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1. Objective:
Measurement of axial forces in pin-jointed truss members and compare them with
Calculated values

2. Apparatus:
2.1 ST342 Forces in Truss Apparatus

The truss consists of 19 members for construction of different cantilevered trusses where loading
can be applied at any of the bottom joints by the load hanger and weights. An indicator measures
truss deflection. The joints are designed to simulate pin-joints. Each truss member has a strain
gauge. Each gauge is wired to form a full bridge with temperature compensation and zero
adjustment in the bridge box and strain indicator. A steady bar with three adjustable forks is
provided to ensure lateral stability. It is to be used with ST300 Universal Structural Frame
(separately supplied)
3. Theory:
A truss is a structure composed of slender member joined together at their end points. The
members used in construction consist of metal bars, angles, or channels. The joint connections
are usually formed by bolting or welding the ends of the members to a common plate, called a
gusset plate, as shown in figure 3-1.

Planar trusses lie in a single plane and are often used to support roofs and bridges. The roof truss
is shown in Figure 3-2.

The roof load is transmitted to the truss at the joints by means of a series of purlins.
In the case of a bridge the load on the deck is first transmitted to stringers, then to the floor
beams, and finally to the joint. The components of bridge are shown in figure 3-3.
When a bridge or a roof truss extends more distance, a rocker or roller is used for supporting one
end to allow freedom for expansion or contraction due to temperature or application of loads.

To design both the members and the connections, it is necessary to determine the force in each
member when the truss is subjected to applied loads. Two assumptions will be made:
(1) The members are joined together by smooth pins.
(2) All loadings are applied at the joints.
Each truss member acts as a two-force member, and therefore the forces acting at the ends of the
member must be directed along the axis of the member. If the force tends to elongate the
member, it is a tensile force, if the force tends to shorten the member, it is a compressive force.
There are two methods to transmit external load at each joint to members. We will mention only
the method of joints.
If a truss is in equilibrium, then each joint must be in equilibrium. Method of joints can be
(1) Draw the joints free-body diagram before applying the equilibrium equations.
(2) Sum moment of force systems about a support to get a reaction at a support.
(3) Sum vertical forces equals to zero to get reaction at the other support.
(4) Start at support joint that each joined member has line of action along the axis of the member.
We assume all members to be tension as sign convention.
(5) Break axial forces to be xcomponent and ycomponent.
(6) Use Fx = 0 and Fy = 0 for determining axial force.
(7) Consider other joints and use Fx =0 and Fy = 0 again until all members are computed.

4.1 Connect truss members to joint members to form Marquise Truss as shown in figure above or
other truss as required. Use members with transducers where required.
Each member end requires two screw pins. Tighten the nuts by hand (not too tight) to ensure
slight movement between the truss member and the joint member.
4.2 Connect the strain gauge bridge (transducer) to strain gauge indicator. Assume single channel
strain gauge.
4.3 All transducers are adjusted at the factory to read zero at no load.
4.4 Apply 10 N weight at the end of truss.
4.5 Record indicator reading.
4.6 Repeat step 4.4 to 4.5 for 20 N, 30 N and 40 N load.
4.7 Release the applied weight and move the indicator connection to the other members where
strain gauge assembly is already attached or rearrange the members. Repeat step 4.3 to 4.6.
4.8 Compare the measured axial forces to theoretical axial forces.
4.9 Repeat 4.1 to 4.8 for other type of truss.
1. Both screw pins should be only lightly tightened so that the beam can adjust and align itself
under load.
2. The strain gauge indicator can be adjusted to read load in mV, kg, N or other required units.