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									Engineering I – Statics
             Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

   Design is the essence of all engineering.
    However, in this activity you will be
    building a bridge that has already been
    designed by someone else. By doing so
    you will learn the essential elements
    needed in designing a structure.
             Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Specific Outcomes:
   Explain what a truss is.
   Identify the major components of a truss
   Identify the types of truss bridges.
   Explain the following fundamental
    structural engineering concepts: force,
    load, reaction, equilibrium, tension,
    compression, and strength.
                 Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

1. Component Parts of a Truss Bridge
What is a Truss?
A truss is a structure composed of members connected together to
form a rigid framework.
Members are the load-carrying components of a structure. In most
trusses, members are arranged in interconnected triangles, as shown
Because of this configuration, truss members carry load primarily in
tension and compression. (We’ll discuss these terms in Section 3
Because trusses are very strong for their weight, they are often used to
span long distances.
Truss bridges have become somewhat less common in recent years.
Today trusses are often used in the roofs of buildings and stadiums, in
towers, construction cranes, and many similar structures and Machines.
Building a Model of a Truss Bridge
               Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

The three-dimensional
bridge structure has two
main load-carrying
trusses. Each truss is
composed of a top
chord, a bottom chord,
and several verticals
and diagonals. The two
trusses are connected
together by a series of
transverse members—
struts, lateral bracing,
and floor beams.
             Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Modern Truss bridges are made of steel.
The steel is molded into many shapes and sizes.
Examples are hollow tubes and solid bars
The deck of a modern truss bridge is commonly
constructed of concrete.
Material strength varies.
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Structural members are connected by connections. These
connections are essential in the ability o the structure in
carrying a load.
Two common types:
    Pinned Connections-uses a single pin to connect two or more
     pieces together.
    Gusset plate connections-joined together by one or two heavy
     metal gusset plates, which are attached to the individual members
     with rivets, bolts and welds. Gusset Plate Connections are more
     common today.
                      Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Every structure must be supported on a firm foundation, which distributes the
weight of the structure to the soil or rock below it. Bridges use two different
types of foundations.
The ends of a bridge usually rest on abutments, which serve two functions
simultaneously—they support the bridge and also hold back the soil that is filled
in behind them.
If the bridge requires additional support in the middle of the gap, one or more
piers are used, as shown below.
Abutments and piers are normally made of concrete.
All structural foundations are designed by civil engineers with special expertise
in soils and foundations. These men and women are called geotechnical
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Types of Truss Bridges
Truss bridges are grouped into three general categories, based on their
deck location.
If the deck is located at the level of the bottom chord, the bridge is
called a through truss.
A pony truss looks just like a through truss, except it is not as high and
has no lateral bracing between the top chords.
If the deck is located at the level of the top chord, the bridge is called
a deck truss.
Trusses are also classified according to the geometric arrangement of
their chords, verticals, and diagonals. The diagrams on page 1-6 show
15 of the most common truss configurations, many of which were
named for the 19th century engineers who developed them.
                Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

How a structure carries a load.
Mechanical Engineering has two major disciplines:
    Statics
    Dynamics
Statics refers to all the forces acting upon bodies at rest.
Dynamics refers to all forced acting on bodies in motion.
Much of structural engineering deals with the concept of force.
A force is simply a push or a pull applied to an object.
F=ma (Scalar quantity vs. Vector) Force is Vector Quantity.
A force ALWAYS has magnitude and direction.
Example of a truck crossing a bridge. What is the magnitude?
In what direction is the force.
Mathematically represented by VECTORS!
                Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Vector is a quantity that has both magnitude and direction.

      10 Newtons

In structural engineering it is useful to distinguish between
three different kinds of forces –
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

A force applied to a structure.
Actual bridges are subjected to many different kinds of loads
including the following:
    Weight of the vehicles and pedestrians crossing the bridge
    Weight of the bridge itself
    Weight of the asphalt or concrete road surface
    Wind pushing sideways on the structure
    Weight of snow, ice, or rainwater
    Forces caused by earthquakes
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Newton’s First Law—one of the basic principles of physics—states that
an object at rest will remain at rest, provided it is not subjected to an
unbalanced force.
Robert Hooke, used Newton’s theory to say: ―If a material or a
structure is to resist a load, it can only do so by pushing back at it with
an equal and opposite force.‖
If any structural system is to do its job, then it must somehow manage
to produce a push or a pull which is exactly equal & opposite to the
force which is being applied to it creating equilibrium.
In other words, if an object is not moving, then the total force acting
on it must be zero. When you apply a downward force to the scissors
truss, it does not move; thus, according to Newton’s First Law, the
total force on the truss must be zero. But how can that be?
                 Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Suppose you push down on the nutcracker with a force of 10 newtons.
The nutcracker does not move, because the table pushes back upward
with a force of 10 newtons. In this particular example, because the
structure touches the table at two points, the table actually pushes
upward with two forces, each with a magnitude of 5 newtons, as
shown below. The structure is said to be in equilibrium, because the
total upward force equals the total downward force.
A structure that is not moving must be in equilibrium.
Mathematically, the vector sum of all forces acting on the structure is
zero. If we assume that the upward direction is positive, then + 5 + 5
– 10 = 0.
AutoDesk Inventor
Draw a simple truss. Place 100lb of force
 on a top and animate the simulation.
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Consider for a moment the simplest form of structure… a branch on a
Suppose we hang a weight, such as an ordinary brick, from some
support - the branch - by means of a string.
The weight of the brick, like the weight of Newton’s Apple, is due to
Gravity: 9.8 m/sec
Gravity acts on the mass of the brick pulling it downward.
If the brick is not to fall, then it must be sustained in its position in
mid-air by a continuing equal and opposite upwards force or pull in
the string.
A weak string will break because WHY?
It is Not producing an upward force equal to the weight of the brick,
or the force of gravity pulling down on the bricks mass.
The string breaks and the brick will fall to the ground - again, like
Newton’s apple.
                Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

In our example, the two upward forces are called reactions.
Reactions are forces developed at the supports of a structure, to
keep the structure in equilibrium.
Supports are the points where the structure is physically in
contact with its surroundings.
On our nutcracker truss, the supports are located at the ends of
the handles, where the nutcracker touches the table. On an
actual bridge, the supports are located at the abutments or
Geotechnical engineers are particularly interested in the
reactions of a structure, because the foundations must be
designed to carry these forces safely and efficiently.
               Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Internal Member Forces
When you apply external loads to a structure, external reactions
occur at the supports.
But internal forces are also developed within each structural
member. In a truss, these internal member forces will always be
either tension or compression.
A member in tension is being stretched, like the rubber band in
the picture on page 1-8.
Tension is an internal force that tends to make a
member longer.
Westpoint Bridge Builder
  Use WestPoint Bridge Builder to design
  the following:
  Pratt Truss
  K Truss
  All are 24 meters high with no center
                 Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

No matter how geometrically complicated or varied a structure may
be, all structures are either pulled or pushed by the loads & then they
stretch; or are pushed and then they are shortened.


When a material is pulled it is said to be under tension. The
increased length divided by the original length is the strain.
Strain = increase of length/original length or
Strain= l/L=e
1cm/200cm = .005
                       L= 200 cm

                                                       l = 1 cm
               Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Stress = load/area.
Area equals the thickness indicated.

Using your data lets determine our stresses on the strings.

Stress = Load/Area
Stress is usually indicated in the following units: MN/m2
This is the SI (System International) Unit for Stress.
1 Mega Newton = 1 million newtons which is almost 100 tons
of force.
                Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Thus if a rod or material has an original Length (L) and is
caused to stretch by an amount (l) by the action of a force on
it, then the strain or proportionate change in the length in the
rod or material will be (e).
N.B. (Nota Bene) (Note Well); Engineering strains are very
small, and so engineers express strains in percentages, which
reduces the opportunities for confusion with excess zeroes
and decimal places.

               Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

In this class we will test in Pounds per Square Inch (P.S.I.)
Young’s modulus - or how stiff is this material?
Nowadays when we want to test a material we make a ‘test-
piece’ from it.
They are tested for stress and strain in ‘testing machines
which simulates intended pushing and pulling on the objects.
When we establish the stress and the strain of the material we
can use the information to determine Young’s modulus of
Young’s Modulus is also known as the Elasticity Modulus or
the STIFFNESS of a material. It is determined by the following
formula: Stress/Strain=Elasticity Modulus.
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Elasticity is the property of returning to an initial form or state
following deformation.
Hence we sometimes refer to rubber bands as elastic bands.
Strength, as determined by stress and strain, is not the only important
property required of a structural material.
The lengthening and shortening of its elements must not increase
indefinitely and must disappear when the action of the load ends.
BALSA WOOD TEST: Please do not snap the balsa wood in half. You
will need this for an experiment.
Slightly bend the piece of wood WITHOUT breaking it.
Release the item on the desk top. Notice it returns to its normal
The Balsa wood has a degree of elasticity.
Stress/Strain. It would be determined in the same manner in which
we did the fishing line.
                Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Materials that continue to stretch are called yielding.
Materials that do not stretch or have NO elasticity are said to
be brittle.
Neither can be used in structural engineering because they fail
to meet the main requirement of structural materials:
  The lengthening and shortening of its elements must not increase

   indefinitely and must disappear when the action of the load ends.
Using the data collected on stress and strain, students will
determine the elasticity of the fishing line.
On the work sheet provided, fill in the variables and you
should be able to determine Young’s modulus (E=Elasticity
Modulus) for mono-filament.
                 Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

The force that tries to squeeze or push a material together.
It is the opposite of tension. Tension is the force that pulls forces
BALSA WOOD EXPERIEMENT #2: Take the 4” piece of balsa wood and
try and bend it. What do you notice? The Balsa wood is the same
material as the larger piece.
Why isn’t the smaller Balsa wood bending as much as the larger
piece? Don’t they come from the same part?
Do both pieces have the same elasticity?
What holds the balsa wood together?
Molecular structure.
Is the big piece of balsa wood the same molecular structure as the
smaller one?
Therefore why does one bend more than the other?
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

The elasticity, the stress, the tension, the compression are all the
same in a 1” length or a 1 foot length.
What we see is a small section of the arc or bend.
                Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

What caused the fishing line to break in your first experiment?
The string breaks when its internal member force becomes
larger than its strength.
This observation leads us to two closely related definitions:
(1) The strength of a structural component is the largest
internal force the component can experience
before it fails.
(2) Failure occurs when the internal force in a structural
component becomes larger than its strength.
                  Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

How does a structure carry a load?
Having discussed loads, reactions, internal member forces,
and strength,we can now answer the important question
posed at the beginning of this section: what does it mean
for a structure
to carry load?
In the next learning activity, you will build and load-test a
model bridge. If you build the bridge well, it will carry the
load successfully, and you will have an opportunity to
observe how the structure works.
Cantilever on Inventor
  Design a 1 meter by 2 meter x 20
  meter cantilever on Inventor. Apply
  100000N of force and fix constrain the
  opposing end. Animate the stress
  analysis and look at the amount of
  Deflection Worksheet
  Deflection Excel Spreadsheet
             Building a Model of a Truss Bridge

Cantilever construction systems.

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