Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
ABSTRACT
Bending of beams is a frequently encountered loading situation in practice. A slender member subject to traverse loads is termed as a beam under bending. At any crosssection, the traverse loads generate shear and bending moment to maintain equilibrium. One of the common principles used to determine the loading capacity of a structure is the first yield criterion which assumes that the maximum load is reached when the stress in the extreme fabric reaches yield stress. However, the design based on this rule is not economical for a beam carrying static load, and a substantial reserve of the strength is disregarded. In order to make use of the material strength fully, we must explore possibilities of loading the beam into the plastic region.
The objectives of the experiment are to verify the shape factor and the limit load for beam of rectangular crosssection under pure bending, determine experimentally and theoretically the shape factor and (plastic) limit load of a simply supported beam and study the mode of failure for a thinwalled(1mm thickness) Csection and to propose and experimentally verify an appropriate reinforcement scheme to prevent or reduce buckling.
This project focuses on the analysis of stresses in beam bending, and was carried out by loading various beams of different crosssections. It is observed that the experimental ultimate load is lower than that of the theoretical load, for each of the crosssections tested. One of the possible reasons for this is that failure in each of these beams occurs by other modes rather than the pure bending process stipulated.
The reinforcement of the thinwalled Cchannel was carried out on the thin wall C channel was to reinforce the sides of the C Channel using strips bent into sshape and using adhesive bonding.
From the data collected, it was found that warpage of the sides will not occur when the side of the C channel is thicker. Hence, part of the reinforcement strips will result in an increase in thickness of the walls. The middle portion of the Sstrip (part b) is used with the intention of increasing the strength of the CChannel, without a significant corresponding increase in weight
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
1. INTRODUCTION
Bending of beams is a frequently encountered loading situation in practice. A slender member subject to traverse loads is termed as a beam under bending. At any crosssection, the traverse loads generate shear and bending moment to maintain equilibrium. The bending causes a change in curvature of the beam and induces tensile and compressive stresses in the crosssection of the beam. Maximum stresses are achieved in layers furthest from the neutral axis, the layer at which strain is zero.
1.1 Background
One of the common principles used to determine the loading capacity of a structure is the first yield criterion which assumes that the maximum load is reached when the stress in the extreme fabric reaches yield stress. While this criterion is easy to apply and safe to use, the design based on this rule is not economical for a beam carrying static load. According to the elastic flexure formula, the stress in a beam is proportional to the distance from the neutral axis. When a beam is made to carry a moment causing the extreme fabric to yield, the material below this layer will still be elastic and is capable to carrying further load. Therefore, if the first yield criterion is applied, a substantial reserve of the strength is disregarded. In order to make use of the material strength fully, we must explore possibilities of loading the beam into the plastic region.
1.2 Objectives
The objectives of the experiment are:
1. To verify the shape factor and the limit load for beam of rectangular crosssection under pure bending.
2. To determine experimentally and theoretically the shape factor and (plastic) limit load of a simply supported beam.
3. To study the mode of failure for a thinwalled(1mm thickness) Csection and to propose and experimentally verify an appropriate reinforcement scheme to prevent or reduce buckling.
1.3 Scope
This project focuses on the analysis of stresses in beam bending, and was carried out by loading various beams, namely 2 Cchannels (thick and thin), a box beam and 2 rectangular crosssection beams. Theoretical analysis and experiments were carried out to determine the strength and stiffness of the beams, which were simply supported at 2 ends with a central load. A Cbeam was chosen and a reinforcement scheme was done to prevent buckling and to increase the strength of the beam.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
1.4 Equipment
a. ENERPAC handpump base loading system
b. Linear Voltage Displacement Transducer (LVDT)
c. YOKOGAWA 3025 XY Recorder
Figure 1. Experimental Setup.
Figure 2. YOKOGAWA 3025 XY Recorder.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
2. THEORY
This project explains the theory of ultimate load applied to a simply supported beam based on the concept of ultimate load for beam of rectangular crosssection under pure bending. Pure bending refers to flexure of a beam under a constant bending moment. Therefore pure bending occurs only in regions of a beam where the shear force is zero. In the simplified engineering theory of bending, we make the following assumptions:
1. The beams are assumed to internally statically indeterminate.
2. The strains caused by the deformations have a relationship with stresses.
3. When M _{p} is reached, a plastic hinge is formed.
The shape factor gives a very good estimate as to how much the yield moment M _{y} , could be
exceeded before the ultimate plastic capacity is reached. Basically, shape factor can be calculated by this simple equation:
Shape factor = M _{p} / M _{y}

= 
s 
y 
I 
= s 
S 



where M _{y} = yield moment, 

s _{y} = yielding stress 

I 
= moment of inertia 

c 
= distance from the neutral axis to load 

S 
= modulus of the cross section 
For a beam that experiences plastic yielding, the above equation will be altered to:
in which
M _{p} = s _{y} Z 

Z = 
A 
( 
y 
1 
+ 
2 
y
2
)
A = area of cross section, y _{1} and y _{2} = distance of loads to neutral axis.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
z
Load
s y
Load
s y Figure 3. Theory of ultimate load.
3. PROCEDURE
The procedure below is used to investigate the ultimate load of a beam subjected to:
(i) 
pure bending (four point bending) 
(ii) 
a simply supported beam 
Pure Bending 
1. Measure the required dimensions of the beam for the calculations of moment of first yield and ultimate moment.
2.
Place the beam on the roller supports of the test rig.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
3. Place and centralize the upper rig onto the beam.
4. For C crosssection beams, insert the provided supports before placing the upper rig.
5. Bring the jet into position with the upper rig by using the handbrake.
6. Set the Liner Voltage Displacement Transducer (LVDT) perpendicular to the stopper.
7. Use the resistor to calibrate the Yaxis by shorting from the amplifier. Note that one deflection in the Yaxis is equivalent to 1 kN.
8. Calibrate the Xaxis to ensure that the plot stays within the range.
9. Ensure that the chart is set to ‘hold’ and the pen is set to ‘down’ before proceeding with the experiment.
10. Pump the handpump continuously to apply force onto the beam.
11. Stop the experiment once the graph plot maintains a horizontal straight line.
12. Release the control valve to reset the jet to its original position.
13. Remove the LVDT and the upper rig.
Simply supported beam
Fix a wedge to the jet to stimulate a point load on the beam. Bring the wedge within close proximity before placing a piece of support between the And place a support between the wedge and the beam. Repeat steps 6 to 13.
4. RESULTS
5. Rectangular Crosssectional area
The parameters are: b=51mm h=13.1mm Moment of Inertia,
I =
bh
3
12
=
6.681
¥
10
 4
4
m
Given that the yield stress for aluminium is
s
y
= 300 MPa
Figure 4.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
s 
= 
My 

I 

M 
= 
s 
¥ 
bh 
3 
¥ 
2 

yd 
yd 
12 
h 

^{M} 
= s 
¥ 
bh 
¥ 
h 

ult yd 2 M 
2 ult 

Shape factor = M 
yd 

M _{u}_{l}_{t} = Pa/2 

Hence, P _{u}_{l}_{t} = 6564N 

6. 

= (2¥ 25.3 ¥ 76.2 ¥ 1) = 20.58 mm 

I _{t}_{o}_{t}_{a}_{l} 
= S (I _{o} + Ad ^{2} ) 

= 
2 
È 0.8 
¥ 25.3 
3 

12 
Í Î = 6.068 ¥
10 ^{}^{9} m ^{4}
= 437.6 Nm
To find M _{u}_{l}_{t} , we note that the distance between the resultant forces = h/2
= 656.4 Nm
656.4
=
437.6
= 1.5
Figure 5.
Thinwalled C Channel
Figure 6.
¥
1
¥
4.22
2
x = centriod of section = 35.9mm y = centriod of section = (S A`y )/SA
0.8 ¥ 25.3/2 + 76.2 ¥ 1¥
24.8) / (2 ¥ 25.3 ¥ 0.8 +
˘
76.2
¥
1
3
+ 25.3
¥ 
0.8 
¥ 
(20.58 
 
10 ^{}^{9} / 20.58 ¥ 
12.65)
2
˙
˚
+
12
+
76.2
s _{m}_{a}_{x} = s _{y}_{d} at y = 20.58mm
M yd
= s 
yd 
I 
/ 
y 
= 300 ¥ 
10 ^{6} ¥ 6.068 ¥ 

= 88.5 Nm 
10 ^{}^{3}
For the ultimate moment, we have to locate the position of the neutral axis as the axis is not symmetrical about the centroid.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
2 ¥ 24.3 ¥ 0.8 + 77.8 (y24.3) = (25.3 – y) ¥ 77.8 y = 24.55mm
Consider the area below the neutral axis
T _{1} = (0.25 ¥
10 ^{}^{3} ) ¥ (77.8 ¥
10 ^{}^{3} ) ¥ (300 ¥
10 ^{6} )
= 5835N acting at 0.125mm from N.A
T _{2} + T _{3} = 2 ¥ (24.3 ¥
10
^{}^{3} ) ¥ (0.8 ¥
10 ^{}^{3} ) ¥ (300 ¥
10 ^{6} )
= 11664 N acting at 12.4mm from N.A
Take Moments about C
M _{u}_{l}_{t} = 5835 ¥ (0.125 + 0.75/2) ¥ 10 ^{}^{3} + 11664 ¥ (12.4 + 0.75/2) ¥ 10 ^{}^{3} =151.9251 Nm
Shape Factor =
151.9251 = 1.72
88.5
0.5 P = M _{u}_{l}_{t} / 0.2 P = (151.9251 / 0.2 ) ¥ = 1519.251 N
2
7. Thickwalled CChannel
x = centriod of section = 35.9mm y = centriod of section = 19.12 mm
M _{y}_{d} = 297.91 Nm M _{u}_{l}_{t} =533.66 Nm
533.66 
= 1.791 
297.91 
Shape Factor = 

P 
= 5336.6 N 
4.4 
Hollow Rectangular Crosssectional area
The parameters are: b=76.0mm, h=25.2mm
M
yd
=
s
yd
I
h / 2
= 631.43 Nm
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
M _{u}_{l}_{t} = 743.7 Nm
Shape Factor =
743.7
631.43
=
1.178
P = 7437 N
Figure 10.
On the graph plot, the experimental ultimate load is defined as the maximum point on the graph, and the load of first yield is defined on the maximum point on the graph that lies on the tangent line drawn from the origin. The Experimental Shape Factor is thus defined as the division of the 2 values.
The results are summarized in Table 1 below:
Table 1. Summary of results obtained.
Xsection 
Theoretical 
Experimental 
Experimental 
Theoretical 
Experimental 

Ultimate 
Ultimate Load 
Load of First 
Shape 
Shape Factor 

Load (N) 
(N) 
Yield (N) 
Factor 


6564 
4722 
3888.9 
1.5 
1.21 

cross 

section 


C 
1519.251 
1379.7 
1207.55 
1.72 
1.14 

channel 


C 
5336.6 
4216.9 
2452.3 
1.79 
1.72 

channel 


7437.045 
2200 
1764.7 
1.178 
1.25 

rectangle 

cross 

section 
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
4.5 Thinwalled CChannel Subjected to Point Loading
Diagram for simply supported beam
Bending moment diagram for Aluminium
Curvature diagram of Aluminium
Figure 11.
When a concentrated force P is applied at the middle of a simply supported prismatic beam, the
shape of the bending moment is the same regardless of the load magnitude.
For any value of P,
the maximum moment M = PL/4, and is M £ M _{y}_{p} , the beam behaves elastically. When the moment is at M _{y}_{p} , the force at yield , P _{y}_{p} =4M _{y}_{p} /L.
When M _{y}_{p} is exceeded, contained yielding of the beam commences and continues until the plastic moment M _{p} is reached. The curvature diagram prior to reaching M _{p} at the middle of the beam is shown above. The curvature at the middle of the beam becomes very large as it rapidly approaches M _{p} and continues to grow without bound.
By setting the plastic moment M _{p} equal to PL/4, we have:
P _{u}_{l}_{t} = 4M _{p} /L P _{u}_{l}_{t} = (M _{p} /M _{y}_{p} ) ¥ P _{y}_{p} = kP _{y}_{p} ,
where the difference between the 2 forces depends only on k, the shape factor.
Given that
s
y
= 300
MPa
,
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
s
=
My
I
M
yd
=
s
yd
¥
I
y
=
300
¥
10
6
¥
6.068
¥
10
 9
25.3
¥
10
 3
/ 2
= 143.9 Nm
P _{y}_{p} =4 M _{y}_{p} / L =4 ¥ 143.9 / 0.73 = 788.52N
From the above calculations, the shape factor for the thinwalled Cchannel is 1.72. Hence, P _{u}_{l}_{t} =
1356.3N.
The experimental result shows that P _{u}_{l}_{t} = 750N. The reason for such a discrepancy is because the point load causes a hinge to be formed at the midpoint of the thinwalled C –channel. As such, the Linear Voltage Displacement Transducer (LVDT) is unable to register further increases in displacement.
5 DISCUSSION
5.1 Analysis of Results
Table 1 shows the values of the theoretical
shape factors, as well as the theoretical and
experimental ultimate loads experienced by beams of various crosssections. It is observed that the experimental ultimate load is lower than that of the theoretical load, for each of the cross sections tested.
One of the possible reasons for this is that failure in each of these beams occurs by other modes rather than the pure bending process stipulated. In the case of the thin Cchannel, buckling and warpage of the channel occurred shortly after the application of the load force. This resulted in the material failing, and hence the ultimate experimental load attained was lower than the theoretical calculated value. In the case of the beam with the rectangular hollow crosssection, it was observed that a region of bending occurs in the region where the roller support was placed. The deformation in that region caused the material to fail.
5.2 Suggested Reinforcement
Various types of reinforcement schemes have been suggested. One of the suggestions is to use riveting joints. Theoretically, when the distance between rivets is small, the resultant stress concentration ratio is relatively small as the rivet can be taken to be over a large area. However, introducing rivets will result in stress concentration at the riveting points and this may result in material failure.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
Thus the modification that was carried out on the thin wall C channel was to reinforce the sides of the C Channel using strips bent into sshape and using adhesive bonding.
From the data collected, it was found that warpage of the sides will not occur when the side of the C channel is thicker. Hence, part of the reinforcement strips will result in an increase in thickness of the walls (see A and C). The middle portion of the Sstrip (part B) is used with the intention of increasing the strength of the CChannel, without a significant corresponding increase in weight.
Figure 12. Schematic view of suggested reinforcement.
Observations
The weights of the C channels are as follows:
Table 2. Comparison of the weights of various Cchannels.
Weight 
Wt as a 
Experimental 
Experimental 
Experimental 

(g) 
percentage of thin wall C channel 
Load of First Yield 
Ultimate Load 
Shape Factor 

Thin wall 
C 
284.6 
100 
1207.55 
1379.7 
1.14 
channel 
(pure 

bending) 

Thickwalled 
790 
278 
2452.3 
4216.9 
1.72 

CChannel 

(pure bending) 

Thin wall 
C 
450.9 
158 
1148.5 
1505 
1.31 
Channel 
with 

reinforcement 

(pure bending) 

Thin wall 
C 
284.6 
100 
657.5 
767.1 
1.167 
channel 
(3 

point bending) 
The results show that the experimental ultimate load for the CChannel with reinforcement is 1505N which is an increase over the 1379.7N obtaining a thin wall Cchannel without reinforcement. However, the load required for the thinwalled C Channel to reach first yield has decreased, hence resulting in a higher shape factor.
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
From the experimental shape factor that is taken, it is observed that there is an increase in loading and the CChannel can withstand a much higher load before it yields.
As the introduction of force, a ‘cracking’ sound was heard. This is the result of the failure of the adhesive bond. As the applied force is concentrated at the midspan, therefore the adhesive bonding will fail at that point. The mode of failure is similar to that of a thin wall CChannel under a 3 pt loading, by buckling. One of the possible reason, is the reinforcement at the midpoint has already been weakened substantially. Hence the warpage of the wall has been prevented at the expense of the strength of the channel, which results in this mode of failure.
Comparing the experimental shape factors that are obtained (see Table 2), the inclusion of reinforcements has resulted in an increase in the experimental shape factor of the thinwalled C Channel. This is the result of an increase in the ultimate load that the C Channel can now take. The mode of failure for this thinwalled C Channel with reinforcement has also been altered to that of a 3point bending, as evident in the hinge that was observed when the beam failed..
Figure 13. Formation of a hinge at failure.
One of the conclusions that can be drawn is that with reinforcement, the shape factor of the thin walled C Channel has been increased to 1.31, which is, in comparison, closest to that of a rectangular channel. Although this value is slightly lower, it is actually more costeffective to use reinforcement like the one that was designed. This is because the material usage (and hence the addition in weight) in a thinwalled C Channel with reinforcement is much lower as compared to that for a beam with a rectangular crosssectional are.
6 CONCLUSIONS
Bending of beams is a frequently encountered situation in practice. The objective of this experiment is to study the ultimate load of a beam under bending. For the experiment, specimens
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
are made of aluminum, which is a nonferrous metal; its properties differ from ferrous metals, which is iron based. As most high stressed structures are made of ferrous metals, we need to correlate our experiment results and observations.
Judging from the results, the solid cross section beam is the strongest and the hollow cross section beam is the weakest, which verifies the theoretical calculations. Since the proposed reinforced C channel has no theory to support, we need to present two hypothesis to explain the results and observations.
Hypothesis I:
The proposed reinforced C channel is assumed to be a thick wall beam. The warpage of the wall has been prevented and the specimen failure was to expectation of the thick wall beam. However, the strength of the beam did not increase much, which led to many arguments. One of the reasons could be that adhesive bonding is not suitable for aluminum, as the joint strength is also determined by the strength of attachment between adhesive and adherend. And most importantly, based on the thickness ratio of the walls and the strength to weight ratio, the proposed reinforced C channel did not perform too badly. Further improvements could be made.
Hypothesis II:
The proposed reinforced C channel is assumed to be a solid rectangular beam. As mention above, the strength of the beam did not increase much. In addition, the mode of failure is not what expected of a solid rectangular beam. The only argument we could put is that the strength to weight ration between the proposed reinforced C channel is very big.
In considering the best structure we would have to take into account the respective strength of the beams relative to that of their weights. The best combination would be to be a design that is able to provide high strength and it should be lightweight which we had aimed to achieve.
7 RECOMMENDATIONS
In the process of the experiments, the following recommendations have been made to further improve on the test results:
(i) It was found that loose connections at the ends of the transducer could result in fluctuations, and hence inaccuracies, in the calibrations. Hence, as a precautionary measure, the connections should be checked and tightened, whenever necessary.
(ii) Inclusion of proper supports to hold the adhesion in place. In the reinforcement of the thinwalled Cchannel, the adhesion formed between the channel and the Sstrips may have
Project P3.8 Ultimate Load of a Beam Under Pure Bending
been stronger if proper supports can be given to secure the strips firmly to the walls of the Cchannel. The availability of such supports may give rise to a higher resultant strength.
8 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to express their appreciation to their supervisor, Associate Professor Anand Asundi, and Mr Tan of the Strength of Materials Lab for their assistance rendered in the project.
9 REFERENCES
1. E.P Popov, Engineering Mechanics of Solids, 2 ^{n}^{d} ed. Chapter 20, Prentice Hall (Singapore),
1999.
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