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Lab assignment CVEN2303

Submission due by 2pm 26th October Please drop it into the wooden box labelled
hamed near room 713 in the civil engineering building
You need to show and submit all your working solution

Introduction
This assignment has two components that each has two questions:
In the first part, students are expected to calculate axial forces of a Warren truss and a basic
Roof truss subjected using the stiffness method, and then to compare with experimental
results. The test videos can be watched on moodle.
In the second part, students are expected to calculate the deformations and the ultimate load
of a steel beam subjected to a point load in the middle using the Stiffness Method and the
Limit State analysis and to compare with experimental results.

Part 1:
Warren Truss
The Warren truss under investigation is illustrated in Figure 1, which consists of eleven
300mm long truss members that create 5 equilateral triangles as shown. The distance between
the supports is 900mm.

Figure 1: Warren Truss

The truss is simply supported with a pin support located on the left, and a roller support
located on the right. For consistency, use the members numbering as shown in Figure 2.
1

Figure 2: Reference system for Warren truss structure

The pin support is located at Position L0; the roller support is located at Position L3; the
vertically downwards load F is applied at Position L2.
Basic Roof Truss
The basic roof truss under investigation is illustrated in Figure 3, which also consists of
eleven truss members as shown. It contains 3 equal spans and each span is 300 mm. The
distance between the supports is 900mm. The height of the truss measured from the centre of
the supports to the Position U1 (Refer to Figure 4) is 259.8 mm (1503 mm).

Figure 4: Reference system for roof truss structure

2

The truss is simply supported with a pin support located on the left, and a roller support
located on the right. For consistency, use the members numbering as shown in Figure 4.
Assume that member 3 is perpendicular to members 1 and 4 and that member 9 is
perpendicular to members 8 and 11. The pin support is located at Position L0; the roller
support is located at Position L3; the vertically downwards load F is applied at Position L2.

Part 1.1: Use the stiffness method to calculate the axial forces of all members in the Warren
truss and the Roof truss under a load that is applied at Position L2 with a magnitude of 300 N

Part 1.2: Calculate experimental member axial forces of Warren and Basic Roof trusses from
the measured strains. The measured strains are given in the first row of the result table
(denoted as Actual Strain, S). Neglect the other rows in the table.
The member axial forces can be obtained using:
N = EA
where E is the elastic modulus of the material (The material of the truss member is acrylic,
and its elastic modulus is E = 2500 N/mm2), A is the cross section area of each truss member
(A = 250 mm2), and is the measured strain multiplied by 106. Therefore, in order to get the
actual value of you need to multiply the measured value by 10-6.

Part 1.3: Compare between the theoretical and experimental results and discuss possible
reasons for any discrepancies between the results.

Member
of truss

Warren truss
Theoretical
axial force
(N)

Measured
strain
( 10 6 )

Basic Roof Truss

Measured
axial force
(N)

Theoretical
axial force
(N)

Measured
strain
( 10 6 )

Measured
axial force
(N)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

Part 2:
Propped Cantilever
The propped cantilever beam under investigation is illustrated in Figure 5. The beam is
simply supported on the left with a roller support and fixed on the right. The distance
between the centres of the two supports is 600 mm. The beam is loaded by a vertical
downward point load at mid-span. The vertical deflection is measured by a dial gauge and the
applied load is measured by a load cell. The width of the beam is 20 mm and the thickness is
5 mm, and its made from mild steel. The elastic modulus of the beam is 201 GPa and the
yielding strength is 315 MPa.

Figure 5: Propped Cantilever

Fixed Beam
The fixed beam under investigation is illustrated in Figure 6. The beam is fixed on both ends.
This distance between the centres of the two supports is 600 mm. The beam is loaded by a
vertical downward point load at the mid-span. The beam has the same properties as the
Propped cantilever one.

Figure 6: Fixed Beam

Part 2.1: At a load level of 200 N, use the Stiffness Analysis to calculate the vertical
deflection of the Propped Cantilever beam at its mid-span. Divide the beam into two
members for doing the calculation.

Part 2.2: Use a limit state analysis to calculate the critical loads for the two beams.

Part 2.3: Discuss possible reasons for any discrepancies between the theoretical and
experimental results. In part 2.1 you may expect differences of up to 30%!.