Principal effects of axial load on moment-distribution analysis of rigid structures

James, Benjamin Wylie (Stanford University)
July 1935

This thesis presents the method of moment distribution modified to include the effect of axial load upon the bending moments. This modification makes it possible to analyze accurately complex structures, such as rigid fuselage trusses, that heretofore had to be analyzed by approximate formulas and empirical rules. The method is simple enough to be practicable even for complex structures, and it gives a means of analysis for continuous beams that is simpler than the extended three-moment equation now in common use. When the effect of axial load is included, it is found that the basic principles of moment distribution remain unchanged, the only difference being that the factors used, instead of being constants for a given member, become functions of the axial load. Formulas have been developed for these factors, and curves plotted so that their applications requires no more work than moment distribution without axial load. Simple problems have been included to illustrate the use of the curves.

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