Statics For Dummies book cover

Statics For Dummies

Published: September 7, 2010

Overview

The fast and easy way to ace your statics course

Does the study of statics stress you out? Does just the thought of mechanics make you rigid? Thanks to this book, you can find balance in the study of this often-intimidating subject and ace even the most challenging university-level courses.

Statics For Dummies gives you easy-to-follow, plain-English explanations for everything you need to grasp the study of statics. You'll get a thorough introduction to this foundational branch of engineering and easy-to-follow coverage of solving problems involving forces on bodies at rest; vector algebra; force systems; equivalent force systems; distributed forces; internal forces; principles of equilibrium; applications to trusses, frames, and beams; and friction.

  • Offers a comprehensible introduction to statics
  • Covers all the major topics you'll encounter in university-level courses
  • Plain-English guidance help you grasp even the most confusing concepts

If you're currently enrolled in a statics course and looking for a friendlier way to get a handle on the subject, Statics For Dummies has you covered.

The fast and easy way to ace your statics course

Does the study of statics stress you out? Does just the thought of mechanics make you rigid? Thanks to this book, you can find balance in the study of this often-intimidating subject and ace even the most challenging university-level courses.

Statics For Dummies gives you easy-to-follow, plain-English explanations for everything you need to grasp the study of statics. You'll get a thorough introduction to this foundational branch of engineering and easy-to-follow coverage of solving problems involving forces on bodies

at rest; vector algebra; force systems; equivalent force systems; distributed forces; internal forces; principles of equilibrium; applications to trusses, frames, and beams; and friction.

  • Offers a comprehensible introduction to statics
  • Covers all the major topics you'll encounter in university-level courses
  • Plain-English guidance help you grasp even the most confusing concepts

If you're currently enrolled in a statics course and looking for a friendlier way to get a handle on the subject, Statics For Dummies has you covered.

Statics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As with any branch of physics, solving statics problems requires you to remember all sorts of calculations, diagrams, and formulas. The key to statics success, then, is keeping your shear and moment diagrams straight from your free-body diagrams and knowing the differences among the calculations for moments, centroids, vectors, and pressures.

Articles From The Book

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Checklist for Solving Statics Problems

Solving statics problems can be complicated; each problem requires a list of items to account for and equations to create and solve. Solve statics problems with ease by using this checklist:

  1. Draw a free-body diagram of the entire system.

    In addition to dimensions and angles, you must include four major categories of items on a properly constructed free-body diagram:

    Applied external loads

    Revealed internal loads

    Support reactions

    Self weight

  2. Write equilibrium equations to compute as many unknown support reactions as possible.

  3. To solve for internal forces, identify the type of structure and write your equilibrium equations.

    After you identify the type of structure, you then know which technique to use to help you write your equilibrium equations:

    Trusses/axial members: Members are loaded with internal axial forces only. To solve, you can use the method of joints or the method of sections.

    Beams (bending members): Members are loaded with internal axial forces, shear forces, and moments. To solve, cut the member at the desired location, draw a new free-body diagram of the cut section, and write equilibrium equations.

    Frames/machines: Members are loaded with internal axial forces, shear forces, and moments. To solve, use the blow-it-all-apart approach to break the structure into smaller pieces. Look for internal hinges as common places to separate your structure and draw free-body diagrams to solve for the connecting pin forces.

    Cable structures: Members are constructed from axially loaded cables. Identify the type of cable loading (concentrated, parabolic/uniform, or catenary). Compute the cable tension at the location of known maximum sag (or vice versa).

    Submerged surfaces: Members are subjected to fluid pressure. To solve, draw a free-body diagram of the hydrostatic pressure diagram which is zero at the fluid surface and linearly increases with depth. Include the weight of the fluid on objects with non-vertical faces.

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Cartesian Vector Formulas for Solving Statics Problems

In many statics problems, you must be able to quickly and efficiently create vectors in the Cartesian plane. Luckily, you can accomplish your Cartesian vector creations easily with the handy vector formulas in this list:

Force vectors and distance vectors are the most basic vectors that you deal with.

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Statics: Developing Shear and Moment Diagrams

Shear and moment diagrams are a statics tool that engineers create to determine the internal shear force and moments at all locations within an object. Start by locating the critical points and then sketching the shear diagram.

  • Critical point locations:

    • Start and stop of structure (extreme ends)

    • Concentrated forces

    • Concentrated moments

    • Start and stop of distributed loads

    • Internal hinges

    • Support locations

    • Points of zero shear (V = 0) — for moment diagrams only.

  • Important features to remember when drawing the diagram:

    • Concentrated forces cause an instant jump in shear.

    • Concentrated moments cause an instant jump in moment.

    • Order increases from load to shear to moment (that is, 1st order load diagram, 2nd order shear, 3rd order moment).

    • The slope of the moment diagram is equal to the value of shear.

    • If the load area is positive, the change in shear is positive. If the shear area is positive, the change in moment is positive.