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Method of Joints

The free-body diagram of any joint is a concurrent force system in which the summation of
moment will be of no help. Recall that only two equilibrium equations can be written

and

This means that to solve completely for the forces acting on a joint, we must select a joint with
no more than two unknown forces involved. This can be started by selecting a joint acted on by
only two members. We can assume any unknown member to be either tension or compression. If
negative value is obtained, this means that the force is opposite in action to that of the assumed
direction. Once the forces in one joint are determined, their effects on adjacent joints are known.
We then continue solving on successive joints until all members have been found.

Problems

Find the force acting in all members of the truss shown in Figure T-01.

Solution

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At joint A

At joint B
At joint E

At joint F
At joint C

check

At joint D

check

check

Summary
Problem 002-mj
The structure in Fig. T-02 is a truss which is pinned to the floor at point A, and supported by a roller
at point D. Determine the force to all members of the truss.

Solution 002-mj
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At joint A

At joint G
At joint B

At joint F

At joint C
At joint E

check

At joint D

check

check

Summary
FAB = 8.73 kN tension
FAG = 21.82 kN compression
FBC = 15.71 kN tension
FBF = 8.73 kN compression
FBG = 8.73 kN tension
FCD = 5.24 kN tension
FCE = 13.09 kN tension
FCF = 13.09 kN compression
FDE = 13.09 kN compression
FEF = 10.48 kN compression
FFG = 12.22 kN compression
Problem 003-mj
Find the force in each member of the truss shown in Fig. T-04.

Solution 003-mj
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At joint C

At joint D
At joint B

At joint E

At joint A
At joint F

Checking

check
check

check

Summary

Top chords
FDE = 64 kN tension
FEF = 176 kN tension

Bottom chords
FAB = 120 kN compression
FBC = 32 kN compression

Web members
FAF = 140 kN tension
FAE = 150.78 kN compression
FBE = 150.78 kN tension
FBD = 86.16 kN compression
FCD = 86.16 kN tension
Problem 004-mj
The truss pinned to the floor at D, and supported by a roller at point A is loaded as shown in Fig. T-
06. Determine the force in member CG.

Solution 004-mj
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At joint F

At joint A

At joint B
At joint G

answer

Another Solution to 004-mj


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At joint F
At joint D

At joint E

At joint C

answer
Problem 005-mj
Compute the force in all members of the truss shown in Fig. T-08.

Solution 005-mj
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At joint A

At joint B

At joint C
At joint E

At joint D

check

At joint F

check

check

Summary
Problem 403
Determine the force in each bar of the truss shown in Fig. P-403.

Solution 403
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By symmetry
From joint D

Hence,

From joint C
From joint E

From joint A

From joint G

From joint H

From joint B

Summary
Problem 404
Determine the forces in the members of the roof truss shown in Fig. P-404.
Solution 404

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At Joint A
At Joint C

At Joint B
Check!

At Joint D

Check!

Check!

Summary
AB = 450 N compression
AC = 389.71 N tension
BC = 450 N tension
BD = 900 N compression
CD = 389.71 N tension
Problem 405
Determine the force in each bar of the truss shown in Fig. P-405 caused by lifting the 120 kN load at
a constant velocity of 8 m per sec. What change in these forces, if any, results from placing the roller
support at D and the hinge support at A?

Solution 405
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The load is lifted at constant velocity (in dynamic


equilibrium), thus, the forces involve is similar to forces
under static equilibrium.
By symmetry of vertical forces

At Joint A

At Joint C
At Joint B

Check!

At Joint D

Check!

Check!

Summary
AB = 160 kN compression
AC = 128 kN tension
BC = 192 kN tension
CD = 32 kN tension
BD = 160 kN compression

With the roller support at D and the hinge support at A


HideClick here to show or hide the solution
At Joint A

compression

At Joint C
At Joint B

Check!

At Joint D

Check!

Check!

Summary
AB = 160 kN compression
AC = 32 kN compression
BC = 192 kN tension
CD = 128 kN compression
BD = 160 kN compression
Problem 406
The cantilever truss in Fig. P-406 is hinged at D and E. Find the force in each member.

Solution 406
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At Joint A

tension

compression

At Joint B
compression

tension

At Joint C

tension

compression

Summary
AB = 2000 N tension
AC = 1732.05 N compression
BC = 866.02 N compression
BD = 2500 N tension
CD = 2020.72 N tension
CE = 3175.42 N compression
Problem 407
In the cantilever truss shown in Fig. P-407, compute the force in members AB, BE, and DE.

Solution 407
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At Joint A

compression

tension

At Joint C
compression

At Joint B

compression

From the FBD of the whole truss shown below


Solve for the reaction at support H

Thus,
compression

At Joint E

tension

compression

We may check FDE by Method of Sections (Optional)


compression Check!

Summary (Answers)
AB = 1732.05 lb tension
BE = 1154.70 lb compression
DE = 1154.70 lb compression
Problem 408
Compute the force in each member of the Warren truss shown in Fig. P-408.

Solution 408
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At Joint A

compression

tension

At Joint B

tension
compression

At Joint C

tension

tension

At Joint D

compression

Check!

At Joint E
Check!

Check!

Summary

AB = 4041.45 lb compression
AC = 2020.72 lb tension
BC = 2886.75 lb tension
BD = 3464.10 lb compression
CD = 1732.05 lb tension
CE = 2598.07 lb tension
DE = 5196.15 lb compression
Problem 409
Determine the force in members AB, BD, BE, and DE of the Howe roof truss shown in Fig. P-409.

Solution 409
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At Joint A
compression answer

At Joint C
By inspection
tension

At Joint B
By inspection
compression answer

compression answer

At Joint D
By inspection
compression

tension answer
Problem 410
Determine the force in each member of the Pratt roof truss shown in Fig. P-410.

Solution 410
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By symmetry
At Joint A

compression

tension

At Joint B
By inspection
compression
compression
At Joint C

tension

tension

At Joint E
By inspection

Summary

AB = FH = 20 kN compression
AC = GH = 16 kN tension
BC = FG = 8 kN compression
BD = DF = 20 kN compression
CD = DG = 9.6148 kN tension
CE = EG = 10.6667 kN tension
DE = 0
Problem 411
Determine the force in members AB, AC, BD, CD, and CE of the cantilever truss shown in Fig. P-
411. If the loads were applied at C and E instead of at B, specify which members would have their
internal force changed.

Solution 411
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At Joint A

tension answer

compression answer

At Joint B
By inspection
tension answer
compression

Length of member DE

At Joint C

tension answer

compression answer

The fastest way to solve for BD, CD, and CE is by method of sections. From the figure below:

tension Check!

tension Check!

compression Check!

Summary of Answers
AB = 180.2776 kN tension
AC = 150 kN compression
BD = 180.2776 kN tension
CD = 250 kN tension
CE = 300 kN compression

Solving for other members

tension

tension

compression

At Joint E

compression

With 200 kN loads moved from B and D to C and E,


respectively
At Joint A

tension (no changes)

compression (no changes)

From the figure below

tension (no changes)


tension (no changes)

compression (no changes)

At Joint B
By inspection
(changed)

From the figure below

tension (no changes)


tension (no changes)

compression (no changes)

At Joint E

compression (changed)

Summary of Changes in Internal Forces

BC from 200 kN compression to 0


DE from 300 kN compression to 100 kN compression
Problem 412
Compute the force in each member of the truss shown in Fig. P-412. If the loads at B and D are
shifted vertically downward to add to the loads at C and E, would there be any change in the
reactions? Which members, if any, would undergo a change in internal force?

Solution 412
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At Joint A

compression

tension

At Joint B

compression
tension

At Joint C

compression

tension

At Joint E
By inspection
tension
tension

At Joint D

compression
Check!

At Joint F

Check!

Check!

Summary

AB = 983.87 kN compression
AC = 440 kN tension
BD = 491.94 kN compression
BC = 700 kN tension
CD = 1118.03 kN compression
CE = 1440 kN tension
DE = 200 kN tension
EF = 1440 kN tension
DF = 1609.97 kN compression

With Loads at B and D moved and added to loads at C and E, respectively


RA and RF will not change, thus, internal forces of AB, AC, DF, and EF will not change.
By inspection at joint E, CE will not change because EF did not change but DE changed from
200 kN tension to 1000 kN tension.

By inspection at joint B, BD remains 491.94 kN compression from


sum of horizontal forces but BC changed from sum of vertical
forces.

tension

At joint C
Since AC and CE did not change, the value of CD will
not change in summing up forces in horizontal direction.
To check,

Check!

Thus, only BC and DE changed

BC; from 700 kN tension to 1100 kN tension


DE; from 200 kN tension to 1000 kN tension
Problem 413
Determine the force in each member of the crane shown in Fig. P-413.

Solution 413
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Apply Cosine law to triangle ABC


At Joint A

tension

compression

At Joint B

compression

compression

At Joint C
tension

Summary
AC = 131 kN tension
AB = 120 kN compression
BC = 60 kN compression
BD = 104 kN compression
CD = 0
CE = 90 kN tension

Problem 414
Determine the force in members AB, BD, and CD of the truss shown in Fig. P-414. Also solve for the
force on members FH, DF, and DG.

Solution 414
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Solving for force in members AB, BD, and CD


At Joint A

compression answer

At Joint B

compression answer

tension

At Joint C
compression answer

Summary
AB = 84.85 kN compression
BD = 63.24 kN compression
CD = 12.5 kN compression

Solving for force in members FH, DF, and DG

At Joint H

compression answer
At Joint F

compression answer

tension

At Joint G

tension answer

Summary
FH = 127.28 kN compression
DF = 94.87 kN compression
DG = 37.5 kN tension