Structures are al around you. Structures support, protect and enclose spaces or objects. People must fulfill the three basic needs of food, clothing and shelter in order to survive. In this page you will learn about structures that shelter us.

“Houses fulfill our basic need for shelter” A. CLASSIFICATION OF STRUCTURES Structures can be classified into three groups: 1. FRAME STRUCTURES. Consists of many rigid rods or bars that are joined together by joints. They are also called skeletal structures or space frames.

E.g crane


2. SHELL STRUCTURES The shape spreads the loads throughout the structures. They rely on their shapes for strength. e.g.



Consists of similar materials that are piled together to form a whole. e.g



A. FORCES EXERTED ON STRUCTURES AND MATERIALS. Force is a push or a pull. EXTERNAL FORCES: • Static or dead load: is a permanent force acting on a structure. This includes the weight of the structure itself and the stationary parts it supports. Dynamic: is a changing, non-permanent force that acts on structures. Tension: Forces stretch the material by pulling its ends apart. Compression: forces crush a material by squeezing it together. Bending force: is a combination of tension and compression. It acts at an angle to a structural member causing it to bend unless the causing it to bend. Torsion: forces twist a material by turning the ends in opposite directions. Shear force: bend or tear a material by pushing and pulling different parts in opposite directions at the same time.

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A. STRUCTURAL MEMBERS. Members are the parts that make up a structure.

Tent. Suspension bridge


All these figures above are all different; some of their structural members are similar. Arches: (stone and iron)

From the roman times until the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1700, the arch was the main type of bridge to be built. These bridges were built of stones because stone has good compressive strength and many of these antique arches can still be seen today. Stone arches bridges had gradually improved so that longer, lower arches could be built. Fewer arches were needed to cross a river. There were different types of arch bridges- over, through and under. Buttresses: Struts: Triangles which hold a structure in place by pushing (pressing) against it. Guys: Ropes or cable to hold a structure in place by pulling on it. Stay:

A guy or rope supporting, a pole, flagpole or other poles. Tie: A rod or beam holding parts of a structure together by pulling on it.

B. TRIANGULATION It is a process used to stiffen a frame. Extra pieces of material are added to form triangles. When bridges, tower, large buildings, etc. are designed, extra strengthening is needed. Alternatively a frame structure can be rigid by the use of gusset plates. A gusset is simply a piece of material used to brace and join the members in a structure. Triangular gusset plates have been used in this structure.

C. REINFORCING STRUCTURES: There are different ways of reinforcing structures. Steel is a very strong metal. To build structures like cards, Lorries, etc. thin steel sheets are used to build the bodies. These sheets are reinforced to make it stronger. Many modern structures have a steel framework. At first, steel was the only material used for the frames of tall buildings and for large bridges. Many large buildings were built on steel frames. D. MATERIALS USED TO MAKE DIFFERENT STRUCTURES WHERE DO MATERIALS COME FROM? All materials originally come from the earth and are called raw materials. Raw material comes from primary industries. Some primary industries are mining, farming, lumber industries (logging), fishing and so on. Raw materials are usually sold to secondary industries where they either sold as they are or they are processed into industrial materials. Industrial materials are used to make products. Wood, metal, plastic, cement, paper, cardboard and so on are all industrial materials.

E. PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS It is important that when you design a product, you must first choose the material that will allow your product to function properly. ELASTICITY Is the ability of the material to return to its original shape after it has been deformed by force. e.g spring

PLASTICITY Is the ability of a material to have its shape changed permanently. e.g. cool drink can (aluminum)

DUCTILITY The ability of the material to change shape without breaking. e.g. gold

MALLEABILITY Is the ability of a material to be reshaped in all directions without cracking. e.g. Steel

HARDNESS Is the ability of a material to resists scratching, wear and tear and deformation. e.g. diamond

STIFFNESS Is the ability of a material to resist an external force. A stiff material is rigid rather than flexible. e.g. desk

FLEXIBILITY Is the ability of a material to bend without breaking. e.g. steel

TOUGHNESS Is the ability of a material to resist breaking when sudden force is applied to it. e.g. rock

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