Engineering >> Civil & Environmental Engineering

Reaction Forces on a Beam With a Distributed Load

by Madeline Glassman


Submitted : Fall 2013

The objective of this project was to determine the reaction forces on a beam with a distributed load both numerically and analytically. Solving the problem analytically involves taking integrals given in the problem statement, as well as being given the load per unit length of the beam, w(x). Solving the problem numerically involves creating an Excel spreadsheet to solve the same problem and producing the same results found when done numerically. Comparing the results found from each yield that solving the problem numerically is a much more efficient process that still produces precise results, a percent error of .012% when compared to the results found analytically. The Excel spreadsheet does not use a function for the load per unit length of the beam (w(x)) to calculate the reaction forces, but uses data points instead (think the x and w(x) values of the function, w(x)). To approximate this definite integral, the trapezoid rule was used. From this we can conclude that when given only numerical data for a distributed force function, but not the function itself, an accurate calculation can still be made for its reaction forces using Excel.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Scott Campbell, Chemical & Biomedical Engineering
Suggested By :
Scott Campbell