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Three Moment

Equation
Theory of Structure - I

Department of Civil Engineering

University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Lecture Outlines
Introduction
Proof

Example

Department of

Introduction
Developed

by French Engineer Clapeyron in

1857.
This equation relates the internal moments in
a continuous beam at three points of support
to the loads acting between the supports.
By successive application of this equation to
each span of the beam, one obtains a set of
equations that may be solved simultaneously
for the unknown internal moments at the
support.
Department of

A

general form of three moment equation can

be developed by considering the span of a
continuous beam.
P1

P2

P3

P4

WL

WR
ML

MC

L
LL

Department of

MC

MR

LR

The

formulation will be based on the

conjugate-beam method.
Since the real beam is continuous over the
supports, the conjugate-beam has hinges at
L, C and R.
AL /EIL

LL
XL

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CL 1

AR /EIR

CR 1

LR

R
XR

moments)
Using

the principle of superposition, the M /

EI diagram for the internal moments is
shown.
MC /EIL
ML /EIL

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MR /EIR

MC /EIR

LL

CL2

CR2

LR

In

particular AL/EIL and AR/EIR represent the

total area under their representative M / EI
diagrams; and xL and xR locate their centroids.

Since

the slope of real beam is continuous

over the center support, we require the shear
forces for the conjugate beam.

C L1 C L2 (C R1 C R2 )
Department of

Summing

span, we have

1 AL
1 1 ML
1 MC
1
2

LL LL
LL
C L1 C L2
(
xL )
LL

LL EI L
LL 2 EI L
2 EI L
3
3

A x
M L
M L
L L L L C L
EI L
6 EI L
3EI L

Summing

moments about point R for the

right span yields

1 AR
1 1 MR
1 MC
1
2

LR LR
LR LR
C R1 C R2
(
xR )

LR EI R
LR 2 EI R
2 EI R
3
3

A x
M L
M L
R R R R C R
EI R
6 EI R
3EI R

Department of

General Equation
Equating

C L1 C L2 (C R1 C R2 )
and

simplifying yields

LL LR M R LR
M L LL
6 AL xL
6 AR xR
2M C

IL
IR
I L LL
I R LR
IL IR
(1)
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Summation

signs have been added to the

terms on the right so that M/EI diagrams for
each type of applied load can be treated
separately.

In

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10

PL

PR

KLLL

KRLR R

LL

If

the areas and centroidal distances for their

M/EI diagrams are substituted in to 3-Moment
equation,

LL LR M R LR
M L LL
PL
PL
wL
wL
3
3
2M C

L L k L k L R R k R k R L L R R
IL
IR
IL
IR
4I L
4I R
IL IR
2

(2)
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Special Case:
If

the moment of inertia is constant for the

entire span, IL = IR.

M L LL 2M C LL LR M R LR PL LL k L k L PR LR k R k R
2

wL LL wR LR

4
4

(3)

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12

Example:
Determine

the reactions at the supports for

the beam shown. The moment of inertia of
span AB is one half that of span BC.
3 k/ft
A
0.5 I
25 ft

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15k
C

I
15 ft

5 ft

13

Data
ML
LL
IL

=0

= 25ft

= 0.5I

MC
LR
IR

= MB

=I

=0

PR

= 15k

wL

= 3k/ft

wR

=0

Department of

=0

= 20ft

PL

kL =

MR

kR =

0.25

14

Substituting

3
15 * 20 2
3
*
25
25 20
0 2M B
0 0
0.25 0.253
0
I
4 * 0.5I
0.5I I
M B 177.5k . ft

Department of

15

F 0; A
M 0;
x

75 k

VBL

Ay 30.4k

0;

30.4 75 VBL 0

A
Ay

B
12.5

12.5

177.5k.ft

VBL 44.6k
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0;

15 k

C y 2.38k

0;

2.38 15 VBR 0

VBR
B
177.5k.ft

C
15 ft

5 ft

Cy

VBR 12.6k
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17

free body diagram of the differential

segment of the beam that passes over roller
at B is shown in figure.

177.5k.ft

177.5k.ft

B y 44.6 12.6 0
B y 57.2k

Department of

44.6 k

By

12.6 k

18

Practice Problems:
Chapter

Example

9-11 to 9-13 and Exercise

Structural

Department of

Analysis by R C Hibbeler

19

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