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10

Analysis of Symmetric
Structures
10.1 Symmetric Structures
10.2 Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loadings
10.3 Behavior of Symmetric Structures under Symmetric and Antisymmetric
Loadings
10.4 Procedure for Analysis of Symmetric Structures
Summary
Problems

Taj Mahal, Built in the Seventeenth


Century in Agra, India
Luciano Mortula/Shutterstock

Many structures, because of aesthetic and/or functional considerations,


are arranged in symmetric forms. Provided a symmetric structure is linearly elastic, the response (i.e., member forces and deformations) of the
entire structure under any general loading can be obtained from the response of one of its portions separated by the axes of symmetry. Thus
only a portion (usually half ) of the symmetric structure needs to be analyzed. In this chapter we discuss how to recognize structural symmetry
and how to utilize it to reduce the computational eort required in the
analysis of symmetric structures.
We first define symmetric structures and then discuss symmetric and
antisymmetric loadings. In this presentation, we develop a procedure for
decomposing a general loading into symmetric and antisymmetric components. Next we examine the behavior of symmetric structures under
the symmetric and antisymmetric loadings; finally, we present a step-bystep procedure for the analysis of symmetric structures.
Although the discussion in this chapter is confined to structures
with a single axis of symmetry, the concepts developed herein can be
extended to the analysis of structures with multiple axes of symmetry.

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Analysis of Symmetric Structures

10.1 SYMMETRIC STRUCTURES


Reflection
The definition of symmetry can be developed by using the concept of
reflection, or mirror image. Consider a structure located in the xy plane,
as shown in Fig. 10.1(a). The reflection of the structure about the y axis
is obtained by rotating the structure through 180! about the y axis, as
shown in Fig. 10.1(b). It can be seen from Fig. 10.1(a) and (b) that if the
coordinates of a point D of the structure are x1 and y1 , then the coordinates of that point on the reflection of the structure about the y axis
become "x1 and y1 . The reflection of the structure about the x axis can
be obtained in a similar mannerthat is, by rotating the structure
through 180! about the x axis, as shown in Fig. 10.1(c). Note that the
coordinates of point D on the reflection of the structure about the x axis
become x1 and "y1 .
Based on the foregoing discussion, we realize that the reflection of
a structure about an arbitrary s axis can be obtained by rotating the
structure through 180! about the s axis. Alternatively, the structures
reflection can be obtained by joining the reflections of its various joints

FIG.

10.1

SECTION 10.1

FIG.

Symmetric Structures

427

10.2

and/or ends, which are determined by changing the signs of their coordinates in the direction perpendicular to the s axis. To illustrate the latter approach, consider the truss shown in Fig. 10.2(a). Suppose that
we wish to determine its reflection about the y axis. As shown in Fig.
10.2(b), the reflections of the five joints of the truss are first determined
by changing the signs of the x coordinates of the joints. The reflections
of the joints are then connected by straight lines to obtain the reflection
of the entire truss. Note that the reflection of joint C, which is located
on the y axis, is in the same position as joint C itself.

Symmetric Structures
A plane structure is considered to be symmetric with respect to an axis
of symmetry in its plane if the reflection of the structure about the axis
is identical in geometry, supports, and material properties to the structure
itself.

Some examples of symmetric structures are shown in Fig. 10.3. For each
structure, the axis of symmetry is identified as the s axis. Note that the

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CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

FIG. 10.3 Examples of Symmetric


Structures

SECTION 10.1

FIG.

Symmetric Structures

429

10.3 (contd.)
reflection of each structure about its axis of symmetry is identical in geometry, supports, and material properties to the structure itself.
Although the concept of reflection provides a mathematically
precise means of defining symmetry, it is usually not necessary to draw
the reflection of a structure to determine whether or not the structure
is symmetric. Instead, most symmetric structures can be identified by
inspectionthat is, by simply comparing the geometry, supports, and
material properties of the two halves of the structure on each side of the
axis of symmetry. Considering any of the structures of Fig. 10.3, if we
imagine that a half of the structure on either side of the axis of symmetry is rotated through 180! about the axis of symmetry, it will exactly
overlay the other half of the structure, indicating that the structure is
symmetric.
As stated previously, a structure, in general, is considered to be
symmetric if its geometry, supports, and material properties are symmetric with respect to the axis of symmetry. However, when examining

430

FIG.

CHAPTER 10

10.4

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

structural symmetry for the purpose of an analysis, it is necessary to


consider the symmetry of only those structural properties that have an
eect on results of that particular type of analysis. In other words, a
structure can be considered to be symmetric for the purpose of an analysis if its structural properties that have an eect on the results of the
analysis are symmetric.
Consider, for example, the statically determinate truss subjected to
vertical loads, as shown in Fig. 10.4. We can see from the figure that the
geometry of the truss (i.e., the dimensions of the truss and the arrangement of truss members) and its material and cross-sectional properties
(E and A) are symmetric with respect to the s axis, but the supports
violate symmetry because the hinged support at A can exert both horizontal and vertical reactions, whereas the roller support at C can exert
only a vertical reaction. However, the truss can be considered to be
symmetric when subjected to vertical loads only because under such
loads, the horizontal reaction at the hinged support will be zero
Ax 0; therefore, it will not have any eect on the response (e.g.,
member axial forces and deflections) of the truss. This truss cannot be
considered to be symmetric when subjected to any horizontal loads,
however.

Example 10.1
The truss shown in Fig. 10.5(a) is to be analyzed to determine its member axial forces and deflections due to a general
system of loads acting at the joints. Can the truss be considered to be symmetric for such an analysis?

FIG.

10.5

Solution
We can see from Fig. 10.5(b) that the dimensions, the arrangement of members, the material and cross-sectional properties (E and A), and the supports of the given truss are all symmetric with respect to the vertical s axis passing through
the member CG of the truss. Thus the truss is symmetric with respect to the s axis.
Ans.

SECTION 10.1

Symmetric Structures

431

Example 10.2
The beam shown in Fig. 10.6(a) is to be analyzed to determine the member end forces and deflections due to the vertical
loading shown. Can the beam be considered to be symmetric for the analysis?

FIG.

10.6

Solution
We can see from Fig. 10.6(b) that the dimensions and properties (E and I ) of the beam are symmetric with respect to
the vertical s axis passing through the mid-point F of the beam, but the supports are not symmetric because the hinged
support at A can develop both horizontal and vertical reactions, whereas the roller supports at B; C, and E can develop
only vertical reactions. However, the beam can be considered to be symmetric under the vertical loads because the
horizontal reaction at A is zero Ax 0; therefore, it does not have any eect on the member end forces and deflections
of the beam.
Ans.

Example 10.3
The frame shown in Fig. 10.7(a) is to be analyzed to determine its member end forces and deflections due to a general
system of loads. Can the frame be considered to be symmetric?

Solution
From Fig. 10.7(b) we can see that although the frames geometry and supports are symmetric with respect to the vertical
s axis passing through the internal hinge D, its moment of inertia (I ) is not symmetric. Since the frame is statically determinate, its member end forces are independent of the material and cross-sectional properties (E; I, and A); therefore,
the frame can be considered to be symmetric for the purpose of analysis of its member forces. However, this frame
cannot be considered to be symmetric for the analysis of deflections, which depend on the moments of inertia of the
members of the frame.
Ans.
continued

432

CHAPTER 10

FIG.

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

10.7

10.2 SYMMETRIC AND ANTISYMMETRIC COMPONENTS OF LOADINGS


As discussed in the preceding section for structures, the reflection of a
system of forces (or deflections) about an axis can be obtained by rotating the force system (or deflections) through 180! about the axis. Consider a system of forces and moments, Fx ; Fy , and M, acting at a point A
in the xy plane, as shown in Fig. 10.8(a). The reflections of the force

FIG.

10.8

SECTION 10.2

Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loadings

433

system about the y and x axes are shown in Fig. 10.8(b) and (c), respectively. As shown in these figures, the reflections of the counterclockwise
moment M are clockwise. Conversely, the reflections of a clockwise
moment will always be counterclockwise. The reflections of the deflections Dx and Dy and the rotation y of point A (Fig. 10.8(a)) can be obtained in a similar manner and are also shown in Fig. 10.8(b) and (c).

Symmetric Loadings
A loading is considered to be symmetric with respect to an axis in its plane
if the reflection of the loading about the axis is identical to the loading
itself.

Some examples of symmetric loadings are shown in Fig. 10.9. The reflection of each loading about its axis of symmetry is also shown in the
figure for verification. However, it is usually not necessary to draw the
reflections, since most loadings can be identified as symmetric, or not,
by inspection.

FIG.

10.9 Examples of Symmetric Loadings

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Analysis of Symmetric Structures

FIG.

10.9 (contd.)

Antisymmetric Loadings
A loading is considered to be antisymmetric with respect to an axis in its
plane if the negative of the reflection of the loading about the axis is identical to the loading itself.

Some examples of antisymmetric loadings are shown in Fig. 10.10. For


each loading case, the reflection and the negative of reflection are also

FIG.

10.10 Examples of Antisymmetric Loadings

SECTION 10.2

FIG.

Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loadings

10.10 (contd.)

435

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CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

shown in the figure. The negative of a reflection is obtained by simply


reversing the directions of all the forces and moments on the reflection.
It can be seen from the figure that the negative of reflection of each
loading about its s axis is identical to the loading itself.

Decomposition of a General Loading into Symmetric


and Antisymmetric Components
Any general loading can be decomposed into symmetric and antisymmetric components with respect to an axis by applying the following
procedure:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Divide the magnitudes of the forces and/or moments of the given


loading by 2 to obtain the half loading.
Draw a reflection of the half loading about the specified axis.
Determine the symmetric component of the given loading by adding
the half loading to its reflection.
Determine the antisymmetric component of the given loading
by subtracting the symmetric loading component from the given
loading.

To illustrate this procedure, consider the unsymmetric loading


shown in Fig. 10.11(a). Suppose that we wish to determine the com-

FIG.

10.11

SECTION 10.2

FIG.

Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loadings

437

10.11 (contd.)

ponents of this loading, which are symmetric and antisymmetric with


respect to an arbitrarily located s axis shown in the figure. We first
compute the half loading by dividing the magnitudes of the distributed
and the concentrated loads by 2 (Fig. 10.11(b)). The reflection of this
half loading about the s axis is then drawn, as shown in Fig. 10.11(c).
The symmetric component of the given loading is determined by adding
the half loading (Fig. 10.11(b)) to its reflection (Fig. 10.11(c)). The
symmetric loading component thus obtained is shown in Fig. 10.11(d).
Finally, the antisymmetric component is computed by subtracting the
symmetric component (Fig. 10.11(d)) from the given loading (Fig.
10.11(a)). The antisymmetric loading component thus obtained is shown
in Fig. 10.11(e). Note that the sum of the symmetric and antisymmetric
components is equal to the given loading.

Example 10.4
A Pratt bridge truss is subjected to the loading shown in Fig. 10.12(a). Determine the symmetric and antisymmetric
components of the loading with respect to the axis of symmetry of the truss.

Solution
Symmetric Loading Component The axis of symmetry (s axis) of the truss and the half loading are shown in
Fig. 10.12(b); the reflection of the half loading about the s axis is drawn in Fig. 10.12(c). The symmetric component of
the given loading is determined by adding the half loading (Fig. 10.12(b)) to its reflection (Fig. 10.12(c)), as shown in
Fig. 10.12(d).
Ans.
continued

438

FIG.

CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

10.12

Antisymmetric Loading Component The antisymmetric component of the loading is obtained by subtracting the
symmetric loading component (Fig. 10.12(d)) from the total loading (Fig. 10.12(a)) and is shown in Fig. 10.12(e).
Note that the sum of the symmetric and antisymmetric components is equal to the given loading.

Ans.

Example 10.5
A beam is subjected to the loading shown in Fig. 10.13(a). Determine the symmetric and antisymmetric components of
the loading with respect to the axis of symmetry of the beam.

FIG.

10.13

continued

SECTION 10.2

FIG.

Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loadings

439

10.13 (contd.)

Solution
Symmetric Loading Component The axis of symmetry (s axis) of the beam and the half loading are shown in
Fig. 10.13(b), and the reflection of the half loading about the s axis is drawn in Fig. 10.13(c). The symmetric component
of the given loading is determined by adding the half loading (Fig. 10.13(b)) to its reflection (Fig. 10.13(c)), as shown
in Fig. 10.13(d).
Ans.
Antisymmetric Loading Component The antisymmetric component is obtained by subtracting the symmetric component (Fig. 10.13(d)) from the total loading (Fig. 10.13(a)) and is shown in Fig. 10.13(e).
Ans.
Note that the sum of the symmetric and antisymmetric components is equal to the given loading.

Example 10.6
A four-span continuous beam is subjected to the loading shown in Fig. 10.14(a). Determine the symmetric and antisymmetric components of the loading with respect to the axis of symmetry of the beam.

Solution
Symmetric Loading Component The half loading and its reflection are shown in Fig. 10.14(b) and (c), respectively.
The symmetric component of the given loading is obtained by adding the half loading to its reflection, as shown in
Fig. 10.14(d).
Ans.
continued

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CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

20 kN/m

7m

50 kN

3m

3m

50 kN

3m

3m

30 kN/m

7m

(a) Given Loading

10 kN/m

25 kN

25 kN

15 kN/m

(b) Half Loading

15 kN/m

25 kN

25 kN

10 kN/m

(c) Reflection of Half Loading

FIG.

10.14

Antisymmetric Loading Component By subtracting the symmetric component from the total loading (Fig. 10.14(a)),
we determine the antisymmetric component as shown in Fig. 10.14(e).
Ans.

SECTION 10.2

Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loadings

441

Example 10.7
A gable frame is subjected to the loading shown in Fig. 10.15(a). Determine the symmetric and antisymmetric components of the loading with respect to the axis of symmetry of the frame.

FIG.

10.15
continued

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CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

Solution
Symmetric Loading Component The half loading and its reflection are shown in Fig. 10.15(b) and (c), respectively.
The symmetric component of the given loading is determined by adding the half loading to its reflection, as shown in
Ans.
Fig. 10.15(d).
Antisymmetric Loading Component By subtracting the symmetric component from the total loading (Fig. 10.15(a)),
Ans.
we obtain the antisymmetric component as shown in Fig. 10.15(e).

Example 10.8
A two-story frame is subjected to the loading shown in Fig. 10.16(a). Determine the symmetric and antisymmetric
components of the loading with respect to the axis of symmetry of the frame.

Solution
Half Loading and Its Reflection See Fig. 10.16(b) and (c), respectively.
Symmetric Loading Component See Fig. 10.16(d).

Ans.

Antisymmetric Loading Component See Fig. 10.16(e).

Ans.

15 kN/m

7.5 kN/m

25 kN

12.5 kN
6m
30 kN/m

15 kN/m

50 kN

25 kN
6m

5m
10 m
FIG.

10.16

(a) Given Loading

(b) Half Loading

continued

SECTION 10.3

Behavior of Symmetric Structures under Symmetric and Antisymmetric Loadings

7.5 kN/m

15 kN/m
12.5 kN

12.5 kN

15 kN/m

443

12.5 kN

30 kN/m
25 kN

25 kN

(c) Reflection of Half Loading

25 kN

(d) Symmetric Loading Component


s

12.5 kN

25 kN

FIG.

10.16 (contd.)

12.5 kN

25 kN

(e) Antisymmetric Loading Component

10.3 BEHAVIOR OF SYMMETRIC STRUCTURES UNDER SYMMETRIC AND ANTISYMMETRIC


LOADINGS
In the preceding section, we discussed how a general unsymmetric loading can be decomposed into symmetric and antisymmetric components.
In this section, we examine the response characteristics of symmetric
structures under symmetric and antisymmetric loading conditions. The
insight gained into the behavior of symmetric structures will enable us

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CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

to develop, in the following section, a general procedure that can considerably expedite the analysis of such structures.

Symmetric Structures Subjected to Symmetric Loadings


When a symmetric structure is subjected to a loading that is symmetric with
respect to the structures axis of symmetry, the response of the structure is
also symmetric, with the points of the structure at the axis of symmetry
neither rotating (unless there is a hinge at such a point) nor deflecting perpendicular to the axis of symmetry.

Thus, to determine the response (i.e., member forces and deformations)


of the entire structure, we need to analyze only half the structure, on
either side of the axis of symmetry, with symmetric boundary conditions
(i.e., slopes must be either symmetric or zero, and deflections perpendicular to the axis of symmetry must be zero) at the axis. The response
of the remaining half of the structure can then be obtained by reflection.
Consider, for example, a symmetric frame subjected to a loading
that is symmetric with respect to the frames axis of symmetry (s axis),
as shown in Fig. 10.17(a). The deflected shape (elastic curve) of the
frame is also shown in the figure. It can be seen that, like the loading,
the deflected shape is symmetric with respect to the axis of symmetry of
the frame. Note that the slope and the horizontal deflection are zero at
point D, where the axis of symmetry intersects the frame, whereas the
vertical deflection at D is not zero. The response of the entire frame can
be determined by analyzing only half the frame, on either side of the
axis of symmetry. The left half of the frame cut by the axis of symmetry

FIG.

10.17

SECTION 10.3

Behavior of Symmetric Structures under Symmetric and Antisymmetric Loadings

445

is shown in Fig. 10.17(b). Note that the symmetric boundary conditions


are imposed on this substructure by supporting it at the end D by a collar type of support (denoted by the symbol
in Fig. 10.17(b)),
which prevents the rotation and the horizontal deflection at the axis of
symmetry but cannot prevent the vertical deflection along the axis. Once
the response of the left half of the frame has been determined by analysis, the response of the right half can be obtained from that of the left
half by reflection.
Consider another symmetric frame subjected to symmetric loading,
as shown in Fig. 10.18(a). The left half of the frame with symmetric
boundary conditions is shown in Fig. 10.18(b). As this figure indicates,
the rotation and horizontal deflection at joint E have been restrained.
The hinged joint B is already restrained from moving in the horizontal
direction by the hinged support. Note that on the half of the frame selected for analysis (Fig. 10.18(b)), the magnitude of the concentrated
load P, which acts along the axis of symmetry, has been reduced by half.

FIG.

10.18

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Analysis of Symmetric Structures

Similarly, the cross-sectional area (A) and the moment of inertia (I ) of


member BE, which is located along the axis of symmetry, have been
halved. Although it is usually considered convenient to reduce by half
both properties A and I of the members along the axis of symmetry, we
must realize that the values of the moments of inertia (I ) of these members are not relevant in the analysis, because the members located along
the axis of symmetry will undergo only axial deformations without
bending. Once the response of the left half of the frame (Fig. 10.18(b))
has been determined by analysis, the response of the right half is obtained by reflection.

Symmetric Structures Subjected to Antisymmetric Loadings


When a symmetric structure is subjected to a loading that is antisymmetric
with respect to the structures axis of symmetry, the response of the structure is also antisymmetric, with the points of the structure at the axis of
symmetry not deflecting in the direction of the axis of symmetry.

Thus to determine the response of the entire structure, we need to analyze only half the structure, on either side of the axis of symmetry, with
antisymmetric boundary conditions (i.e., deflections in the direction of
the axis of symmetry must be zero) at the axis. The response of the remaining half is given by the negative of the reflection of the response of
the half structure that is analyzed.
Consider a symmetric frame subjected to a loading that is antisymmetric with respect to the frames axis of symmetry (s axis), as
shown in Fig. 10.19(a). It can be seen that, like the loading, the deflected
shape of the frame is antisymmetric with respect to the frames axis of

FIG.

10.19

SECTION 10.4

Procedure for Analysis of Symmetric Structures

447

symmetry. Note that the vertical deflection is zero at point D, where the
axis of symmetry intersects the frame, whereas the horizontal deflection
and slope at D are not zero. The response of the entire frame can be
determined by analyzing only half the frame, on either side of the axis of
symmetry. The left half of the frame cut by the axis of symmetry is
shown in Fig. 10.19(b). Note that the antisymmetric boundary conditions are imposed on this substructure by supporting it at end D by a
roller support, which prevents the vertical deflection at the axis of symmetry but cannot prevent the horizontal deflection and rotation at D.
Once the response of the left half of the frame has been determined by
analysis, the response of the right half is given by the negative of the
reflection of the response of the left half.
If a structure contains a member along the axis of symmetry, the
properties of the member, I and A, should be reduced by half on the half
structure selected for analysis. Note that the members along the axis of
symmetry cannot undergo any axial deformations, but they can bend.
Thus the axial forces in the members of trusses located along the axis of
symmetry will be zero, and such members may be removed from the
half structure to simplify its analysis. The magnitudes of any loads and
couples acting on the structure at the axis of symmetry should be
halved, on the half of the structure to be analyzed.

Symmetric Structures Subjected to General Loadings


As shown in Section 10.2, any general unsymmetric loading acting
on a symmetric structure can be decomposed into symmetric and antisymmetric components with respect to the axis of symmetry of the
structure. The responses of the structure due to the symmetric and
antisymmetric loading components are then determined by analyzing a
half of the structure, with symmetric and antisymmetric boundary
conditions, respectively, as discussed in the preceding paragraphs. The
symmetric and antisymmetric responses thus determined are then superimposed to obtain the total response of the structure due to the
given unsymmetric loading.

10.4 PROCEDURE FOR ANALYSIS OF SYMMETRIC STRUCTURES


The following step-by-step procedure can be used to take advantage of
structural symmetry in the analysis of structures.
1.

Check the given structure for symmetry, as discussed in Section


10.1. If the structure is found to be symmetric, then proceed to step
2. Otherwise, end the analysis at this stage.

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CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Select a substructure (half the structure) on either side of the axis of


symmetry for analysis. The cross-sectional areas and moments of
inertia of the members of the substructure, which are located along
the axis of symmetry, should be reduced by half, whereas full values
of these properties should be used for all other members.
Decompose the given loading into symmetric and antisymmetric
components with respect to the axis of symmetry of the structure by
using the procedure described in Section 10.2.
Determine the response of the structure due to the symmetric loading component as follows:
a. At each joint and end of the substructure, which is located at
the axis of symmetry, apply restraints to prevent rotation and
deflection perpendicular to the axis of symmetry. If there is a
hinge at such a joint or end, then only the deflection, but not
rotation, should be restrained at that joint or end.
b. Apply the symmetric component of loading on the substructure
with the magnitudes of the concentrated loads at the axis of
symmetry reduced by half.
c. Analyze the substructure to determine its response.
d. Obtain the symmetric response of the complete structure by reflecting the response of the substructure to the other side of the
axis of symmetry.
Determine the response of the structure due to the antisymmetric
loading component as follows:
a. At each joint and end of the substructure located at the axis of
symmetry, apply a restraint to prevent deflection in the direction of the axis of symmetry. In the case of trusses, the axial
forces in members located along the axis of symmetry will be
zero. Remove such members from the substructure.
b. Apply the antisymmetric component of loading on the substructure with the magnitudes of the loads and couples, applied
at the axis of symmetry, reduced by half.
c. Analyze the substructure to determine its response.
d. Obtain the antisymmetric response of the complete structure by
reflecting the negative of the response of the substructure to the
other side of the axis of symmetry.
Determine the total response of the structure due to the given loading by superimposing the symmetric and antisymmetric responses
obtained in steps 4 and 5, respectively.

The foregoing procedure can be applied to statically determinate as


well as indeterminate symmetric structures. It will become obvious in
subsequent chapters that the utilization of structural symmetry considerably reduces the computational eort required in the analysis of statically indeterminate structures.

SECTION 10.4

Procedure for Analysis of Symmetric Structures

449

Example 10.9
Determine the force in each member of the Warren truss shown in Fig. 10.20(a).

FIG.

10.20

continued

450

CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

Solution
This truss was analyzed in Example 4.4 without taking advantage of its symmetry.
Symmetry This truss is symmetric with respect to the vertical s axis passing through member CG, as shown in
Fig. 10.20(b). The truss is subjected to vertical loads only, so the horizontal reaction at support A is zero Ax 0. The
half of the truss to the right of the axis of symmetry, CEHG, will be used for analysis.
Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loading The symmetric and antisymmetric components of the given
loading with respect to the axis of symmetry of the truss are determined by using the procedure described in Section
10.2. These loading components are shown in Fig. 10.20(b) and (c). Note that the sum of the two components is equal
to the total loading given in Fig. 10.20(a).
Member Forces Due to the Symmetric Loading Component The substructure (right half of the truss) with symmetric
boundary conditions is shown in Fig. 10.20(d). Note that the joints C and G, which are located at the axis of symmetry,
are supported by rollers that prevent their movements in the horizontal direction (perpendicular to the s axis). The
symmetric component of loading (Fig. 10.20(b)) is applied to the substructure, with the magnitude of the 30-k concentrated load acting along the axis of symmetry reduced by half, as shown in Fig. 10.20(d). The reactions of the substructure are obtained by applying the equilibrium equations:
P
" Fy 0
P
MC 0
P
! Fx 0

"75 " 90 Ey 0
"Gx 4:5 " 906 16512 0
"Cx 320 0

Ey 165 kN "
Gx 320 kN !
Cx 320 kN

The axial forces in the members of the substructure are determined by applying the method of joints. These member
forces are also shown in Fig. 10.20(d).
The member axial forces in the left half of the truss can now be obtained by rotating the member forces in the right
half (Fig. 10.20(d)) through 180! about the s axis, as shown in Fig. 10.20(e).
Member Forces Due to the Antisymmetric Loading Component The substructure with antisymmetric boundary
conditions is shown in Fig. 10.20(f ). Note that joints C and G, located at the axis of symmetry, are supported by rollers
to prevent their deflections in the vertical direction. Also, member CG, which is located along the axis of symmetry,
is removed from the substructure, as shown in the figure. (The force in member CG will be zero under antisymmetric
loading.) The antisymmetric component of loading (Fig. 10.20(c)) is applied to the substructure, and its reactions
and member axial forces are computed by applying the equilibrium equations and the method of joints (see Fig.
10.20(f )).
The member axial forces in the left half of the truss are then obtained by reflecting the negatives (i.e., the tensile
forces are changed to compressive forces and vice versa) of the member forces in the right half to the left side of the axis
of symmetry, as shown in Fig. 10.20(g).
Total Member Forces Finally, the total axial forces in members of the truss are obtained by superimposing
the forces due to the symmetric and antisymmetric components of the loading, as given in Fig. 10.20(e) and (g),
respectively. These member forces are shown in Fig. 10.20(h).
Ans.

SECTION 10.4

Procedure for Analysis of Symmetric Structures

451

Example 10.10
Determine the member end forces of the frame shown in Fig. 10.21(a).

Solution
Symmetry The frame is symmetric with respect to the vertical s axis passing through the hinge at D, as shown in
Fig. 10.21(b). The left half of the frame, ACD, will be used for analysis.
Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loading See Fig. 10.21(b) and (c).

FIG.

10.21

continued

452

FIG.

CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

10.21 (contd.)

Member Forces Due to the Symmetric Loading Component The substructure with symmetric boundary conditions
is shown in Fig. 10.21(d). The reactions and the member end forces of the substructure, as determined from equilibrium
considerations, are shown in Fig. 10.21(d) and to the left of the s axis in Fig. 10.21(e), respectively. The member end
forces to the right of the s axis are then obtained by reflection (see Fig. 10.21(e)).
Member Forces Due to the Antisymmetric Loading Component The substructure with antisymmetric boundary
conditions is shown in Fig. 10.21(f ). The member forces are determined by analyzing the substructure and by reflecting
the negatives of the computed forces and moments about the axis of symmetry (see Fig. 10.21(g)).
Total Member Forces The total member end forces, obtained by superimposing the member forces due to the
symmetric and antisymmetric components of the loading, are shown in Fig. 10.21(h).
Ans.

SECTION 10.4

Procedure for Analysis of Symmetric Structures

453

Example 10.11
Determine the substructures for the analysis of the symmetric and antisymmetric responses of the statically indeterminate beam shown in Fig. 10.22(a).

60 kN

20 kN/m

8m

8m

4m

4m

8m

EI = constant
(a) Given Beam and Loading

10 kN/m

30 kN

30 kN

10 kN/m

4m
4m
(b) Symmetric Loading Component

10 kN/m

30 kN

30 kN

10 kN/m

(c) Antisymmetric Loading Component

10 kN/m

30 kN

(d) Substructure for Analysis of Symmetric Response

10 kN/m

FIG.

10.22

30 kN

(e) Substructure for Analysis of Antisymmetric Response


continued

454

CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

Solution
Symmetry The beam is symmetric with respect to the vertical s axis shown in Fig. 10.22(b). The left half of the
beam is selected for analysis.
Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loading See Fig. 10.22(b) and (c).
Substructures The substructures for the analysis of the symmetric and antisymmetric responses are shown in
Fig. 10.22(d) and (e), respectively.
Ans.

Example 10.12
Determine the substructures for the analysis of the symmetric and antisymmetric responses of the statically indeterminate frame shown in Fig. 10.23(a).

FIG.

10.23

continued

Summary

FIG.

455

10.23 (contd.)

Solution
Symmetry The frame is symmetric with respect to the vertical s axis shown in Fig. 10.23(b). The left half of the
frame is selected for analysis.
Symmetric and Antisymmetric Components of Loading See Fig. 10.23(b) and (c).
Substructures The substructures for the analysis of the symmetric and antisymmetric responses are shown in
Fig. 10.23(d) and (e), respectively.
Ans.

SUMMARY
In this chapter, we have learned that a plane structure is considered to
be symmetric with respect to an axis in its plane if the reflection of the
structure about the axis is identical in geometry, supports, and material
properties to the structure itself.

456

CHAPTER 10

Analysis of Symmetric Structures

A loading is considered to be symmetric with respect to an axis in


its plane if the reflection of the loading about the axis is identical to the
loading itself. A loading is considered to be antisymmetric with respect
to an axis in its plane if the negative of the reflection of the loading about
the axis is identical to the loading itself. Any general unsymmetrical
loading can be decomposed into symmetric and antisymmetric components with respect to an axis.
When a symmetric structure is subjected to a loading that is symmetric with respect to the structures axis of symmetry, the response of
the structure is also symmetric. Thus we can obtain the response of the
entire structure by analyzing a half of the structure, on either side of the
axis of symmetry, with symmetric boundary conditions; and by reflecting the computed response about the axis of symmetry.
When a symmetric structure is subjected to a loading that is antisymmetric with respect to the structures axis of symmetry, the response
of the structure is also antisymmetric. Thus, the response of the entire
structure can be obtained by analyzing a half of the structure, on either
side of the axis of symmetry, with antisymmetric boundary conditions;
and by reflecting the negative of the computed response about the axis
of symmetry.
The response of a symmetric structure due to a general unsymmetric
loading can be obtained by determining the responses of the structure
due to the symmetric and antisymmetric components of the unsymmetric loading, and by superimposing the two responses.

PROBLEMS
Sections 10.1 and 10.2
10.1 through 10.15 Determine the symmetric and antisymmetric components of the loadings shown in Figs.

P10.1P10.15 with respect to the axis of symmetry of the


structure.

3m

1m

B
C

1m

90 kN

A
E, A = constant

FIG.

P10.1, P10.16

FIG.

P10.2 and P10.17

45 kN