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# Experiment #: 4

Symbol
Fy

Definition
Some of forces in the y-direction

W1

Weight one

W2

Weight two

x1

x2

MR1

Fx

Fy

Precision Error

Bias Error

## Title: Rigid Body

Equilibrium.
Nomenclature:

Objectives:
To measure the reactions at the end of a simplysupported horizontal beam and compare
them with the calculated values.

Theory:
A rigid body is one whose size and shape are definitely fixed and alteration is negligible
when forces are applied to it. The equilibrium of a rigid body is a state when all the external
forces acting on the rigid body form a system of forces equivalent to zero. There will be no
rotation or translation. The forces are referred to as balanced.
The conditions for rigid body equilibrium are:
Fx = 0; sum of all the forces in the x equals zero
Fy = 0; sum of all the forces in the y equals zero
M = 0; sum of all the moments equals zero
A body modeled as a particle will have no moment equilibrium because as it states, a
particle is one that has negligible dimensions. As such there will be no perpendicular distance or
moment arm for moment to take place as a result of a force. Thus the particle is considered to
have zero moment equilibrium.
A pair of forces equal in magnitude, parallel in lines of action and opposite in direction is
called a couple. The magnitude of the moment of a couple is:
M=Fd
Where d is the distance between the lines of action of the forces of magnitude F. The
moment of a couple is a free vector M that can be applied anywhere to a rigid body with the
same turning effect as long as the direction and magnitude of M are the same.
When drawing a FBD, some important consideration about the supports for a rigid body are:

Before drawing the FBD identify the type of support that is acting on the rigid body.
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The type of support that is acting will tell you the amount of unknown reaction present.
Eg. A roller has one unknown reaction in the y-direction while a pin has two unknown

## reactions, one in the x-direction and one in the y-direction

After isolating the free body diagram, at each point where a support is acting replace it
with the force it will exert on the particle.

Apparatus:
1. Two stand-mounted brackets
Honley NR. HUDDERSFIELD
APPARATUS NO.12267
2. Metal beam with weight carriers and graduation
Weight of beam-21.09N
Position of centre of gravity - 0.5025 m
3. Weights
4. Two spring balances (0-10lbf)
CHATILLON-N.Y. USA
MODEL: IN-12Least Count - 0.05

Diagram of Apparatus:
Diagram 1.1

Introduction:
Most of the objects that one sees are in a state of equilibrium, that is, at rest or in a state
of uniform motion. Artificial structures are designed to realize and sustain a state of equilibrium.
This experiment will give practice in analyzing the forces that result in equilibrium. For this
experiment / analysis, if you employ an appropriate set of forces you should be able to find the
remaining ones. On the other hand, in designing a stable system you can find the requirements
for materials and dimensions that will ensure equilibrium. Equilibrium of a rigid body is easy to
study in the laboratory.
In this lab you will learn some of the basic ideas about rigid bodies by determining the
reactions at the support for a loaded beam, by two methods:
a) Experimentally, and
b) Using basic laws of static mechanics applied to an idealization of the structure.
Procedure
4

The beam was weighed and its centre of gravity found. The apparatus was then assembled as
shown in the figure and initial spring balance readings taken. The readings from the two spring
balances gave the value for the weight of the beam. Two weights (W1 and W2) were then placed
anywhere between the two supports and the spring balance readings R1and R2 noted. The
respective X1 and X2,L and D measurement was then recorded. Steps 4-5 was then repeated for
six more tests.
Results:
Showing the results obtained in the experiment.
The table below shows the results of the experiment for the Beam reactions:
Distance between supports, L=1.005m
Position of Centre of gravity, d = 0.5025m
Weight of beam, WB = 21.09N

Table 1.1
x1

x2

W1

W2

(m)

(m)

(N)

(N)

Spring
Balance

Calculated
Values

R1

R2

R1

R2

R1

R2

R1

R2

Error

Uncertainty

0.19
5

0.20

5.56

3.34

18.15

16.68

20.22

14.18

10.3

17.6

0.25

0.25

0.16

0.31
3

5.56

7.78

20.11

19.13

22.93

15.92

12.3

20.0

0.25

0.25

0.21
7

0.20
7

10.01

7.78

22.56

21.09

26.12

17.17

13.6

22.8

0.25

0.25

0.29
8

0.29
2

12.23

10.0
1

25.51

26.98

27.79

19.96

8.2

35.2

0.25

0.25

0.39
6

0.29
2

14.46

12.2
3

27.47

29.43

29.51

22.69

6.9

29.7

0.25

0.25

0.31
9

0.22
5

16.68

14.4
6

22.56

20.90

34.68

21.97

34.9

4.9

0.25

0.25

0.31
9

0.30

14.46

5.56

21.09

22.07

25.85

19.67

18.4

12.2

0.25

0.25

Equations used:
F=0
M0 = 0
FR1 = 0
Uncertainty = (B2 + P) 0.5

Discussion:
The difference between experimental and theoretical values is that, experimental values
refer to values obtained for conducting a particular experiment, while, theoretical values are set
values of which the experimental value is often compared to.
After completing a particular experiment by entering the theoretical and experimental
values into an equation you will obtain the respective percentage errors. The purpose of this
percentage error is to account for the natural human error in every experiment.
The errors associated with the experiment may have caused the results and calculations to
be off, or incorrect. There are many different causes, and types of errors however, for this
experiment, the main errors may have been; non-horizontal beam balance, parallax, and
distortion in spring balances. These errors all contribute to the error in the final result. The error
that may have affected the experiment the most could be the non-horizontal beam balance. This
error may have caused one side to be heavier than the other hence; one balance may have shown
a smaller value than the other.
An anomaly in measurement refers to the deviation or departure from the normal or
common order, form, or rule. For this experiment, there were no such cases.

Sources of Errors:

A possible source of error could be due the spring balances. The balances could have been
distorted, or stretched. This error could be reduced by using different balances to check of the
results are similar.
Parallax may have also been a possible source of error. The experimenter may not have taken
readings at eye level. This error may be minimized by making sure readings are taken at eye
level.
Another possible source of error could have been due to the beam not being in a horizontal
position. This error may have caused one side of the beam to heavier hence, the spring balance
readings will differ. This error may be reduced by checking for horizontal by using a level.
Uncertainty could be caused from the beam and the spring balances, which will have an
impact on the results and calculations.
Precautions:
The experiment could have been performed twice, using the same weights and distances as
before and the values compared.
Before starting the experiment checking to see if the spring balances are at zero. If it is not
adjust the balance to zero or add or subtract the value based on where the pointer is located, that
is either above or below the zero line.
At each point where a reading is to be taken whether on the beam as in the case of x1 and x2 or
in the case of the spring balance readings R1 and R2,it would be best to take more than one
readings for each measured value and then using the average. This will reduce parallax error.
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To reduce the possibility of the spring balances exceeding their elastic limit it would be best
to perform a trial test on the springs to see if they are fully functional before starting the
experiment. U could also use two new spring balances to reduce the tendency of errors resulting
from aged instruments.
Conclusion:
It can be concluded that the reactions at the end of the 25.506 N beam were found to be
comparable to that of the calculated values for the same reactions. The calculated values
however, were found to be slightly less or more than that of the measured values.
Even though the percentage errors were small, it still showed that the experiment
contained errors, whether human or non human. The value for the average percentage error was
found to be 14.94 for R1 and 20.34 for R2. The uncertainty of the experiment was also found to
be 0.25N.

References:

Fredrick J. Bueche, Ph.D, Eugene Hecht,Ph.D, Shaums College Physics 9th Edition
Copyright 1976,United States of America ,A division of the McGraw Hill Companies

## Calculating experimental value:Retrieved October 15,10:20 am from

http://www.ehow.com/how_7626139_calculate-experimental-value.html.

## R.C. Hibbler,Engineering Mechanics Statics,12th Edition.

Meriam J.L.,Kraige L.G,Engineering Statics Mechanic 5th Edition, Copyright 2002, John
Wiley & Sons Inc.655 Third Avenue New York.

## Glenn Elert (1998). Density of Steel, University of Wisconsin-Stout Physics Department.

Retrieved September 13, 2012 from http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/Karen
Sutherland.shtml.

## Wheeler, A. J. & Ganji, A. R.. Introduction to Enigneering Experimentatioin, Prentice

Hall, New Jersey, 1996.

## Douglas, C. Giancoli(2005) , Physics Principles with Applications(6thEdition). Pearson

Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

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## Appendix C / Sample Calculations:

Given Data:
W1 = 5.56N
W2 = 3.34N
R1 =?
R2 =?
X1= 0.195m
X2 = 0.20m
Weight of beam= 25.506N
MR1 = 0
(W1 x 0.195) + (25.506 x 0.525) + (W2 x 0.20) (R2 x 1.05) = 0
(5.56 x 0.15) + (25.506 x 0.525) + (3.34 x 0.20) (R2 x 1.05) = 0
0.834 + 13.391 + 0.668 - 1.05 (R2) = 0
14.893 = 1.05 (R2)
14.893 / 1.05 = R2
Therefore: R2 = 14.184 N
Solve for R1:
F = 0
R1 + R2 W1 25.506 W2 = 0
R1 + 14.183 = 5.56 + 25.506 + 3.34
R1 + 14.183 = 34.406 N
R1 = 34.406 N 14.183 N
Therefore: R1 = 20.223 N
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## Percentage error = [(Measured value Calculated value)/calculated value]*100

Using above data values:

For R1:
Measured value = 18.15N
Calculated value = 20.223 N
Therefore Percentage error = [(18.15 20.223) / 20.223] x 100
Therefore Percentage error = -10.3

For R2:
Measured value = 16.68 N
Calculated value = 14.184 N
Therefore Percentage Error = [(16.68 14.184) / 14.184] x 100
Therefore Percentage Error = 17.60
Average Percentage Error of R1 =

7

[(10.3 + 12.3 +

## 13.6 + 8.2 + 6.9 + 34.9 + 18.4) / 7]

= 104.6 / 7
Average Percentage Error of R1 = 14.94

Average Percentage Error of R2 = [(17.6 + 20.0 + 22.8 + 35.2 + 29.7 + 4.9 + 12.2) / 7]
= 142.4 / 7
Average Percentage Error of R2 = 20.34

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## Least Count on Spring Balances = 0.05 kg

Bias Error = x Least Count
= x 0.05
Bias Error = 0.025 Kg

## Bias Error = 0.025 x 9.81

Bias Error = 0.25 N

## Uncertainty = (B2 + P2)0.5

Since P = 0
Uncertainty = (0.252+02)0.5
Uncertainty = 0.25 N

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