Arches are one of the most efficient and elegant structural forms. Their efficiency has seen them selected throughout history as the go-to form for spanning large distances. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the different methods for analysing both determinate 3-hinge arches and indeterminate 2-hinge and fixed arches. Through worked examples, we’ll develop the various methods, with particular attention paid to how Virtual Work can help us unlock indeterminate arches. After completing this tutorial, you’ll have a better appreciation for the structural behaviour of arches, and you’ll be confident in analysing arch structures by hand!
In this post, guest author Vittorio Lora talks us through how he developed the idea for and ultimately built Beamsolver.com. A structural engineer by training, Vittorio has pivoted in his career to focus more on software development. But he couldn’t shake the desire to build the analytical beam calculator that he would have found so helpful as a student. Parameterised structural analysis problems are notoriously difficult to solve algorithmically. Unlike numerical problems, solution techniques based on linear algebra just don’t scale well. Vittorio explains how it was actually the simple techniques we all learn first that ultimately unlocked the problem.
In this project we’re going to build a Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagram calculator using Python in the Jupyter Notebook development environment. Generating the shear force and bending moment diagram for a simple beam with anything other than basic loading can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Once you finish this project, you’ll have a calculator that can produce shear force and bending moment diagrams at the push of a button.
Shear force and bending moment diagrams tell us about the underlying state of stress in the structure. Determining shear and moment diagrams is an essential skill for any engineer. Unfortunately it’s probably the one structural analysis skill most students struggle with most. So in this post we’ll give you a thorough introduction to shear forces, bending moments and how to draw shear and moment diagrams. By the end of this post you’ll know a lot more about shear forces and moment moments then when you started.
All structures typically experience some form of lateral loading during their design life. Typical sources of lateral loading include forces due to wind blowing against the structure, hydrostatic forces due to groundwater (acting against basement walls for example) or inertia forces due to ground motion (earthquakes). In this, the first of a two-part series on structural stability, we will introduce common lateral stability schemes before diving into some numerical examples in this and the next post.