Least-work analysis of the problem of shear lag in box beams

Hildebrand, Francis B (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Reissner, Eric (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

The distribution of stress in the cover sheets of thin-wall box beams is analyzed, with regard to the effect of shear deformation in the cover sheets, by the method of least work. Explicit results are obtained for a number of representative cases that show the influence of the following factors on the stress patterns. (1) Variation of stress in spanwise direction as given by elementary beam theory. (2) Value of a parameter called shear-lag aspect ratio which designates the product of span-width ratio of the beam and of the square root of the ratio of effective shear modulus and tensing modulus of the cover sheets. (3) Value of ratio of cover-sheet stiffness to side-web stiffness. (4) Variation of beam height in span direction. (5) Variation of beam width in span direction. (6) Variation of cover-sheet thickness in span direction. General conclusions are drawn from the results obtained. Among them the most important one appears to be the fact that the shear-lag effect depends primarily on the following tow quantities: (1) the value of the shear-lag aspect ratio. (2) the shape of the curve representing the product of the stress of elementary beam theory and of the cover-sheet thickness.

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