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# EXPERIMENT 1: REACTION OF A CONTINUOUS BEAM

INTRODUCTION
Several methods had been used to solve the reactions of statically indeterminate beam. For theory,
students are advised to use Virtual Work Method, Slope deflection Method or Moment Distribution
Method to find reactions of a continuous beam

OBJECTIVE
To determine at the reaction of a two span continuous beam

APPARATUS
The apparatus comprise of
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

A support frame
3 nos. reaction support pier
Beam specimen
A meter ruler to measure the span of the beam
A set of weight

THEORY
Moment Distribution Method:
a) Created by Prof Hardy Cros at 1932.
i.
Not using equation in solution.
ii.
More mechanical process and can be checked easily and quickly.
iii.
The accuracy depends on the equilibrium and distribution process that has been done.

Distribution Factor, FA =

I/L
I
( )
L

FK = I/L
Equilibrium Moment, M = MA + MB + MC

PROCEDURES
1. The display unit is switched on to warm up the unit.
2. The reaction piers are clamped to the support frame using the place and bolt supplied with the
apparatus and at predetermine distant between the supports.
3. The beam specimen is placed between the two cylindrical pieces of each support. The two screws
are tightened at the top of each support with your finger.
4. The load hanger is fixed at the position where the beam is to be loaded.
5. The load cell from the support pier is connected to the display unit each load cell occupying one
terminal on the display
6. Beginning with channel 1 the initial reading for each channel is recorded.
7. A suitable load is placed on the hanger and the reading of each load cell is noted. This represents
the reaction at each pier.
8. The load on the load hanger is increased at suitable increments and for each increment record the
pier reaction.

DATA / TABLE
Table 1: Reaction at the support
(N)

(N)

15
20
25
30
35

15
20
25
30
35

Right
Middle
Left
(N)
(N)
(N)
5.00
17.86
4.98
6.68
23.86
6.66
8.36
29.68
8.36
9.94
35.76
9.92
11.54
41.76
11.56

Right
Middle
Left
(N)
(N)
(N)
4.69
20.62
4.69
6.25
27.50
6.25
7.81
34.38
7.81
9.37
41.26
9.37
10.94
48.12
10.94

## DATA ANALYSIS / C.P / GRAPH

Calculations and Results
1. Draw the beam and indicate the position and direction of load: Give all important dimensions.
XL

XR

LL

LR

## 2. Derive the reactions at the supports.

Example calculation for Experiment 1:

15N

15N

AA

A
200mm

200mm

CC

200mm

200mm

Faktor Agihan:
Sambungan

Anggota

AA'

Fk=I/L

FA

B
AB
I/4003/4
= 3I/1600
1

BA
I/403/4 =
3I/1600
0.5

I/L
FA

( LI ) sambungan

AB =

3 I /1600
0+3 I /1600

BA =

3 I /1600
3I
3I
(
+
)
1600 1600

=1

3 I /1600
9600 I /2360000

= 0.5

## Momen Hujung Terikat (MHT):

PL
8

MHT AB =

MHT BA =

PL
8

15 (400)
8

15 (400)
8

= 750Nmm

= -750Nmm

C
BC
I/4003/4 =
3I/1600
0.5

CB
I/4003/4 =
3I/1600
1

CC'
0
0

MHT BC

MHT CB

PL
8

PL
8

15 (400)
8

15 (400)
8

= -750Nmm

= 750Nmm

Sambungan

Anggota
FBS
FA
MHT
Agihan
BS
Agihan
Jumlah Momen

AB
0.5
1
-750
750
0
0
0

Agihan = - ( MHT/BS)sambungan
BS = Agihan

B
BA
0
0.5
750
0
375
0
1125

C
BC
0
0.5
-750
0
-375
0
-1125

CB
0.5
1
750
-750
0
0
0

FA

FBS

## Jumlah momen bagi sambungan:

M AB = 0 Nmm
M BA = 1125 Nmm
M BC = -1125 Nmm
M CB = 0 Nmm

Rentang AB:

15N
0

1125Nmm

200mm

200mm

R Ay

RBy 1

MA = 0
(15

200) + 1125 -

RBy 1 (400) = 0

-400

RBy 1 = -4125

RBy 1 = 10.31 N
Fy = 0
R Ay - 15 +

RBy 1 = 0

R Ay - 15 + 10.31= 0
R Ay = 4.69 N

Rentang BC :

15 N
1125Nmm

0
200mm
RBy 1

RCy

Mc = 0
-1125 + 400

400

200mm

RBy 2 = 4125

RBy 2 = 10.31 N

RBy

RBy 1 +

RBy 2 = 20.62 N

Fy = 0
RBy 2 -15 +
10.31 15 +

RCy

=0

RCy = 0

RCy = 4.69 N

## 3. Using the tabulated data:

i.
Plot the graph of reaction against load for each support.
ii.
Draw the best fit curve through the plotted points.
iii.
Using the slope of the graph, calculate the percentage error between the experimental and
the theoretical reaction.

## Graph of Reaction at Right support verses Load

14

12
f(x) = 0.33x + 0.13
R
f(x)==10.31x + 0
R = 1

10

experimental

Linear (experimental)
Reaction at Right support (N)

theory
Linear (theory)

0
10 15 20 25 30 35 40

Percentage error

slopetheory slopeexp
slopetheory

0.31240.3268

0.3124

= - 4.61 %

x 100

x 100

60

50
f(x) = 1.38x - 0
R = 1
40

R = 1
experimental

## Reaction at Middle support (N)

Linear (experimental)

30

theory
Linear (theory)

20

10

0
10 15 20 25 30 35 40

Percentage error

slopetheory slopeexp
slopetheory

1.37521.1940

1.3752

= 13.18 %

x 100

x 100

## Graph of Reaction at Left support verses Load

14

12
f(x) = 0.33x + 0.09
R
f(x)==10.31x + 0
R = 1

10

experimental

Linear (experimental)
Reaction at Left support (N)

theory
Linear (theory)

0
10 15 20 25 30 35 40

Percentage error

slopetheory slopeexp
slopetheory

x 100

0.31240.3284

0.3124

x 100

= - 5.12 %

RESULTS OF EXPERIMENT
Left-hand span of beam, LL

= 400 mm

= 400 mm

= 200 mm

## Distance of load from right hand support, XR

= 200 mm

DISCUSSIONS
1. If the material of the beam is changed from steel to aluminum, how does this effect the support
If the material of the beam is changed from steel to aluminum, the support reaction will increase.
This is because the aluminum is milder than the steel. So, the more loading that is put to the beam
will make it overloaded and fail.
2. If a thinner beam is used, how does this effect the support reaction? Give reasons for your answer.
If the thinner beam is used, the support reaction will also increase. This is because the thinner
beam is not stronger like thicker beam. So, the more loading that is put to the beam will make it
bending and fail.
3. How does the experimental reaction compare with theoretical?
Based on the percentage error that has been calculated, the experimental reaction for the right and
left support is over than the theoretical reaction. At the middle support, the experimental reaction
is less than the theoretical reaction. This might happen because of the error in the apparatus or the
mistake that we have made during the experiment.
4. State the possible factors that might have influenced your results and possible means of
overcoming it.
Possible factors:
i.

The load at the left and right is not been placed at the same time.

ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

The load hanger and the beam are not fixed and can moving.
The measurement of distance between the load and the support is not correct.

Possible means:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.

Put the load at the left and right at the same time.
Always press the tare button if the indicator reading is not zero before placing the load.
Tighten the screw tightly at all the support and the load hanger.
Take the measurement carefully and correctly to avoid the error in the experiment data.
Take the reading only if the indicator reading is stable and not change anymore.

CONCLUSION
Based on the experiment that we have conducted, we can conclude that the value of the reaction at the
right and the left support is the same and the value of the reaction at the middle is the biggest. This shows
that the middle support will support more loading compared to the left and right support and the total load
that supported by the beam is equal to the total reaction at the three supports since the continuous beam is
in equilibrium.

i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.

Make sure that all the screws are tightened properly to avoid the beam and the load hanger from
moving.
Take the reading at the indicator only when the indicator is stop or the reading is stable.
The distance of the load and the support must be at the correct measurement.
The load should be on the static state during the reading is taken.
The reading on the indicator should always be zero before placing any load on the beam so that it
will not affect the value of the data.
Put the loads slowly at the load hanger to prevent the damage to the indicator.

REFERENCE / ATTACHMENT
REFERENCE
M.K. Hurst. 1988. Reka Bentuk Konkrit Prategasan. Chapman and Hall Ltd. ( Penterjemah Wahid Omar,
Abdullah Zawawi Awang. 1997. Skudai, Johor : Penerbit UTM )

## Analysis Structure Module.

Strength of Materials and Structure Module.
Design of Concrete and Reinforcements Module.
Structure Laboratory Lab sheet.

ATTACHMENT

Continuous Beam