The influence of the form of a wooden beam on its stiffness and strength I : deflection of beams with special reference to shear deformations

Newlin, J A Trayer, G W

The purpose of this investigation was to determine to what extent ordinary deflection formulas, which neglect shear deformations, are in error when applied to beams of various sections, and to develop reasonably accurate yet comparatively simple formulas which take into account such deformations. A great many tests were made to determine the amount of shear deformation for beams of various sections tested over many different spans. As the span over which the beam is tested is increased the error introduced by neglecting shear deformations becomes less, and the values obtained by substituting measured deflections in the ordinary formulas approach more nearly the modulus of elasticity in tension and compression. For short spans the error is considerable and increases rapidly as the span is reduced. Two formulas were developed for estimating the magnitude of shear deformations, both of which have been verified by tests. The first assumes the parabolic distribution of shear on a cross section of a beam and, starting with a differential volume, the distortion due to shear is determined by the ordinary methods of summarizing the work. The second assumes that the deflections due to shear in any two beams of the same length, height, and moment of inertia, which are similarly loaded, are proportional to the summations of the shear stresses on their respective vertical sections. Both formulas check experimental results very closely when the calculations are made with great refinement.

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