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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

Influence lines for statically indeterminate structures


I. Basic concepts about the application of method of forces.
The plane frame structure given in Fig. 1 is statically indeterminate or redundant with degree of
statical indeterminacy n=-2, this structure has two redundant members. The internal force at any
section of the presented plane frame could be obtained by the following general equation, using
the method of forces:
0
" Sm " = " Sm
"+ Sm,1 " X1 "+ Sm,2 " X 2 " ,

where Sm is bending moment, shear or normal force at section m (or support reaction if the
0
problem is to find its influence line); Sm
is required internal force at section m for the
corresponding simple statically determinate system; Sm,1 is the internal force at section m for the
primary system caused by the force (or moment) X1, replacing the first eliminated constraint;
Sm,2 is the internal force at section m caused by the force (or moment) X2 introduced to replace
the second eliminated constraint.
F=1

F=1
m
2

X1
1

X2

EI=const

4
Figure 1 Statically indeterminate plane frame structure

II. Determination of influence lines


Let us construct the influence lines for the internal forces in section m of the plane frame
structure given in Fig. 1. The bending moment, shear and normal forces at section m can be
expressed as:
0
"Mm " = "Mm
"+ M m,1 " X1 "+ M m,2 " X 2 ",
0
" Qm " = " Qm
"+ Qm,1 " X1 "+ Qm,2 " X 2 ",
0
" Nm " = " Nm
"+ N m,1 " X1 "+ N m,2 " X 2 ".

The following reasoning holds for the bending moment only, but they also could be done for
shear and normal forces as well as for any support reaction. M m,1 and M m,2 are constants,
which are dependant on the chosen simple system , and respectively on the introduced unknown
forces X1 and X2, but they do not depend on the external loads, in that respect on the unit load
0
depends on the position of moving load, and corresponding
moving across the road lane. M m
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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

influence line for the primary system should be derived. The forces X1 and X 2 , which are
introduced to replace the eliminated constraints depend on the external loads, therefore they are
dependant on the position of the unit load.
In the method of forces the basic unknowns are obtained by the canonical equations having the
following appearance:
11 X1 + 12 X 2 + 1 f = 0

21 X1 + 22 X 2 + 2 f = 0.
The coefficients ij to the unknowns of the canonical equations represent the generalized
displacements of the primary structure obtained by the elimination of the redundant members.
These displacements being due to unit loads (forces or moments) acting along the direction of
eliminated constraints. Numerically the values of these coefficients depend on the layout of the
chosen primary structure and the cross sectional dimensions of its members. The coefficient ik
represents the displacement along the direction i, induced by a unit action acting along the
direction k. In line with the above statements the coefficients ij do not depend on the external
loads, in that respect for influence line construction, they do not depend on the position of load
unity.
The coefficients if indicate the displacements along the direction of eliminated constraints
caused by the applied loads. As far as the applied loads are presented by the unit force moving
along the road lane, for influence lines determination, these displacements, if , depend on the
position of the load unity. In that respect in order to obtain the unknown forces X i we should
first construct the influence lines for displacements if .
The canonical equations written in matrix form take the following appearance:
[ ] { X } = f ,

{ }

Wherefrom follows that:

{ X } = [ ]1 { f } .

[ ]

{ } is the vector

is so called compliance matrix of size 2x2 containing the coefficients ij , f

of the free terms if , { X } is a vector which consists of unknown forces X i .


Let us introduce a matrix [ ] in such a way that:

[ ] = [ ]1 .
[ ] is the inverse matrix of [ ] , multiplied by -1. Then the unknowns of the method of forces
can be expressed as:
{X } = [ ] f ,

{ }

or in an expanded form:
" X1 " = 11 " 1 f "+ 12 " 2 f ",
" X 2 " = 21 " 1 f "+ 22 " 2 f ".
The influence lines for the unknown forces X i could be derived from the above expressions.

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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

The chosen primary statically determinate structure, obtained by eliminating all the redundant
constraints, of the given one, is presented in Fig. 1. The forces X1 and X 2 introduced to replace
these constraints are depicted in the same figure.
Next we should apply successively to the primary structure the unit actions X1 = 1 and X 2 = 1
and trace the diagrams of the corresponding bending moments Mi. These diagrams are presented
in Fig. 2.
3

Mm,1=-1.5

Qm,1=0.75
0.75
Nm,1=-1

Mm,1=0.5
Qm,1=0.25
Nm,1=0

M1

X1=1

X2=1

0.25

M2
0.25

0.75

Figure 2 Bending moment diagrams to the simple structure

What follows is the calculation of coefficients ij , multiplying one by another the unit graphs M1
and M2, in order to compose of compliance matrix.
1 32 3 1 32 4 21
11 =
+
=
,
3 EI
3 EI
EI
1 3 1 4
2
12 =
= ,
6 EI
EI
1 12 4
1.3333
=
.
3 EI
EI

22 =

The compliance matrix [ ] multiplied by EI reads:


2
21
EI [ ] =
.
2 1.3333
After inversing the matrix [ ] and multiplying the inverse matrix with -1 we get the matrix [ ] :
0.055556 0.083333
.
0.875
0.083333

[ ] = EI

Next we should construct the influence lines for the displacements if , as elastic curve of the
road lane. For that purpose a unit load of the direction of required displacement is introduced.
The unit load coincides with actions X1 and X2, the relevant bending moment diagrams are M1
and M2.

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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

The conjugate beams with the corresponding fictitious loads are given in Fig. 3. The bending
moment diagrams in the conjugate beams are the required displacements influence lines " 1 f "
and " 2 f " (Fig. 3).
3
m

X2=1

1
M1

X1=1

M2
Conjugate beam

3/(EI)

w1

w1

1/(EI)

Staticaly determinate conjugate beam

3/(EI)

3.0

2.625

0.66667

1.875

EI 1f

1/(EI)

0.625

EI 2f

+
0.875

1.0

2.0

Figure 3 Influence lines for the displacements if


1

{ }

Now, the influence lines for unknown forces Xi should be derived as { X } = [ ] f . These
lines are presented in Fig. 4.
0.625
0.32813

0.16667
0.03125

+
0.09375

0.08333

X1

0.60938

+
0.25

X2

Figure 4 Influence lines for the unknown forces X i

Finally, the influence lines for internal forces at section m of simple system should be drawn.
These graphics are depicted in Fig. 5.
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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

0.5
+

0.5

0
"Mm
"
0.5

1.0
0.5

0.25

+
0.5

0.25

0.25

0
" Qm
"
0
" Nm
"

Figure 5 Influence lines for the internal forces in the primary statically determinate system

The final influence lines, for required internal forces Mm, Qm and Nm at section m of the statically
indeterminate structure, are obtained by the following equations:
0
"Mm " = "Mm
" 1.5 " X1 "+ 0.5 " X 2 ",
0
" Qm " = " Qm
"+ 0.75 " X1 "+ 0.25 " X 2 ",
0
" Nm " = " Nm
" 1 " X1 "+ 0 " X 2 ".
These lines are given in Fig. 6.

"Mm "

0.125
+

0.19531

0.14844

0.5625

0.26172

0.59375
+

0.1875

0.40625

0.09375
-

0.12109

0.08333
0.03125

" Qm "

" Nm "

0.16667

Figure 6 Influence lines for the internal forces in the original plane frame
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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

III. Kinematical method of influence lines construction


Kinematical way of influence line construction was examined in details for the trusses. Recall the
Muller-Breslau principle here which states that: The influence line for a function (M, Q, N or
support reaction) coincides with the graphics of vertical displacements of the road lane, obtained
by application of unit virtual displacement at the point (or points) of application of the function.
For statically determinate structure the deflected shape (respectively influence lines) are series of
straight line segments. For statically indeterminate structures the influence lines are compound of
several curves, one for each plate of the road lane.
In order to obtain the influence line for bending moment at section m, using the kinematic
method, the plane frame should be first cut at this section by placing a hinge (the constraint of the
bending moment is eliminated). Next a unit mutual rotation is imposed in line of action of Mm in
such a way that the moment performs negative work (Fig. 7). If the original frame has n
redundant constraints, the new structure, with one eliminated constraint, has n-1 redundant
members. Thus, we can obtain only the shape of influence line, or this is only qualitative
representation of the influence line.
2

Mm
1

Mm

2
2
1

= 1 + 2 = 11

Figure 7 Kinematic method for bending moment influence line

In order to obtain the value of influence line ordinates numerically two different approaches are
applicable.
According to the first approach for calculation of the influence line ordinate 1 a unit load should
be placed in the original frame structure and the bending moment in section m for this frame
should be computed.
The second approach is based on the method of forces. We can consider the modified structure
with eliminated constraint as a statically indeterminate simple system (similar to statically
determinate simple system). The bending moment Mm is the basic unknown of the force method
in this case, with other words: X1=Mm (Fig. 8), 11 is mutual rotation caused by Mm=1 (or X1=1).
The applied load is load unity on the road line above the required ordinate, in that respect 1 f is
a mutual rotation of the direction of Mm induced by the unit load and can be derived by the
following expressions:
M1 M f
1 f =
ds ,
EI
where M1 and M f are bending moment diagrams in (n-1) statically indeterminate system (the
system with eliminated constraint). Alternatively the same mutual rotation can be obtained as:
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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

1 f =

M1 M 0f

here M 0f

ds ,
EI
is bending moment diagram in any statically determinate system, obtained from the

corresponding (n-1) statically indeterminate system (Fig. 8). Therefore for convenience the unit
force can be applied in any statically determinate simple system obtained by eliminating the
redundant constraints of the modified system. The canonical equation reads:
11 X1 + 1 f = 0 respectively 11 M m = 1 f or finally M m = 1 f / 11 .
The required ordinate 1 becomes:
1 = 1 f / 11 .
2.0

Mm=1

F=1

F=1

1.0

0.5714
0.5714
1.0

1.0
1.4286

M1

M 0f ,1

M 0f ,2

Figure 8 Determination of influence line ordinates


M1 M 1
ds = 4.5714 /( EI ) ,
EI
M1 M 0f ,1
ds = 2.5715 /( EI ) ,
1 f =
EI
M1 M 0f ,2
2 f =
ds = 0.57147 /( EI ) ,
EI
1 = 1 f / 11 = 0.5625, 2 = 2 f / 11 = 0.125 .

11 =

The ordinate values are absolutely the same as those given in Fig. 4.
In general if numerical values of influence line are to be determined, we can compute the
displacements at successive points along the road lane, when the structure is subjected to the unit
load placed at the eliminated constraint (mutual rotation caused by unit force is equal to the
vertical displacement induced by the bending moment Mm according to the Maxwells theorem).
Then each obtained value of vertical displacements, of the points belonging to the road lane, must
be divided by the displacement at the point where the unit load acts, taken with negative sign (in
our case this displacement is denoted 11 ).
In conclusion it can be said that the kinematic method permits the easy determination of the shape
of the influence line for any action, this shape being the same as that of the elastic curve of the
corresponding structure with eliminated constraint. This analogy can be considerable value both
in checking the accuracy of influence lines obtained by other methods and in seeking those parts
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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

of the structure which must be loaded in order to provide the maximum or minimum values of the
required internal forces.
Influence lines for X1 and X2 using the kinematic method.

X1

1 = 1
X1

X2

X2

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Lecture notes: Structural Analysis II

References
DARKOV, A. AND V. KUZNETSOV. Structural mechanics. MIR publishers, Moscow, 1969
WILLIAMS, . Structural analysis in theory and practice. Butterworth-Heinemann is an imprint
of Elsevier , 2009
HIBBELER, R. C. Structural analysis. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Singapore, 2006
KARNOVSKY, I. A., OLGA LEBED. Advanced Methods of Structural Analysis. Springer
Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

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