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THIN WALLED

BEAMS
AN INTRODUCTION TO SOME CONCEPTS
ALLAN LAMBOR MARBANIANG
154104023
MTECH

CONTENTS
Unrestrained Sections:
Open Sections to Shear
Closed Sections to Shear
Closed Sections to Torsion
Restrained Sections
Closed Sections to Torsion
Introduction to Shear lag

SO WHAT ARE THIN


WALLED BEAMS
A thin walled beam is a type of beam .The cross section of thin
walled beams is made up from thin panels connected among
themselves to create closed or open cross sections of a beam.

A thin/thick walled section is said to be closed/open when the locus of points


defining the center line of the wall forms a closed/open contour.
Closed sections include round, square, and rectangular tubes.
Open sections include I-beams, T-beams, L-beams, and so on.
Thin walled beams exist because their bending stiffness per unit cross sectional area is
much higher than that for solid cross sections such a rod or bar. In this way, stiff beams
can be achieved with minimum weight.
Applications is in aircraft wings, box section concrete, steel sections,etc..
Solid beams have their cross- sectional dimensions small compared with the third, the
longitudinal dimension. Thin wall beams however have all three dimensions of different
order of magnitudes. For such structures the wall thickness is small compared with any
other characteristic dimensions compared with the longitudinal dimension,
Torsion induces shear stresses in the walls of beams and these cause shear strains,
which produce warping of the cross-section. When this warping is restrained, direct
stresses are set up which modify the shear stresses. In a similar manner, the shear
strains in the thin walls of beams subjected to shear loads cause cross-sections to
distort or warp, so that the basic assumption of elementary bending theory of plane
sections remaining plane is no longer valid

Closed Beam Section

Open Beam Section

SHEAR FLOW
Convenient way to work.
(1)

Has both direction and


magnitude
Assumption:
Shear Flow does not vary through the thickness.

EQUILIBRIUM EQUATIONS
Equilibrium in z direction

(2)

Equilibrium in s direction
(3)

SHEAR OF OPEN SECTION


BEAMS
Assume Sx and Sy are shear forces causing no twisting of the
beam cross section, that is the shear loads pass through the shear
center. Taking equation 2

Let us assume that the direct stresses are obtained with the
basic bending theory such that :

Using the relationship

Keeping it in the equilibrium equation (2) :

Integrating :

It is easy as we can take the origin for s at the open edge where the
shear flow ,q=0

(4)
1

For symmetrical Sections Ixy=0

(5)

SHEAR OF CLOSED
SECTION BEAMS
Taking equation (2)

We integrate over the boundary s, where at s =0, q has a value of qs,o

(6)

Taking moments about a moment center point,

(7)
(8)
Therefore, by cutting the closed section beam, we are, in effect, replacing the shear
loads by shear loads Sx and Sy acting through the shear center of the resulting open
section beam together with a torque T, as shown. In this case, the constant shear flow
qs,0 corresponds to the torque but has different values for different positions of the cut.

TWIST AND WARPING OF SHEAR


LOADED CLOSED SECTION BEAMS
Shear loads that are not applied through the shear center of a closed section
beam cause cross-sections to twist and warp; that is, in addition to rotation, they
suffer out-of-plane axial displacements.
The tangential displacement vt of any point N in the wall of either an open or
closed section
(9)
beam is seen to be
Where clearly u, v, and y are functions of z only (w may be a function of z and s).
If displacements are equivalent to a pure rotation
about R, which is the center of twist

(10)

(11)
Substituting for vt in 11 , we get :

(12)
Integrating:

where AOs is the area swept out by a generator, center at the origin of axes, O, from
the origin for s to any point s around the cross-section :

Continuing the integration completely around the cross-section yields,

From which

(13)
(14)
Replacing du/dz and dv/dz

(15)
In the case where the origin coincides with the center of twist R of the section

(16)

TORSION FOR CLOSED SECTION


A closed section beam subjected to a pure torque T, does not, in the absence of an
axial constraint, develop a direct stress system.
(17)
It follows that the equilibrium conditions of
These relationships may be satisfied simultaneously only by a constant value of q.
We deduce, therefore, that the application of a pure torque to a closed section
beam results in the development of a constant shear flow in the beam wall
The torque produced by the shear flow acting on an element ds of the beam wall is
p q ds.

(18)

The relationship between q and shear strain is


which is valid for q

Differentiating eq 17, we get

(18)

(19)

To hold for all points in the section wall we need:

For a constant shear, equation (13) is still applicable

And :

So:

Wrapping distribution for varying shear can also be applicable to the case of constant shear
flow where the origin is at the center of twist.

(20)

CONDITION FOR NO WARPING


The geometry of the cross-section of a closed section beam subjected to torsion may be
such that no warping of the cross-section occurs when eq (20) =0

=0

A closed section beam for which pRGt = constant does not


warp.

Examples of such beams are a circular section beam of constant thickness, a rectangular
section beam for which atb = bta

RESTRAINED CONDITION
Allowance is made for the effects of restrained warping produced by structural
or loading discontinuities in the torsion of open or closed section beams or for
the effects of shear strains on the calculation of direct and shear stresses in
beams subjected to bending and shear.
Structural constraint stresses in either closed or open beams result from a
restriction on the freedom of any section of the beam to assume its normal
displaced shape under load.
In torsion, a longitudinal stress system is induced, which, in a special case
discussed later, is proportional to the free warping of the beam.
Under shear stress loading However, for a box beam comprising thin skins and
booms, the shear strains in the skins are of sufficient magnitude to cause a
measurable redistribution of the direct load in the booms, and hence
previously plane sections warp.

The problem of axial constraint may be conveniently divided into two parts. In
the first, the shear stress distribution due to an arbitrary loading is calculated
exclusively at the built-in end of the beam. In the second, the stress (and/or
load) distributions are calculated along the length of the beam for the separate
loading cases of torsion and shear. Obviously, the shear stress systems
predicted by each portion of theory must be compatible at the built-in end.

SHEAR STRESS DISTRIBUTION AT A BUILTIN END OF A CLOSED SECTION BEAM


The shear flow at any point in the section is given by eq(12)

At built in section dw/ds=0

The results of the internal shear flows q must


be statically equivalent to the applied loading

Substituting the values in our main equation:

(21)

THIN-WALLED RECTANGULAR SECTION BEAM


SUBJECTED TO TORSION

Idealization :
Suppose we wish to idealize the panel into a combination of direct stress
carrying booms and shear stress only carrying skin
The assumption on which the idealization is based is that the direct stress
distribution at any cross-section is directly proportional to the warping which has
been suppressed. Therefore, the distribution of direct stress is linear around
any cross-section and has values equal in magnitude but opposite in sign at
opposite corners of a wall.

The effect of structural constraint, such as building one end of the


beam in, is to reduce this free warping to zero at the built-in section,
so that direct stresses are induced which subsequently modify the
shear stresses predicted by elementary torsion theory. These direct
stresses must be self-equilibrating, since the applied load is a pure
torque.

This applies at all cross-sections, since the free warping is


suppressed to some extent along the complete length of the beam

(22)

(13)
Since the beam cross-section is doubly
symmetrical, the axis of twist passes
through the center of symmetry at any section, so
that,

Keep them in qa and qb


(23)
Keep them in Torsion formulation

(24)

(25)

We shall now use the further condition of equilibrium between the shears in the
covers and webs and the direct load in the booms to obtain expressions for the
warping displacement and the distributions of boom stress and load. Thus,
for the equilibrium of an element of the top right-hand boom,
(26)

Boundary condition

Substituting for w in qa and qb and finding the shear stress

(27)

SHEAR LAG :
Torsion induces shear stresses in the walls of beams and these cause shear
strains, which produce warping of the cross-section. When this warping is
restrained, direct stresses are set up which modify the shear stresses. In a
similar manner, the shear strains in the thin walls of beams subjected to
shear loads cause cross-sections to distort or warp, so that the basic
assumption of elementary bending theory of plane sections remaining plane
is no longer valid.
The direct and shear stress distributions predicted by elementary theory
therefore become significantly inaccurate.

Elementary bending theory predicts that the direct stress at any


section AA is uniform across the width of the covers, so that all the
stringers and web flanges are subjected to the same stress.
However, the shear strains at the section cause the distortion
shown, so that the intermediate stringers carry lower stresses than
the web flanges.
Since the resultant of the direct stresses must be equivalent to the
applied bending moment, this means that the direct stresses in the
web flanges must be greater than those predicted by elementary
bending theory.

Thin walled beams behave differently from elementary beams when they
are restrained due to the presence of shear lag and interaction of warping
Stresses.

REFERNCE :
Aircraft Structures for engineering students ,Fifth Edition by T.H.G.Megson.
Thin- Walled Composite Beams ,By Liviu Librescu and Ohseop Song,
Published by Springer

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