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Forces

Compression

Tension

Truss

A truss is composed of slender members

joined together at their end points.

– They are usually joined by welds or gusset

plates.

Simple Truss

A simple truss is composed of triangles, which

will retain their shape even when removed

from supports.

Pinned and Roller Supports

A pinned support can

support a structure in two

dimensions.

support a structure in

only one dimension.

Solving Truss Forces

Assumptions:

All members are perfectly straight.

All loads are applied at the joints.

All joints are pinned and frictionless.

Each member has no weight.

Members can only experience tension or

compression forces.

What risks might these assumptions pose if

we were designing an actual bridge?

Static Determinacy

A statically determinate structure is one that

can be mathematically solved.

2J = M + R

J = Number of Joints

M = Number of Members

R = Number of Reactions

Statically Indeterminate

B

Each pin

connection

contributes TWO

A C reaction forces

D

FD = 500 lb

A truss is considered statically indeterminate when the

static equilibrium equations are not sufficient to find the

reactions on that structure. There are simply too many

unknowns.

Try It 2J = M + R

2(4) ≠ 5 + 4

Statically Determinate

B Is the truss

statically

determinate

now?

A C

D

FD = 500 lb

A truss is considered statically determinate when the

static equilibrium equations can be used to find the

reactions on that structure.

Try It 2J = M + R

2(4) = 5 + 3

Static Determinacy Example

joints, 35 members, and three reaction forces (pin and roller),

making it a statically determinate truss.

2J M R What if these

2 19 35 3

numbers were

different?

38 38

Equilibrium Equations

M 0

The sum of the moments about a given

point is zero.

Equilibrium Equations

Fx 0

The sum of the forces in the x-direction is

zero.

vector that acts to the right is positive, and a vector that

acts to the left is negative.

Equilibrium Equations

Fy 0

The sum of the forces in the y-direction

is zero.

acts down is negative.

Using Moments to Find RCY

A force that causes a B

clockwise moment is a

negative moment.

A C

RAx

D

A force that causes a 3.0 ft 7.0 ft

moment is positive 500 lb

moment. M A 0

FD contributes a negative FD(3.0 ft) RCy (10.0 ft) 0

moment because it causes a

clockwise moment about A. 500lb(3.0 ft) RCy (10.0 ft) 0

1500lb ft RCy (10.0 ft) 0

RCy contributes a positive

moment because it causes a RCy(10.0 ft) 1500lb ft

counterclockwise moment RCy 150lb

around A.

Sum the y Forces to Find RAy

We know two out of the B

three forces acting in the

y-direction. By simply A C

summing those forces RAx

D

together, we can find the

RAy 150. lb

unknown reaction at 500. lb

point A.

Fy 0

FD RCy RAy 0

Please note that a 500. lb 150.00 lb RAy 0

negative sign is in front of

FD because the drawing 350. lb RAy 0

shows the force as down. RAy 350. lb

Sum the x Forces to Find Ax

Because joint A is pinned, it is B

capable of reacting to a force

applied in the x-direction. A C

RAx

D

350. lb 150. lb

However, since the only load 500. lb

applied to this truss (FD) has no

Fx 0

x-component, RAx must be zero.

Method of Joints

Use cosine and sine to determine x and y vector

components.

mean the member is in tension, and a negative number will mean the

B

member is in compression.

correct magnitude and sense for subsequent joint free body diagrams.

Method of Joints

Truss Dimensions

4.0 ft

A θ1 θ2 C

RAx

D

3.0 ft 7.0 ft

RAy RCy

500lb

Method of Joints

Using Truss Dimensions to Find Angles

B

tan1 opp

adj

4.0 ft

4.0 ft

A θ1 tan1 4.0

θ ft 2 C

D 3.0 ft

3.0 ft 7.0 ft

1

3.0

153.130

Method of Joints

Using Truss Dimensions to Find Angles

tan1 opp B

adj

4.0 ft 4.0 ft

tan1 A θ

4.0 ft θ2 C

7.0 ft1

D

3.0 ft 7.0 ft

1

7.0

129.745

Method of Joints

Draw a free body diagram of each pin.

A 53.130° 29.745° C

RAx

D

RAy 500lb

RCy

Every member is assumed to be in tension. A positive

answer indicates the member is in tension, and a negative

answer indicates the member is in compression.

Method of Joints

Where to Begin

Choose the joint that has the least number of unknowns.

Reaction forces at joints A and C are both good choices to

begin our calculations.

BD

A C

RAx AD CD

0 D

RAy RCy

Method of Joints

FY 0

RAy AB y 0

437.50 lb

350lb AB sin53.130 0

AB

AB sin53.130 350lb

A 53.130

AD

350lb

AB

350 lb sin53.130

AB 438 lb

Method of Joints

Update the all force diagrams based on AB

being under compression.

BD

A C

RAx= 0 AD CD

D

Method of Joints

FX 0

ABx AD 0

437.50 lb cos53.130 AD 0

AB 437.50 lb

AD 437.50 lb cos53.130

A 53.130

AD AD 262.50 lb

262.50 lb

350 lb

Method of Joints

FY 0

RCy BC y 0

302.33 lb 150 lb BC sin 29.745 0

BC

29.745 C BC sin 29.745 150 lb

CD

150lb

BC

150 lb sin 29.745

BC 302 lb

Method of Joints

Update the all force diagrams based on BC

being under compression.

BD

A C

RAx= 0 AD CD

D

Method of Joints

FX 0

BCx CD 0

302.33 lb cos29.745 CD 0

BC 302.33 lb

29.745 C CD 302.33 lb cos29.745

CD

262.50 lb CD 262.50 lb

150 lb

Method of Joints

500lb

BD FY 0

D

BD FD 0

BD 500lb 0

BD 500lb

500lb

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