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This lab experiment is carried out to verify flexural stress formula that relates bending stresses with

moment of inertia of beam cross-section and the height of the point from neutral axis of the beam.

As the bending moment and so the bending stress varies with length of the beam, it is favorable for

the maximum bending stress to occur along the beam at a point with the greatest volume. It means that the

beams are so designed that their cross-sectional areas may vary along their lengths. Hence, another purpose

of this lab experiment is to demonstrate better design of beams using flexural formula.

The flexural formula being applied to the cantilevered beam used in this experiment may be applied

to any beam under any mode of plane loading.


Widths of the beam b1 and b3 at locations X1 (centerline of gauge 1) and X3 (centerline of gauge 3)

were measured. Distances X1 and X3 are measured from the point of load application. Thickness of the

beam t was also measured. All the dimensions were recorded. P3 Strain gauge reader was turned on. Load

was applied using a micrometer screw. First, it is made to touch the aluminum beam and the strain gauge

reader value was zeroed. Then the micrometer screw was used to produce displacement at the end of the

beam- 0.63 mm for each rotation. Eight (8) such rotations were made and strain gauge readings for each

rotation were noted.

Discussion and Results

Dimensions of the beam and material properties are mentioned in Table-1. Strain gauge values

obtained from strain gauge reader for eight (8) strains at each of the two points are mentioned in Table-2.

Equation-1 is used to calculate the load ‘P’ at points A and B which is tabulated in Table-3.
The load s calculated using strains at points A and B and section modulus are plotted against each other in


Equation-1 is derived for a beam with constant thickness and variable width. The beam used in

this experiment is shown in Figure-2. Zones A and B are proportioned and the section modulus properties

are varied so as to satisfy Equation-1. Loads at point A and Point B are almost same as calculated from

observed data. It shows that the rectangular beam design for constant load is successful. The R 2 value

obtained for loads at Point A and B is 0.999989 which means that the values are quite similar.

It can also be seen that the strain values for each case are almost similar. The slight difference

between them can be due to the variation in material properties throughout the beam. The sources of error

maybe due to the resolution of strain gauge and human error in noting down the lengths. Play in the

micrometer screw can also cause a difference between theoretical and experimental results.



Load values are calculated as:

𝜀𝐸𝐾𝑡 2
6 Equation-1

Where, ‘E’ is Elastic Modulus in N/m^2

‘t’ is the thickness, ‘𝜀’ is the strain at the point at which load is to be calculated and ‘K’ is the quotient of

width, ‘b’ at the point and distance, ‘X’ of the point from the application of load.
Experimental Data

Table 1: Dimensions of beam and material properties.

1 Width, b1 (mm) 21.63 Location, X1(mm) 220

2 Width, b3 (mm) 21.71 Location, X3(mm) 112
3 Thickness, t (mm) 6.29 Section Modulus Ratio 1.9716
4 E (N/m^2) 7.17E+10

Table 2: Strains obtained from strain gauge reader.

Displacement, 1 2 3 4
δ (mm)
Case 1 0.63 0.00007 0.00007 0.000035 0.000035
Case 2 1.26 0.000141 0.000141 0.000071 0.000071
Case 3 1.89 0.000213 0.000212 0.000107 0.000106
Case 4 2.52 0.000284 0.000283 0.000143 0.000142
Case 5 3.15 0.000356 0.000354 0.000179 0.000177
Case 6 3.78 0.000427 0.000425 0.000214 0.000212
Case 7 4.41 0.000498 0.000496 0.00025 0.000248
Case 8 5.04 0.00057 0.000568 0.000286 0.000283

Table 3: Calculations for average strains and loads in Newtons at points A and B.

Displacement, 𝜀 𝜀2 𝜀 𝐸𝐾2 𝑡 2 𝜀 𝜀 𝜀 𝐸𝐾2 𝑡 2 𝜀 R^2 Value

𝜀 = 𝑃 = 𝜀 = 𝑃 =
δ (mm) 6 6 𝜀 of Pa Vs Pb
Case 1 0.63 0.00007 3.253876571 0.000035 3.207591407 2
Case 2 1.26 0.000141 6.554237092 0.000071 6.506828282 1.9859
Case 3 1.89 0.0002125 9.877839589 0.0001065 9.760242423 1.9953
Case 4 2.52 0.0002835 13.17820011 0.0001425 13.0594793 1.9895
Case 5 3.15 0.000355 16.50180261 0.000178 16.31289344 1.9944
Case 6 3.78 0.000426 19.80216313 0.000213 19.52048485 2
Case 7 4.41 0.000497 23.10252365 0.000249 22.81972172 1.996
Case 8 5.04 0.000569 26.44936812 0.0002845 26.07313586 2


Pb, (N)



0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Pa, (N)

Figure 1: Plot of Load at Point B against load at Point A in Newtons.

Figure 2: Beam used in this experiment.