/dx …(3)
• Therefore :
𝛾max = r𝜃 …(4)
• Or,
𝛾max = r𝜙 / L …(5)

## • Eq. (5) is the shear strain at the outer surface of the

bar.
• The shear strains within the interior of the bar can be found
by the same method used to find the shear strain 𝛾max at the
surface.
• Because radii in the cross sections of a bar remain straight
and undistorted during twisting, we see that the preceding
discussion for an element abcd at the outer surface will also
hold for a similar element situated on the surface of an
• Thus,
𝛾 = 𝜌𝜃 = 𝜌𝛾max / r …(6)
Shear Stress
Shear Stress
• The torque T tends to rotate the right-hand end of
the bar counterclockwise when viewed from the
right.
• Therefore, the shear stresses 𝜏 acting on a stress
element located on the surface of the bar will have
the directions shown in the figure.
• From Hooke’s law,
𝜏 = G𝛾 …(7)
Shear Stress
• And,
𝜏max = Gr𝜃 …(8)

## 𝜏 = G𝜌𝜃 = 𝜌𝜏max / r …(9)

• Eqs. (8) and (9) show that the shear stresses vary linearly
with the distance from the centre of the bar, as illustrated by
the triangular stress diagram in the figure.
• This linear variation of stress is a consequence of Hooke’s law.
• If the stress-strain relation is nonlinear, the stresses will vary
nonlinearly and other methods of analysis will be needed.
The Torsion Formula
The Torsion Formula
• Eq. (9) expresses the shear-
stress distribution over the
cross section in terms of the
element.
• Using it, we can now apply
the condition that requires
the torque produced by the
stress distribution over the
entire cross section to be
equivalent to the resultant
internal torque T at the
section, which holds the bar
in equilibrium.
The Torsion Formula
• Specifically, each element of area dA, located at 𝜌 is
subjected to a force of dF = 𝜏dA. The torque
produced by this force is dT = 𝜌(𝜏dA).
• We therefore have for the entire cross section,


T    (dA)      max dA …(10)
A A
r
The Torsion Formula
• Since 𝜏max / r is constant,
 max
T
r 
A
 2 dA …(11)

## • The integral represents the polar moment of inertia

of the bar’s cross sectional area about the
longitudinal axis; symbolized as J.
The Torsion Formula
• Rearranging Eq. (11) gives,

Tr
 max  …(12)
J
and,
T
 …(13)
J

## • Eq. (12 or 13) is referred to as the Torsion Formula.

The Torsion Formula
• For solid bar / shaft,

J r4 …(14)
2

## • For tubular bar / shaft,

J (r  ri )
0
4 4
…(15)
2
Examples
Example 5.2
• The shaft is supported by two bearings and is subjected to three
torques. Determine the shear stress developed at points A and B,
located at section a–a of the shaft.
Example 5.2
Example 5.2
Example 5.3
• The pipe has an inner diameter of 80 mm and an outer diameter of
100 mm. If its end is tightened against the support at A using a
torque wrench at B, determine the shear stress developed in the
material at the inner and outer walls along the central portion of
the pipe when the 80 N forces are applied to the wrench.
Example 5.3
Example 5.3
Angle of Twist
Angle of Twist
Angle of Twist
• The angle of twist of a bar 𝜙 can now be related to
the applied torque T.
• Combining Eq. (8) with Eq. (12) gives,
T
 …(16)
JG
• This equation shows that the rate of twist 𝜃 is
directly proportional to the torque T and inversely
proportional to the product JG, known as the
torsional rigidity of the bar.
Angle of Twist
• For a bar in pure torsion, the total angle of twist 𝜙
equal to the rate of twist 𝜃 times the length of the
bar L, that is,
  L

• Therefore,
TL
 …(17)
JG
Angle of Twist
• For multiple torques, or if the cross-sectional area or shear
modulus changes abruptly from one region of the shaft to
the next,

TL
  …(18)
JG
Sign Convention
Example
Sign Convention
Example
Examples
Example 5.5
• The gears attached to the fixed-end steel shaft are subjected to the
torques. If the shear modulus of elasticity is 80 GPa and the shaft
has a diameter of 14 mm, determine the displacement of the tooth
P on gear A. The shaft turns freely within the bearing at B.
Example 5.5
Example 5.5
Example 5.5
Example 5.7
• The 2-inch diameter solid cast-
iron post is buried 24 inch in
soil. If a torque is applied to its
top using a rigid wrench,
determine the maximum shear
stress in the post and the angle
of twist at its top. Assume that
the torque is about to turn the
post, and the soil exerts a
uniform torsional resistance of
along its 24-inch buried length.
Take G = 5.5 x 103 ksi.
Example 5.7
Example 5.7
Example 5.7
• The largest shear stress occurs in region AB, since
the torque is largest there and J is constant for the
post.
• Applying the torsion formula, we have maximum
shear stress as,
Example 5.7
• The angle of twist at the top can be determined relative to the
bottom of the post, since it is fixed and yet is about to turn.
• Both segments AB and BC twist, and so in this case we have
Statically Indeterminate
Statically Indeterminate
• A torsionally loaded shaft may be classified as statically
indeterminate if the moment equation of equilibrium,
determine the unknown torques acting on the shaft.
Statically Indeterminate
• As shown on the free-body
diagram, the reactive
torques at the supports A
and B are unknown.
• We require that,
𝛴Mx = 0;
T – TA – TB = 0 …(1)
Statically Indeterminate
• The necessary condition of compatibility, or the
kinematic condition, requires the angle of twist of one
end of the shaft with respect to the other end to be
equal to zero, since the end supports are fixed.
• Therefore,
𝜙A/B = 0

## • Provided the material is linear elastic, we can apply the

load–displacement relation 𝜙 = TL/JG to express the
compatibility condition in terms of the unknown
torques.
Statically Indeterminate
• Realizing that the internal torque in segment AC is
+TA and in segment CB it is –TB , we have
TA LAC TB LBC
 0 …(2)
JG JG
• Solving Eqs. (1) and (2) gives,

 LBC   LAC 
TA  T   TB  T  
 L   L 
Examples
Example 5.8
• The solid steel shaft has a diameter of 20 mm. If it is
subjected to the two torques, determine the
reactions at the fixed supports A and B.
Example 5.8
• By inspection of the free-
body diagram, it is seen that
the problem is statically
indeterminate since there is
only one available equation
of equilibrium and there are
two unknowns.
• We require
Example 5.8
• Since the ends of the shaft are fixed, the angle of twist
of one end of the shaft with respect to the other must
be zero.
• Hence, the compatibility equation becomes

𝜙A/B = 0

## • This condition can be expressed in terms of the unknown

torques by using 𝜙 = TL/JG.
• Here there are three regions of the shaft where the
internal torque is constant.
Example 5.8
• On the free-body diagrams we have shown the
internal torques acting on the left segments of the
shaft which are sectioned in each of these regions.
• This way the internal torque is only a function of TB .
• Therefore,
Example 5.8
• Hence,

TB = 645 N.m

## and substituting TB into Eq. (1) gives,

TA = – 345 N.m
Example 5.9
• The shaft is made from
a steel tube, which is
bonded to a brass core.
If a torque of T = 250
lb.ft is applied at its
end, plot the shear-
stress distribution
along a radial line of its
cross-sectional area.
Take Gst = 11.4 x 103 ksi
and Gbr = 5.20 x 103 ksi.
Example 5.9
• A free-body diagram
of the shaft is shown
in the figure. The
reaction at the wall
has been represented
by the unknown
amount of torque
resisted by the steel,
Tst and by the brass,
Tbr . Working in units
of pounds and inches,
equilibrium requires
Example 5.9
• We require the angle of twist of end A to be the same for
both the steel and brass since they are bonded together.
Thus,
𝜙 = 𝜙st = 𝜙br

## • Applying the load–displacement relationship 𝜙 = TL/JG,

Example 5.9
• Solving Eqs. (1) and (2),

## • The shear stress in the brass core varies from zero at

its center to a maximum at the interface where it
contacts the steel tube. Using the torsion formula,
Example 5.9
• For the steel, the minimum and maximum shear
stresses are
Example 5.9
• Note the discontinuity of
shear stress at the brass and
steel interface. This is to be
expected, since the materials
have different moduli of
rigidity; i.e., steel is stiffer
than brass (Gst > Gbr) and thus
it carries more shear stress at
the interface. Although the
shear stress is discontinuous
here, the shear strain is not.
Rather, the shear strain is the
same for both the brass and
the steel.
Stress Concentration
Stress Concentration
• Stress concentrations in
shafts occur at points of
sudden cross-sectional
change, such as
couplings, keyways, and
at shoulder fillets.
• The more severe the
change in geometry, the
larger the stress
concentration.
Stress Concentration
• For design or analysis, it is
not necessary to know
the exact shear-stress
distribution on the cross
section.
• Instead, it is possible to
obtain the maximum
shear stress using a stress
concentration factor K,
that has been determined
through experiment, and
is only a function of the
geometry of the shaft.
Stress Concentration
• The maximum shear stress is then determined from

𝜏max = K T r / J

## • Normally a stress concentration in a ductile shaft

subjected to a static torque will not have to be
considered in design; however, if the material is
concentrations become important.
Exercises
Exercise 1
• The solid circular shaft is subjected to an internal
torque of T = 5 kNm. Determine the shear stress
developed at points A and B. Represent each state of
stress on a volume element.
Exercise 2
• The hollow circular shaft is subjected to an internal
torque of T = 10 kNm. Determine the shear stress
developed at points A and B. Represent each state of
stress on a volume element.
Exercise 3
• Determine the maximum shear stress developed in
the 40-mm diameter shaft.
Exercise 4
• Determine the maximum shear stress developed in
the shaft at section a–a.
Exercise 5
• The solid shaft has a diameter of 0.75 inch. If it is
subjected to the torques shown, determine the
maximum shear stress developed in regions CD and EF of
the shaft. The bearings at A and F allow free rotation of
the shaft.
Exercise 6
• The coupling is used to connect the two shafts together.
Assuming that the shear stress in the bolts is uniform,
determine the number of bolts necessary to make the
maximum shear stress in the shaft equal to the shear
stress in the bolts. Each bolt has a diameter d.
Exercise 7
• The solid 50-mm-
diameter shaft is used
to transmit the
torques applied to the
gears. Determine the
absolute maximum
shear stress in the
shaft.
Exercise 8
• The 60-mm-diameter A-36 steel shaft is subjected to
the torques shown. Determine the angle of twist of
end A with respect to C.
Exercise 9
• Determine the angle of twist of wheel B with respect to
wheel A. The shaft has a diameter of 40 mm and is made
of A-36 steel.
Exercise 10
• A series of gears are mounted on the 40-mm diameter A-
36 steel shaft. Determine the angle of twist of gear B
relative to gear A.
Exercise 11
• The 80-mm-diameter shaft is made of A-36 steel. If it is
subjected to the uniform distributed torque, determine
the angle of twist of end A with respect to B.
Exercise 12
• The 60-mm diameter shaft ABC is supported by two journal bearings,
while the 80-mm diameter shaft EH is fixed at E and supported by a
journal bearing at H. If T1 = 2 kNm and T2 = 4 kNm, determine the angle of
twist of gears A and C. The shafts are made of A-36 steel.
Exercise 13
of A-36 steel and
each has a diameter
of 80 mm. Determine
the angles of twist at
end E and gear D.
Exercise 14
• The A-36 steel shaft has a diameter of 50 mm and is fixed
at its ends A and B. If it is subjected to the torque,
determine the maximum shear stress in regions AC and
CB of the shaft.
Exercise 15
• The shaft is made from a
solid steel section AB and a
steel and having a brass
core. If it is fixed to a rigid
support at A, and a torque
of T = 50 lb.ft is applied to it
at C, determine the angle of
twist that occurs at C and
compute the maximum
shear stress and maximum
shear strain in the brass and
steel. Take Gst = 11.5 x 103 ksi,
Gbr = 5.6 x 103 ksi.
Exercise 16
• The shaft is made of A-36 steel, has a diameter of 80 mm, and is
fixed at B while A is loose and can rotate 0.005 rad before
becoming fixed. When the torques are applied to C and D,
determine the maximum shear stress in regions AC and CD of the
shaft.
Exercise 17
• The A-36 steel shaft has a diameter of 60 mm and is fixed
at its ends A and B. If it is subjected to the torques
shown, determine the absolute maximum shear stress in
the shaft.
Exercise 18
• The steel shaft is made from two segments: AC has a diameter of 0.5 inch,
and CB has a diameter of 1 inch. If it is fixed at its ends A and B and
subjected to a torque of 500 lb.ft, determine the maximum shear stress in
the shaft. Take Gst = 10.8 x 103 ksi.