Learning how to use mathematics and mechanics to analyse structural behaviour is among the most challenging topics student engineers struggle with. Yet, for an engineer, particularly one involved in the analysis and design of structures, a firm grounding in fundamental structural behaviour is essential. In this post, I want to provide a complete structural analysis guide – a roadmap for learning structural analysis from the beginning; what to study, in what order and why.
This is a quick start guide for our free online truss calculator. Follow this short text tutorial or watch the Getting Started video to quickly orientate yourself with this handy free tool. We’ll walk through the process of analysing a simple truss structure. By the end, you’ll be comfortable using the truss calculator to quickly analyse your own truss structures. Students, in particular, should find it helpful as a quick and easy tool to test manual solutions against.
In this tutorial we’re going to focus on trusses, also known as pin-jointed structures. We’ll briefly discuss their key features and methods of analysis. We’re going to start at the very beginning by briefly considering what exactly a truss is – but we’ll very quickly move on to truss analysis and demonstrate the joint resolution method and method of sections with some worked examples.
In this tutorial we examine the Direct Stiffness Method and work our way through a detailed truss analysis. By the end of this complete introduction, you should understand the basic ideas behind why the method works, how to implement it for truss analysis and you should understand the power and scalability of the technique. Once understood, the direct stiffness method opens the door to structural analysis of large scale complex structures.
Structural analysis is the process of using mathematical and mechanical principles to determine the magnitude of internal forces in a structure. One of the main roles of a civil or structural engineer is carrying out structural analysis as the first step to designing a safe structure. In this tutorial we’ll demonstrate exactly how this process works for a real world structure.
A truss is a structure that consists of a collection of elements connected at pin joints or nodes. In theory, the pin joints provide no rotational resistance and behave as hinges. In practice this is not always the case.
In this tutorial, we’ll discuss common forms of truss, their features, approximate methods of analysis and the key assumptions that relate to our analysis.