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# Lecture Notes of Mechanics of Solids, Chapter 7 1

## Chapter 7 Transverse Shear Stresses in Beams

7.0 SHEAR STRESSES IN BEAMS (SI&4
th
:363-365; 5
th
: 363-365)
In addition to the pure bending case, beams are often subjected to transverse loads which generate
both bending moments M(x) and shear forces V(x) along the beam as discussed in Chapter 5. The
bending moments cause bending normal stresses to arise through the depth of the beam, and the
shear forces cause transverse shear-stress distribution through the beam cross section as shown in
Fig. 7.1.
Resultant Shear
Force V(x)
Shear stress
P
x
Transverse Force
Cross-section a-a
Area A
Area A
a
a
= 0 at the
top surface

Fig. 7.1 Transverse shear force and transverse shear stress over cross-section of beam

If we look at a typical beam section with a transverse stress as in Fig. 7.1, the top and bottom
surfaces of the beam carries no longitudinal load, hence the shear stresses must be zero here. In
other words, at top and bottom surfaces of beam section = 0. As a consequence of this, the
shear stress distribution is not uniform and the formula of average shear stress is no longer valid
( )
A
x V
avg
= (7.1)

7.1 SHEAR FORMULA (SI&4
th
: 365-367; 5
th
: 365-367)
Recall that in the development of the flexure formula, we assumed that the cross section must
remain plane and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the beam after deformation. Although
this is violated when the beam is subjected to both bending and shear, we can generally assume
the cross-sectional warping described above is small enough so that it can be neglected. This
assumption is particularly true for the most common cases of a slender beam, i.e. one that has a
small depth compared with its length.
To determine the shear stress distribution equation, consider a loaded beam as Fig. 7.2:
F
1
F
2
M
1
M
2
x
dx
w(x)

Fig. 7.2 Beam with applied loads

Look at a FBD of the element dx with the bending moment stress distribution only, Fig. 7.3,
in which we do not need to look transverse forces if only horizontal equilibrium is considered.
Lecture Notes of Mechanics of Solids, Chapter 7 2

dx
M(x)
M(x)+
dM(x)
dx
dx M(x)+
dM(x)
dx
dx
N.A.

Fig. 7.3 Length of beam dx with normal stress distribution due to bending moment

Summing the forces horizontally on this infinitesimal element, the stresses due to the bending
moments only form a couple, therefore the force resultant is equal to zero horizontally. Consider
now a segment of this element a distance y above the N.A. up to the top of the element. In order
for it to be in equilibrium, a shear stress
xy
must be present, as shown in Fig. 7.4.
y
top
dx
M(x)
M(x)+
dM(x)
dx
dx
M(x)+
dM(x)
dx
dx
N.A.
y
dy
N.A.
d
x

xy
t(y)
y
dy
y
top

x1

x2

Fig. 7.4 Segment of length dx cut a distance y from N.A., with equilibrating shear stress
xy

Let the width of the section at a distance y from the N.A. be a function of y and call it t(y).
Applying the horizontal equilibrium equation, gives:
( ) ( ) ( ) 0 0
2 1
= + = = +

dx y t dy y t dy y t F
xy
y
y
x
y
y
x x
top top
(7.2)
Substituting for the magnitude of the stresses using ETB gives:
( )
( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) 0 = +
+

dx y t dy y t
I
y x dM x M
dy y t
I
y x M
xy
y
y
y
y
top top

Simplifying and dividing by dx and t(y) gives:
( )
( )
( )

=
top
y
y
xy
dy y yt
y It dx
x dM 1

But since ( )
( )
dx
x dM
x V =
then, the Shear Stress Distribution is given by:
( )
( )
( )
( ) ( )
( ) It
VQ
y It
y Q x V
dy y yt
y It
x V
top
y
y
xy
= = =

(7.3)
where:
V(x) the shear force carried by the section, found from the shear force diagram
I the second moment of area
t(y) the sectional width at the distance y from the N.A.
( ) ( ) A y dy y yt y Q
top
y
y
= =

A is the top (or bottom) portion of the members cross-sectional
area, defined from the section where t(y) is measured, and y is the distance to the centroid of
A, measured from the Neutral Axis.

Lecture Notes of Mechanics of Solids, Chapter 7 3

7.2 SHEAR STRESSES IN BEAMS (SI&4
th
: 368-376; 5
th
: 368-376)

Consider the beam to have a rectangular cross section of width b and height h as in Fig. 7.5
b
h
NA
y
y
A
Centroid of A
NA
Parabolic
curve

max

max
Shear Stress distribution
= 0
h/2

Fig. 7.5 Computation and distribution of shear stress in a rectangular beam

The distribution of the shear stress throughout the cross section due to a shear force V can be
determined by computing the shear stress at an arbitrary height y from the Neutral Axis.
b y
h
b y
h
y
h
y ' A ' y Q
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|

|
|
.
|

\
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = =
2
2
4 2
1
2 2 2
1
(7.4)
The second moment of entire area:
12
3
bh
I =
With t = b, applying the shear formula, Eq. (7.3), we have
|
|
.
|

\
|
=

|
|
.
|

\
|

= =
2
2
3 3
2
2
4
6
12
4 2
1
y
h
bh
V
b
bh
b y
h
V
It
VQ
(7.5)

The result indicates that the shear stress distribution over the cross section is parabolic, as
plotted in Fig. 7.5. The shear force intensity varies from zero at the top and bottom, y = h/2,
to a maximum value at the neutral axis at y = 0 (Please comparing this with the normal stress
distribution in Chapter 6, Fig. 6.6).

From Eq. (7.5), the maximum shear stress that occurs at the Neutral Axis is computed as
A
V
.
max
5 1 = (7.6)
This same value for
max
can be obtained directly from the shear formula = VQ/It, by
realizing that
max
occurs where Q is largest. By inspection, Q will be a maximum when the
area above (or below) the neutral axis is considered, that is A = bh/2 and 4 / h ' y = .

By comparison,
max
is 50% greater than the average shear stress determined from Eq. (7.1).

Lecture Notes of Mechanics of Solids, Chapter 7 4

Example 7.1: Determine shear stress distribution in the following I beam, with a shear
force of V = 25 kN applied.

100
100
10
10
10
Ref
N.A.
SS
22
11
33
y
3
= -45 y
3
= -45
y
1
= 45 y
1
= 45
y
2
= 0 y
2
= 0
Parallel Axis Theorem to find global I
N.A.
-0.05
-0.04
0.04
0.05
0

Step 1: Determine the sectional geometric properties
Neutral Axis Location:
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
mm
A
A s
S
i
i i
50
10 100 10 80 10 100
10 100 5 10 80 50 10 100 95
=
+ +
+ +
= =

Parallel Axis Theorem: ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
3
2
3 3 2
2
2 2 1
2
1 1
2
A y I A y I A y I A y I I
loc loc loc i i local i
+ + + + + = + =

( ) ( )
|
|
.
|

\
|
+

+
|
|
.
|

\
|
+

+
|
|
.
|

\
|
+

= 10 100 45
12
10 100
80 10 0
12
80 10
10 100 45
12
10 100
2
3
2
3
2
3
I
I = 4.49310
+6
mm
4
=4.49310
-6
m
4

Step 2: Determine shear stress distribution using Eq. (7.3).
Start the integration from the top and work yourself down through all sub-sections of constant
thickness, ALWAYS integrating about the Neutral Axis.
The shear stress equation is:
( )
( )
( )
It
VQ
dy y yt
y It
x V
top
y
y
xy
= =

We need to express shear stress segment by segment as divided in Step1.
i) For the range between 0.04 y 0.05, i.e. Area 1, the shear stress is given by:
( )
2 9
05 0
6
3
0025 0 10 782 2 1 0
1 0 10 493 4
10 25
y . . ydy .
. .
.
y
xy
=

=

ii) Range -0.04 y 0.04, i.e. Area 2, the shear stress is given by:
( )
2 9
2 2 2 2
10
04 0 05 0
04 0
6
3
0106 0 10 782 2
2 2
04 0
01 0
2
04 0
2
05 0
1 0 10 564 5
01 0 1 0
01 0 10 493 4
10 25
y . .
y .
.
. .
. .
ydy . ydy .
. .
.
y
.
.
xy
=
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
+
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
+

=

iii) Range -0.05 y -0.04, i.e. Area 3, the shear stress is given by:
( )
2 9
04 0
04 0
04 0 05 0
04 0
6
3
0025 0 10 782 2 1 0 01 0 1 0
1 0 10 493 4
10 25
y . . ydy . ydy . ydy .
. .
.
.
.
y
.
.
xy
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +

Plotting these distributions between their limits, gives the following discontinuous parabolic
distribution of shear stress:

Lecture Notes of Mechanics of Solids, Chapter 7 5

N.A.
2.5MPa
2.5MPa
25.04MPa
25.04MPa
29.49MPa
y
Shear Stress
Distribution

7.3 COMBINED LOADS (SI&4
th
: 416-427; 5
th
: 416-427)
In the previous chapters, we developed methods for determining the stress distribution in a
member subjected to different types of load such as an axial force or a transverse shear force
(Chapter 2), a torsional moment (Chapter 4), and a bending moment (Chapter 6). Most often,
the cross section of a member is subjected to several of these loadings simultaneously. As we
shall see presently, we may combine the knowledge that we have acquired in the previous
chapters. As long as the relationship between stress and the loads is linear and the geometry
of the member would not undergo significant change when the loads are applied, the
principle of superposition can be used as shown in Chapter 6. Here we are going to discuss
the situation due to tensile force F, torque T and transverse load P, as shown in Table 7.1.

Table 7.1 Superposition of individual loads
Bending normal
stress

M
= -My/I
Total normal
stress
=F/A -My/I
Torsional
Load
(Torque T)
Bending
Load
(Transverse
Force P)
Combined
Loads
Stress
Distributions
Stresses Stresses Produced by Each Load Individually
T
B
x A
D
B
N.A.
x A
D
P
P
T
A
B
D
N.A.
x
B
A
D
F
F

avg
Tensile average
normal stress

avg
=F/A
Torsional shear
stress

T
= T/J
Transverse
shear stress

V
= VQ/It
T
B
A
D
C
C
B
A
D

M
B
A,C
D
B
A,C
D
B
A
D
C

B
A
D
C
Total shear
stress at N.A.
= VQ/ItT/J
Axial
Load
(Force F)
y
y
N.A.
N.A.
N.A.

Lecture Notes of Mechanics of Solids, Chapter 7 6

Example 7.2: Two forces P=18kN and F=15kN are applied to the shaft with a radius of
R=20mm as shown. Determine the maximum normal and shear stresses developed in the shaft.
P
A
B
D
N
.A
.
x
C
b
=
1
0
0
m
m
a
=
5
0
m
m
P
A
B
D
N
.A
.
x
C
F
F
T=Pa
b
=
1
0
0
m
m
z
y
z
y
R

Step 0: Determine the geometrical properties of cross section:
Area of cross section:
2 3 2 2
10 257 1 02 0 1416 3 m . . . R A

= = =
Polar moment of inertia:
4 9 4 4
10 3 251 2 02 0 1416 3 2 m . / . . / R J

= = =
Second moment of area:
4 9 4 4
10 7 125 4 02 0 1416 3 4 m . / . . / R I

= = =
First moment of semicircle:
3 6
2
10 33 5
3
4
2
m .
R R
y A Q
' '
= |
.
|

\
|

|
|
.
|

\
|
= =
Step 1: Move eccentric force P to the center of the shaft
This causes a uniform torsional moment (Torque) about axis x by T=Pa=180000.05=900Nm
as shown. Centric force P also will produce a varying bending moment M(x) along axis x. Axial
force F leads to a constant average compressive normal stress at cross sections along the shaft.
Step 2: Determine the maximum bending moment M
max
and maximum shear force V
max

B
N.A.
x A
D
P
y
M(x)
Loading Diagram
Bending Moment Diagram
Pb
0.1
x
M
max
V(x)
Shear Force Diagram
-P
0.1
x

From the shear force and bending moment diagrams, one can identify that the shear force is uniform
along the shaft with V=P=18000N, and the maximum bending moment occurs at the section ABCD
with a magnitude of M
max
= Pb=180000.1=1800Nm. So the critical section is ABCD.
Step 3: Apply the superposition for determining the maximum normal stress
The maximum compressive stress occurs at point B, where both the maximum bending
moment M
max
and axial force F will form a highest combined compressive stress as
MPa . . .
.
.
. I
y M
A
P
max max
B max
33 298 40 286 93 11
10 7 125
02 0 1800
10 257 1
15000
9 3
= =

= = =

Step 4: Apply the superposition for determining the maximum shear stresses
As shown in table 7.1, the maximum shear stress occurs at point C, where both the transverse
shear force V=P and the torsional moment T=Pa give a highest combined shear stress as
The max twist shear stress MPa .
.
.
J
TR
T
max
63 71
10 3 251
02 0 900
9
=

= =

(at outer surface)
The max shear stress in bending
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
MPa .
. .
.
It
VQ
V
max
08 19
02 0 2 10 7 125
10 33 5 18000
9
6
=

= =

(at N.P.)
The total combined max shear stress: MPa . . .
V
max
T
max C max
44 90 08 19 36 71 = + = + = =