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Elastic Bending of

Nonsymmetrical Sections
One of the assumptions made in the development of the bending stress
formula (Section 3-4) was that the loads were applied in a plane of symmetry of the
beam; hence, the beam would be subject to no torque. We will now proceed to develop
a more general approach encompassing a general case of loading and a general cross
Figure 3-21 shows an arbitrary section of a beam subjected to a pure bending
moment M. In our case, we shall assume the principal plane, in which M acts, to be x-
y and the principal axes of the cross section to be y and z.
We also assume the beam to be homogeneous and isotropic, and that we stay within
the elastic limit of the material. Thus, plane sections will remain plane, and the
bending strains and stresses will vary linearly from the neutral axis, Now let us resolve
M into rectangular components My and Mz acting in the xz and xy planes, respectively
(y and z are assumed to be principal axes).

Figure 3-21
Observing that the deformation is elastic, we write

 y  ky
from which k = M-/I-. The stress then becomes

y  (3-32)
By a similar analysis, the stress z is found to be

M yz
z  (3-33)
Thus, when the bending moments do not act in the principal planes, we may resolve
the moments into components which would coincide with the principal planes. Then
the total stress is the algebraic sum (or difference) of the two stresses produced by the
individual components of M. Example 3-21 illustrates the procedure.

Example 3-21:

Given: The section in Figure a subjected to a bending moment of M = 50,000 in.-lb

acting in plane xy.
Find: Stress at point 1.
M b  (50,000) cos 30  43,00in.  lb

M a  (50,000) sin 300  25,00in.  lb

6(12) 3
Ib   864in.4

Ia   216in. 4


(43,00)(6) (25,000)(6)
1    30  347  647 psi
864 216