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Frames and machines are two common types of structures which are often composed of pin-
connected multi force members (members that are subjected to more than two forces).
Frames are generally stationary and are used to support loads. Machines contain moving parts and are
designed to transmit and alter the effect of forces.
In order to determine the forces acting at the joints and supports of a frame or machine, the structure
must be disassembled and the free-body diagram of its parts must be drawn. Forces common to any
two contacting members act with equal magnitudes but opposite sense on the respective members
(action-reaction law). If the two members are treated as a system of connected members, then these
forces are internal and are not shown on the free-body diagram of the system; however, if the free-
body diagram of each member is drawn, the forces are external and must be shown on each of the
free-body diagrams.
An example for frames: Three pinned Systems:
In the frames on the left, two members of the structure are connected
by a pin at point G and it is supported by two hinges, which are pinned
connections, at points A and B. Note that, these structure members are
not two-force members, because they carry more than two loads, i.e.
support loads and P1 or P2 or can be more.
In these type of
structures, there are
four unknown support
reaction forces, which
are Ax , Ay , Bx , By . In
a plane, only three
equilibrium equations
can be written. In this
type of systems, one
P2 missing equilibrium
P1 equation is written
about point G and is
G called as the pin
condition. So, these
Bx systems are also
Ax statically determinate.
First, each part is
Ay II isolated by drawing its
outlined shape and all
the forces and/or couple moments acting on the part
P1 Gy P2 are shown. At the common disassembled points, the
pin forces (Gx and Gy) must obey the action-reaction
Gx Gx law. Now, we have free-body diagrams of two
separated parts on which we can write three
Gy equilibrium equations for each, namely totally six.
Bx Especially if we write the moment equilibrium about
Ax point G on any part, which is called the pin
condition, this would enable us to find all support
Ay reactions.
If another pinned connection is used to add another

part to the structure, this will bring one more pin connection to find one more reaction force. Number
of pinned connections in a frame is equal to the number of the additional equilibrium equations that
can be written for the structure.

F  0
+ 0
F  0

M  0 z

Example: Calculate the support

reactions of the Gerber beam under the
loading shown in the figure.

System: F x  0  Ax  0
GB part:

M G  0   2  2 1  B y  2  0
 By  2 N


F x  0  Ax  0

M A 0
33 2
 MA    3  2  2  4  By  5  0
2 3
 M A  15 Nm


Example: The hoist supports the 125 kg engine.

Determine the force the load creates in member DB and
in member FB, which contains the hydraulic cylinder H.

Member GFE:
ME=0  12263+ 2  FFBcos =0  FFB= 1938 N
Fy=0   1226  FFBcos  Ey=0  Ey= 613 N
Fx=0  FFBsin + Ex=0  Ex= 613 N

Member EDC:
MC=0  Ex  3+ FBD cos  1 =0  FBD= 2601 N


Example: Determine the horizontal and vertical

components of reaction at A and B. The pin at C
is fixed to member AE and fits through a smooth
slot in member BD.
FBD of pulley:
ME=0  TR  180  R=0  T= 180 N
Fx=0  Ex Tcos 45o =0  Ex= 90√2 N
Fy=0 Ey+Tsin45o180 =0Ey=18090√2N

FBD of member BCD:

MB=0  T52 C32=0  C=  300 N
Fx=0  Bx+Ccos 45o+Tcos 45o =0  Bx= 602 N
Fy=0  ByCsin 45oT sin 45o =0  By= 602 N

FBD of member ACE:

MA=0   MA +Csin 45o  3 Ey 6 =0
 MA = 902 1080 N
Fx=0  Ax  Ccos 45o  Ex =0
 Ax =  602 N
Fy=0  Ay+Csin 45o Ey =0
 Ay= 180+602 N


Example: W=100kN AB cover is pin-

connected at point C and rests on the ground at
point B. In the equilibrium state shown in the
figure, calculate the reaction force at point B.
Calculate for unit width. Weight density of the
water is

FBD of AB cover:

M C 0
 Qsu  (3  10/3 3 )  W 1 cos60o  R B  3  cos60o  0
 (250/ 3 )  (3  10/3 3 )  100 1 0.5  R B 1.5  0
 R B  70.2 kN