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CE 113

MECHANICS OF MATERIALS LABORATORY

LABORATORY MANUAL

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


San Jose State University

Revised January 10, 2012


TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. COURSE OBJECTIVES ........................................................................................................ 1
B. PRE-LAB CALCULATIONS ................................................................................................ 2
C. DATA SHEETS ...................................................................................................................... 3
D. ACCURACY AND SIGNIFICANT FIGURES ..................................................................... 4
E. LABORATORY REPORT ..................................................................................................... 5
E.1. Grading ........................................................................................................................... 6
E.2. Report Organization ........................................................................................................ 6
E.2.1 Objectives of Experiment and Procedures .................................................................. 6
E.2.2 Theoretical Estimation of Experimental Results ........................................................ 6
E.2.3 Results of Experiment ................................................................................................. 7
E.2.4 Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 8
E.2.5 References ................................................................................................................... 8
E.3. Elements of a Good Laboratory Report .......................................................................... 8
E.3.1 Spelling and Grammar ................................................................................................ 8
E.3.2 Tables .......................................................................................................................... 9
E.3.3 Graphs ......................................................................................................................... 9
E.3.4 Figures......................................................................................................................... 9
F. STRAIN GAUGES ............................................................................................................... 11
F.1. Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 11
F.2. Bonded Electrical Resistance Strain Gauge ...................................................................... 11
F.3. Principal Stresses and Strains from Strain Gauge Rosettes .............................................. 12
G. STRESS-STRAIN RELATIONSHIPS................................................................................. 16
G.1. Hooke's law ................................................................................................................... 16
G.1.1 Uniaxial Stress Equations ......................................................................................... 16
G.1.2 Biaxial Stress Equations ........................................................................................... 16
H. Experimental Techniques...................................................................................................... 17
H.1. Pre-loads ....................................................................................................................... 17
H.2. Gathering data ............................................................................................................... 19
H.3. Teamwork ..................................................................................................................... 19
I. EXPERIMENT #1 ................................................................................................................ 20
J. EXPERIMENT #2 ................................................................................................................ 25
K. EXPERIMENT #3 ................................................................................................................ 29
L. EXPERIMENT #4 ................................................................................................................ 31
M. EXPERIMENT # 5 ............................................................................................................... 32
N. EXPERIMENT #6 ................................................................................................................ 37
A. COURSE OBJECTIVES

To verify mechanics of materials theory on real specimens


Student learning outcomes: The student will demonstrate the ability to:
a) Identify when theory applies and when theory is limited by simplifying assumptions
b) Identify reasons why actual measurements will differ from theoretical calculations

To learn to run an experiment


Student learning outcomes: The student will demonstrate the ability to:
a) Perform pre-laboratory calculations to estimate experimental parameters, outcomes and
limits
b) Develop an organized and meaningful data sheet
c) Use software tools to reduce and analyze data
d) Organize a team to share responsibilities for operating equipment and collecting data

To learn to use testing equipment and measurement instrumentation


Student learning outcomes: The student will demonstrate the ability to:
a) Use the laboratory equipment correctly and safely to perform all experiments

To learn to write a laboratory report


Student learning outcomes: The student will demonstrate the ability to:
a) Write experimental objectives and procedures
b) Present results in a organized and clear manner
c) Draw graphs and figures to summarize key findings
d) Put together a complete report including tables of contents, references and appendices

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B. PRE-LAB CALCULATIONS
For each experiment discussed in this Manual, a set of calculations that must be completed and
questions that must be answered in order to prepare for the collection of data in the lab.
Examples of the types of calculations you will make include:

Determination of the maximum allowable load on a specimen.


Estimation or prediction of experimental results.
Determination of simple relationships between independent and dependent variables.
A data sheet, as described in the next section of this manual.

Your laboratory preparation work will be completed and turned in during the session that meets
prior to the session when actual lab is performed. This insures that you are prepared so that
accurate and complete data is collected and that a high-quality report can be written. Incomplete
or inadequate laboratory work will result in a similarly inadequate report.

Late laboratory preparation work will not receive credit.

The pre-lab calculations may vary from semester to semester so do your own work.

The instructor may require the pre-lab to be completed in class the week before the actual lab
occurs.

If possible, calculations should be set up as a template in a spreadsheet or other computer


application so that changes can easily be made. This can save time and effort if the experimental
setup is found to differ from the description in this manual.

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C. DATA SHEETS
A prepared paper or spreadsheet template data sheet is required as part of each pre-lab. A copy of
you paper data sheet or a printout of the spreadsheet template must be handed in with the pre-lab.
It is essential that you put some thought into how you plan to collect data before you come to the
laboratory session. You must design it carefully in order to help you collect complete and
accurate data. Remember that you are very unlikely to write a good report with bad or
incomplete data. Items to consider:

Your data sheet should include a sketch of your test setup including gauge location and
appropriate dimensions so that you can check that the experiment is set up correctly before
you start. (usually you can get this sketch from the Laboratory Manual)
How many columns of data will you need? You will generally need to have two columns for
each data variable and sometimes three so that scale factor and/or zero offset calculations can
be made.
Each column should be labeled so that you can remember where the data came from and
what it relates to.
The units of the data you are taking should be in your column labels.
How many rows will you need? The rows will need labels too.
Is there a location to put comments that relate to the test setup, procedures or the collection of
data?

If you plan to use a spreadsheet and enter data directly into a computer, you need to design the
spreadsheet with the same considerations as above. You may want to design different sheets for
different parts of the experiment.

A sample data sheet is included in the section of this manual for laboratory #1.

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D. ACCURACY AND SIGNIFICANT FIGURES
The number of significant digits displayed is an indicator of the accuracy of a number. With
digital calculator displays and computer spreadsheets, it is easy to overstate the accuracy of a
number. When taking a measurement, the last reliable digit relative to the decimal point
determines the precision of your measurement. Data should not be recorded more precisely than
warranted. For example, assume you are reading load off the analog dial where there are tick-
marks every 10 pounds. If the needle is between the 50 and the 60 pound tick mark you could
guess that the load is 54 pounds, but the 4 is not very reliable. Certainly you would not want to
write down 54.3 pounds. It is somewhat harder to determine a reliable measure with the digital
machines, and one would have to read the testing machine manual to determine that reliability
for each range, but normally two or three significant digits is all that can be expected for the
equipment used in this course.

Finally when doing calculations, the answer cannot be more precise than the data and constants
you begin with. For example, if you know that the dimensions of a rectangular specimen are
25.5 mm (3 significant figures) by 30.01 mm (4 significant figures), the area of the specimen
would be

25.5 x 30.01 = 765.255 mm2 = 765 mm2 (3 significant digits)

You may at times want to carry more significant digits while you are calculating to avoid round-
off and truncation error, but your final answer should not be more precise than the original data.

Little if any, of the data collected in this course will be accurate to 2%. Material properties are
seldom known to more than 2-digit accuracy. This is consistent with most work in the "real
world" of engineering design and analysis. In some areas of engineering work (earthquakes and
machine vibration are good examples) the actual forces a structures are subjected to are not
known to the designer with much reliability. Some of the data collected in this course will be
only be two-significant figure accuracy and the calculated results should properly represent this
fact.

Another example:

A tension specimen is measured by micrometer to be 1.000 inches by 0.623 inches in cross


section. The specimen is loaded in a machine that reports applied loads to the nearest 10 pounds
to a displayed load of 5930 pounds. The stress in the specimen is calculated:

= P / A = 59301.00 * 0.623

The calculator displays the solution as 9518.4591. But the data (measurements of dimensions
and load) is only accurate to three significant figures. So, the solution should be reported as:

9520 psi

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E. LABORATORY REPORT
The format and requirements for your laboratory reports will be set forth by your laboratory
section instructor and in the descriptions of each laboratory provided in this manual, but some
general guidelines are included below.

Objective of Lab Reports:


The primary objective of a lab report is to convey to the client (general public, other
engineers, the professor, etc.) the information that the experimenter has collected. The
report should be organized so that someone who is not familiar with the particular
experiment or test set-up can understand. Some important things to include are:

what assumptions were made,


what procedures were followed,
what data was collected,
what analysis was completed
which conclusions were made

The fundamental purpose of your report is to clearly demonstrate to the instructor that you fully
understand the theories, methods, variable, accuracy, data and analysis involved in the particular
lab.

In CE 113, students will work in teams to complete lab reports and submit them to the instructor
for grading. It is the students responsibility to convey their understanding of the experiment
through clear text, calculations, graphs, figures, and tables.

Microsoft Word can insert equations if the equation editor is installed. If it has not been
installed on your computer, search in help for troubleshoot equation editor. To insert an
equation, click Insert then Object and select Microsoft Equation. You can also customize
your toolbar so that an Equation Editor button is available for easy use.

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can also be inserted into a document by placing the curser where
you want the spreadsheet and then clicking the Inset Microsoft Excel Worksheet button on the
standard toolbar.

Microsoft Excel charts can also be inserted into a document simply by copy and paste.

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E.1. Grading

Each instructor will have individual instructions about how he/she plans to assign grades to lab
reports. However, in all cases, effectiveness of communication will be a major factor in
determining the report grade. Effectiveness of communication will include

Report organization, including table of contents and correct page numbering


Spelling
Grammar
Complete samples of calculations
Labeling of graphs, figures and tables
Proper style for citing references

All material, except appendices, must be developed using a computer unless otherwise
authorized by your instructor. It is recommended that sample hand calculations be written using
a computer, but engineering block lettering is acceptable.

E.2. Report Organization (see individual labs within this manual for summaries)

The exact format to be used will be provided by the instructor.

E.2.1 Objectives of Experiment and Procedures


The Objectives of the Experiment and the Procedures may be adapted from the objectives stated
in this Manual, be sure the Manual is cited in the text and listed in the References section of your
report. Procedures should explain the test configuration as well as the steps to follow to complete
the experiment. Use of bullets or numbers for this section is acceptable and often makes for
clearer, more concise organization. Be sure and clearly describe if and how your procedure or the
setup varied from that provided in this manual.

E.2.2 Theoretical Estimation of Experimental Results


Each lab has a theoretical component, usually summarized and performed as part of the Pre-lab
assignment. The theory should be clearly explained, including the key components of the theory,
equations used, and any assumptions that are used. You should include samples of all
calculations and then a table to summarize estimates of key experimental results completed
during the pre-lab assignment. For example a table such as this may be useful:

Table 1: Estimated Strain on Beam #2


Gauge Load (lbs.) Estimated Strain
Number (in/in)
1 P 0.02P
2 P 0.04P
3 P -0.03P

Equations should be written using appropriate software (such as Microsoft Equation 3.0, which
is an installation option for Microsoft Word). Simple equations may be developed using a
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traditional keyboard. All equations should be indented and numbered. Equation numbers should
occur at the same tab stop for all equations. As an example:

2
1
xdx (Eq. 1)

B = {(200 ax)(10z)/386EI)}{2d}2 (Eq. 2)

E.2.3 Results of Experiment


The experimental measurements should be summarized and explained in this section. This
section usually will not include the raw data, since that will be reserved for Appendix A. Often
you will want to include tables and plots to show the summarized results. Be very careful to
present numerical results with appropriately accurate significant figures. In charts and graphs,
you should not curve-fit a line through the data points since errors (which are always present)
cause the individual data points to be offset from the actual phenomena being measured. A chart
that presents a theoretical relationship may be presented by a continuous line if the theory results
in a continuous equation. An example of a complete table is shown here:

Table 2: Results From Experiment 10


Actual Load Strain Stress Predicted Strain
(lbs.) (inch/inch) (psi) inch/inch)
(
(Measured) (Measured) (Calculated)
0 0 0 0
1020 35 6,700 32
2200 72 13,700 69
3350 106 20,200 105

An example of a complete plot is shown here:

E x p e rim e n t 1 A : T e n s io n o f a S m a ll S tee l S tra p


7000

6000

5000
E xp e rim e n ta l
stress (psi)

4000 D a ta

3000 C a lc u la ted
S tre s s -S tra in
2000 C a lc ula ted s lo p e R e la tio n sh ip
E = 2 4 .9 x 1 0 6 psi
1000

0
0 100 200 300
-6
s tra in (1 0 in c h /inc h )

Figure E1: Stress-strain relationship calculated from data taken in Experiment 1A


on January 1, 2000 the curve was calculated using the least squares function in
Excel 97. Also see section H.2

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Note: If possible, you should present your data and predictions as plots for comparison. All
plots for comparison should be to the same scale. Present numerical comparisons in
tables.

E.2.4 Conclusions
This section is for the student to discuss whether the objectives (found in this Manual) of the
experiment were achieved and to make observations and draw conclusions based on the
comparisons of the experimental data and the theoretical predictions. Here are a few examples
of points that could be included:

a quantification of the difference between theoretical predictions and measured results,


if the data and the theoretical predictions are not the same, a discussion of reasons why this
may have happened;
whether the theoretical model is appropriate for this real world specimen;
whether the test procedure is an appropriate method of validating the theory;
difficulties that occurred in completing the experiment or data analysis.

In addition, the conclusions should include at least one technical aspect of the experiment that
the author understands clearly. This technical item could be related to the theory, or to the
assumptions that were made that would prevent the experiment from matching theory, or some
functional aspect of the instrumentation, etc. If the report is a group report, the conclusions
should contain one item that is clearly understood by each student in the group.

E.2.5 References
Any material, that is not written or derived by the lab report authors, needs to be referenced. The
purpose of the citation is to provide the reader with the information necessary to find the item in
the library or on the Internet.

The format for citing references should be one that is generally accepted by the engineering
profession. The web site http://pubs.asce.org/authors/book/generalresources/references.htm
gives examples of the format ASCE requires authors to use for citing many different types of
books, journal articles, reports and reference documents.

E.3. Elements of a Good Laboratory Report

E.3.1 Spelling and Grammar


It is highly recommended the students use the spell checker and grammar checker that come with
most word processing software. However, for reasons stated below, you need to read the
laboratory report carefully yourself and use the dictionary, your knowledge, grammar textbooks,
and your judgment in cases where the word processing software cannot properly correct your
text.

It is important to understand that the standard libraries that come with the word processing
software do not contain some of the words that we typically use in engineering applications and
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you may have to teach these words to the software. Examples are the words: geotechnical,
uniaxial, deflectometer, Hookes Law, or Poissons ratio. Also, the spell checker will not correct
the spelling of a word if it is spelled correctly but is used incorrectly (e.g. principal stress, not
principle stress). Furthermore, most grammar checkers try to correct sentences that use the
passive voice (e.g. The specimen was loaded, versus I loaded the specimen). However, in
engineering, the passive voice is quite acceptable and sometimes even encouraged.

E.3.2 Tables
Tables must include a table number, a title above the table, and labels at the top of each column
that completely describe the contents of the column. In some cases you may also need labels for
rows or subsections of the table. All labels should include units where appropriate. Since tables
must be readable, you should not use a font smaller than 10 point. Tables may be printed in
portrait or landscape mode.

E.3.3 Graphs
It is likely that you will use Excel or Matlab for drawing graphs. It is very important that you
understand the assumptions being made and limitations of the software when you draw a graph.
For example you should know the difference between a scatter graph and a line graph in Excel.
(Note: you dont want to use the line graphs for plots you need for this class).

In general data should be shown on graphs as markers without connecting lines. Theoretical
predictions, or estimates of relationships developed from analysis of the data, should be shown as
lines without markers. Generally a graph should be at least one half of a page so that you can fit
all of the relevant information on it and still use a font that is 10 point or larger. A full page for
each graph is recommended.

Do not fit curves to your data unless the curve being fitted is part of the theory being tested. If
there is a theory being tested, the theory will provide an appropriate equation.

Graphs must include a figure number with a caption that gives information about the data such as
experiment number and date collected, a title at the top of the graph, the axis names and units,
and an indication of which is the experimental data. You may use a legend or you may label
points and lines. An example graph is shown in section E.3.3.

E.3.4 Figures
Figures are any types of graphics that serve to support your laboratory report. Drawings of the
test apparatus or the specimens, as well as graphs developed to display data are all figures.
Drawings of the test apparatus and specimens are a simple way to show dimensions, orientation,
and the loading configuration of each experiment. Figures of the test set up may be copied from
the laboratory manual if the manual is properly cited. Digital cameras are an excellent way to
acquire images to be used as figures in your report.

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Figures must include a figure number and a caption below the figure. The caption should clearly
explain what is in the figure. If a figure is not drawn by the author, but instead taken from
another source, it must contain a citation of the reference.

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F. STRAIN GAUGES

F.1. Introduction
Stress is not directly measurable with current technology. We can measure the load that we apply
to a specimen, but we cannot easily measure the load per unit area, stress, at any point on the
specimen. Instead, the experimental analysis of engineering stresses must be based on strains,
which can be used to calculate stresses. Using measured values of strain and knowledge of the
mechanical properties of the material such as the modulus of elasticity and Poissons ratio,
stresses can be calculated from the appropriate stress-strain relationship of the material.

There are many types of commercially available strain gauges used in experimental mechanics.
Examples are acoustical, capacitance, inductance, mechanical, optical, piezioresistive, resistance,
and semiconductor. The optical strain gauges come in two types, diffraction and interferometric.
Perhaps the most versatile and widely used gauge is the bonded electrical resistance strain gauge
which is the type of gauge attached to the test specimens in Experiments 1 and 2 in this course.
Experiment 5 uses a Berry Strain Gauge, which is a particular type of mechanical strain gauge.

F.2. Bonded Electrical Resistance Strain Gauge


The bonded electrical resistance strain gauge consists of a metallic strain-sensing element
encapsulated by a thin polyimide film that acts as an insulator attached to tabs for leadwire
connections. The sensing element is a grid of very thin metal alloy. The entire assembly can
then be bonded to the specimen so that the gauge moves in unison with the specimen. Figure F.1
shows a graphic of a uniaxial strain gauge. As the gauge is stretched, the thin wires elongate,
increasing the electrical resistance of the gauge in direct proportion to the strain. The
measurement of the change in electrical resistance, which is measured as a change in voltage in a
bridge type circuit, is converted to strain is by dividing by a gauge factor. Equation F.1 illustrates
this simple relationship.

R/R = (Gauge Factor)(L/L) (Eq. F-1)


Where: R = resistance
R = change in resistance
L = original length
L = change in length (L/L = strain)
The gauge factor is a property of the particular gauge being used
and is usually between 2.00 and 2.20

Figure F1: A strain gauge with a uniaxial pattern


for measuring strain in the direction of the gridlines.
Courtesy of Measurements Group, Raleigh, NC.

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There is a wide selection of grid configurations, sizes, and alloy compositions to accommodate
test conditions, including temperature extremes, dynamic or cyclic loading, etc. "Rosette"
configuration strain gauges have two or three sensing elements and are used to determine
principal strains and principal directions for general two dimensional plane stress problems.
Three element strain gauge rosettes will be used in Experiments 1 and 2.

Strain gauge resistance changes are very small, on the order of 10-3 to10-6 , due to micro
strains occurring in engineering materials when stressed. Conventional ohmmeters are not
capable of measuring resistances with enough precision to detect these small changes. Instead,
potentiometer circuits and Wheatstone bridge circuits are used to convert these very small
resistance changes to voltage signals that can be observed and recorded. The Wheatstone bridge
circuits used in the laboratory are shown below. The dummy gauge in Figure F.2b is used to
compensate for strain changes due to temperature only. The instruments in the laboratory are
calibrated periodically and include adjustments for the strain gauge sensitivity (resistance),
bridge balance (zero) and gauge factor. The instruments' readings are in proportion to strain.

Figure F2: Different types of variable resistance bridges.


(a) Typical Wheatstone bridge, (b) Circuit configuration to compensate for temperature change.

A short explanation of how the instruments in the laboratory work is as follows. In Figure F.2a,
the bridge is initially "balanced" so that R1R3 = R2R4 and the signal voltage Eo is zero. The
Active leg of the bridge (R1) is the strain gauge and the resistance of R1 varies as the structure is
loaded. If the resistance of R1 increases (tension), the signal voltage (Eo) increases in proportion
to the strain. The signal voltage is amplified and displayed.

F.3. Principal Stresses and Strains from Strain Gauge Rosettes


Principal stresses cannot be directly determined from a strain rosette. Principal strains can be
calculated from the measurements taken from the strain rosette and then Hookes Law can be
used to convert principal strains to principal stresses. This section refers to homogeneous,
isotropic materials in the linear-elastic range:

Rectangular rosette (0 - 45 - 90)


A rectangular rosette has three gauges so that measurements of normal strain can be taken along
three axes the rosettes used in this course are Rectangular and have three gauges oriented 45
from each other. In the example that follows, the three axes of the rosette are numbered 1, 2, 3
counterclockwise and measure the strains 1, 2, and 3 Respectively. The whole rosette is

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oriented at an arbitrary angle, p, measured from gauge number 1 with respect to the principal
axes of the strain on the specimen.

Figure F3: Labeling and orientation of gauges and axes for a rectangular rosette.
The angle p is measured counterclockwise with respect to 1.

In this course you will learn a graphical solution method to solve for the principal strains from
rectangular rosette data. The following equations can also be used to determine the principal
strains, p and q, and principal stresses, p and q, and the angle of orientation, p:
+ 3
p,q = 1
1
(1 2 )2 + (2 3 )2
2 2

E 1 + 3 2
p ,q =
2
(1 2 )2 + (2 3 )
2 1 1+

1 ( 3 ) (1 2 )
p ,q = tan 1 2
2 1 3
(Eqs. F-2)
if 1 >3 , p ,q = p ;
if 1 <3 , p,q = q ;
if 1 =3 and 2 <1 , p,q = p = 45;
if 1 =3 and 2 >1 , p ,q = p = 45;
if 1 =2 =3 , p ,q is indeterminate (equal biaxial strain )

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Delta rosette (0 - 60 - 120)

Delta rosettes are not currently used in this course. Delta Rosettes can provide slightly better
accuracy in solving for the principal stresses than Rectangular Rosettes.

1 + 2 + 3
p,q =
2
(1 2 )2 + (2 3 ) + (1 3 )
2 2

3 3

E 1 + 2 + 3 2
p ,q =

2
(1 2 )2 + (2 3 ) + (1 3 )
2

3 1 1 +

1 3 (2 3 )
p ,q = tan 1
2 (
1 2 ) + (1 )
3

(Eqs. F-3)
if 1 > (1 / 2)(2 + 3 ), p ,q = p ;
if 1 < (1 / 2 )(2 + 3 ), p ,q = q ;
if 1 = (1 / 2)(2 + 3 ) and 2 <1 , p ,q = p = 45;
if 1 = (1 / 2 )(2 + 3 ) and 2 >1 , p ,q = p = 45;
if 1 =2 =3 , equal biaxial strain
and p,q is indeterminate

Tee rosette (0 - 90)


Tee Rosettes are not currently used in this course. When the directions of the principal axes are
known in advance, a two-element 90-degree (or "Tee") rosette can be used. However, the gauge
axes must be aligned to coincide with the principal axes. The directions of the principal axes can
sometimes be determined with sufficient accuracy from the shape of the test object and the mode
of loading.

Figure F4: Alignment and orientation of a tee rosette.

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These equations that can be used to determine the principal strains, p and q, and principal
stresses, p and q, from Tee Rosettes:

p =1

q =2
(Eqs. F-4)
E
p = ( + 2 )
2 1
1

E
q = 2
(2 + 1 )
1

References for Strain Gauge Section:


Beer, F. P. and Johnston, E. R. (1992) Mechanics of Materials, Second Edition, Mc-Graw Hill,
Inc., New York, New York.
Gere, J. M. and S. P. Timoshenko, Mechanics of Materials, Third Edition, PWS-Kent Publishing
Company, Boston, 1990.
http://www.vishay.com/strain-gauges/knowledge-base-list, this web site has detailed information
about many aspects of electrical resistance strain gauges as well as the PhotoStress method for
visualizing strains.

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G. STRESS-STRAIN RELATIONSHIPS
G.1. Hooke's law
For homogeneous, isotropic materials in the linear-elastic strain range:

G.1.1 Uniaxial Stress Equations


A uniaxial stress state exists where there is only one nonzero principal stress. The uniaxial stress-
strain equations below apply when the x-axis is in the direction of the nonzero principal stress:

x
x = x = E x
E
x y
y = x = E
E
xy = 0 xy = 0

G.1.2 Biaxial Stress Equations


A biaxial stress state exists where there are (only) two nonzero principal stresses and both xy
and xy equal zero in principal directions:

x y
x = x =
E
(x + v y )
E E 1 v2 Note that these equations simplify to the
y x uniaxial forms if y = 0 and x is the
y = y =
E
( y + v x )
E E 1 v 2
principle stress.
xy xy = G xy
xy =
G
Where:

E = modulus of elasticity, psi [1 psi = 6894.76 pascals (Pa)]


= normal stress, psi
= normal strain, in/in [or m/m, etc.]
= Poisson's ratio, non-dimensional
= shear stress, psi
= shear strain, radians
G = modulus of rigidity (shear modulus), psi

E
Note : G =
2(1 + )

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H. Experimental Techniques

H.1. Variables

Experimenters often identify variables relevant to their work by assigning them to three
categories; Independent Variables, Dependent Variables and Controlled Variables. The purpose
of the experiment is to investigate the relationship, if any, between the independent and
dependent variables. The controlled variables may influence the relationship being investigated
but are not allowed to vary during the course of the experiment.

As an example, a researcher might be interested in the relationship between temperature and the
tensile strength of a material. She would adjust the temperature of several samples and then test
them for strength. The independent variable is the one she controls, in this case the specimen
temperature. The dependent variable is the one she observes, the tensile strength. The
experimenter might suspect that the age of the material influences its tensile strength so all of the
samples tested are the same age. The age of the specimen is a controlled variable for this
experiment.

Independent Variables are changes that occur in an experiment that are manipulated
directly by the experimenter.

Dependent Variables are changes that occur due to independent variable changes.

Controlled Variables are anything else that might influence the dependent variables but
are kept constant by the experimenter.

H.2. Pre-loads

Pre-load is a term for a load applied to the specimen before the prescribed experimental
procedure begins. A pre-load is applied to eliminate any non-linearities that sometimes occur at
low loads. These non-linearities are generally due to mechanical problems such as miss-
alignment of the specimen, supports or loading fixture. As an example, imagine a prismatic beam
which is rectangular in cross section and is resting on two supports, one support near each end.
One support might be a knife-edge and the other might be a roller in the form of a cylinder. If
the knife-edge and the cylinder are not perfectly parallel, or if the beam has a slight twist, there
will not be full contact between the beam and its supports until sufficient load is applied to the
beam. The load required to settle the beam onto its supports is generally not considered in the
experimental analysis. By applying a pre-load before the experiment begins the effect can be
eliminated. Pre-loading may be required if a plot of your data indicates an anomalous
nonlinearity at low loads. Always record any pre-load applied as part of your data in case it
becomes an issue later on.

Example:

A set of load and deflection data is presented in the table below. As can be seen from the first
plot, the data does not begin at the plot origin. In the first step, the deflection data is zeroed to
17
the initial reading by subtracting that initial reading from subsequent readings. In the second plot,
it is apparent that the first data point is not representative of the rest of the data set which is very
nearly linear. The first data point is neglected and the second data point is taken as the reference
zero for the final plot.

Raw Zero
Load Data offset for Pre-
Deflection Adjusted
Data load and Zero
Data Deflection
(pounds) Adjusted
(inches) (inches)

0 0.010 0.000 pounds inches


102 0.031 0.021 0 0.000
201 0.036 0.026 99 0.005
300 0.041 0.031 198 0.010
399 0.047 0.037 297 0.016
500 0.053 0.043 398 0.022
602 0.058 0.048 500 0.027
701 0.062 0.052 599 0.031
800 0.068 0.058 698 0.037

Raw Data Deflection Zeroed

900 900
800 800
700 700
600 600
Load (lb)
Load (lb)

500 500
400 400
300 300
200 200
100 100
0 0
0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08
Deflecion (in) Deflection (in)

Final Plot with Pre-load Offset

900
800
700
600
Load (lb)

500
400
300
200
100
0
0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08
Deflection (in)

18
H.3. Gathering data

It is practically impossible to collect too much data. If you are unsure of how many data points to
record - collect more than you think can possibly be required. Some of the experiments may be
destructive to the specimen and lost data is not recoverable. Work slowly and record everything.

H.4. Teamwork

Assign a specific task to each member of the group working on an experiment. Be consistent in
method and do not change personnel during the experiment procedure. Any readings that are
taken should be observed by at least two members of the group and cross-checked. The written
record of the data should also be cross-checked. Much of your grade in this course is based on
group success, if one member of your group does not do his part, the whole group will suffer.

H.5. Safety Factors

A structure fails when it can not resist additional load due to instability, material failure or
component failure. If the purpose of an experiment is to determine the capacity of a structure, it
will be tested to failure (Labs #5 and 6 are examples of this case). If the purpose of the
experiment is to determine the behavior of a structure under varying load, the structure is not
usually loaded to failure (Lab #1 is an example of this case). If the structure is not to be failed, a
safe load must be determined to prevent failure or damage. In order to determine a safe load,
the failure load is estimated and then reduced by a safety factor. The safety factor must be
adequate to compensate for unknowns and normal variations in materials and components.
Safety factors in Civil Engineering vary from about 1 to as much as 10 but are generally about 2.

19
I. EXPERIMENT #1
INTRODUCTION TO STRAIN MEASUREMENTS
TENSION AND BENDING STRAINS AND STRESSES
Objectives:

(1) To verify tension and bending stress models developed in a first course in Mechanics of
Materials. (Mc/I and P/A)
(2) To verify Hookes Law
(3) To determine material modulus of elasticity (E) from test measurements
(4) To become familiar with and learn how strain gauges work
(5) To get hands-on experience with laboratory equipment and instruments

Preparation for the Laboratory (see pages 2 & 3 of this manual):

(1) For the tension strap, calculate the maximum allowable load based on the material properties
and the specimen dimensions provided.

(2) Provide predictions of the strain readings for the tension strap so that you can easily verify
your data during the experiment. You can do this based on your maximum allowable load.

NOTE: The two axial gauges on the two faces of the strap will read the maximum or
principal tension strain. The two gauges will be wired into a single Wheatstone bridge such
that the sum of the two gauge signals will be measured. The average strain for the two gauges
can be calculated by dividing the measured value by two.

(3) For the beam, draw shear and moment diagrams and calculate the maximum allowable load
based on the material properties and specimen dimensions provided.

(4) Provide predictions of the strain readings at the top and bottom of the small beam for the
allowable load so that you can easily verify your data during the experiment.

(5) Prepare data sheets for the two tests. Two data columns will be needed for the load data
(target load and actual load). Two columns (displayed strain and zero adjusted or average
strain) will be required for each strain gauge. Also, provide space on your data sheet to
sketch the test specimens and indicate strain gauge orientation and dimensions.

(6) List dependent variable(s), independent variable(s) and controlled variable(s). See section
H.1 of this manual.

Note that all force measurements will be in units of pounds, strain measurements are
dimensionless but will be recorded as micro-inches per inch ( ), all stresses are in pounds
per square inch (psi) and the modulus of elasticity also has units of pounds per square inch
(psi).

20
Table H.1: Material strength for use in pre-lab calculations

Allowable Tension and 18,000 psi


Bending Stress (+/-)
Allowable Beam Shear 9,000 psi
Stress (+/-)

Elastic Constants for Steel to Use in Predictions:

E (Young's Modulus) = 28,000,000 to 30,000,000 psi


v (Poisson's Ratio) = 0.27 to 0.30

In the Laboratory:

(1) Students will work with their assigned group.

(2) Each group will take a turn at each specimen.

(3) Select proper load scale and adjust load zero reading if required. Using SLOW speed at
all times, allow a small load to be applied to get the feel of the machine - release load.

(4) Tension test:

Check all dimensions. Prepare sketches to show location of strain gauges and test
configuration.

Record the zero reading for the gauges.

Increase the applied load in approximately five increments to the pre-determined


maximum load while recording gauge data for each increment of load.

Record the zero reading for the gauges.

(5) Bending test:

Check all dimensions and record them on your data sheet. Prepare sketches to
show location of strain gauges and test configuration.

Record strain readings for the top and bottom gauges at zero load (no pre-load is
required).

Increase the applied load loads in four increments to the pre-determined


maximum load while recording gauge data for each increment of load.

21
Record the zero reading for the gauges.

(6) Compare you data to the predictions using the factors calculated for the pre-lab before
leaving the laboratory. You may want to ask the instructor to look over your data.

Laboratory Report:
Every group is required to submit a full, formal report for experiment #1. Please see Section E of
this manual. Your analysis should include the following:

Note: If possible, you should present your data and predictions as plots for comparison. All
plots for comparison should be to the same scale. Present numerical comparisons in
tables.

(1) Using your data obtained from the tension test specimen:

(a) Prepare a plot of stress vs. strain. (see section H.2)

(b) Determine E (Young's Modulus) for this specimen from the slope of your plot of
stress vs. strain for the axial gauges.

(2) Using the data obtained from the bending test specimen:

(a) Prepare 3 plots of stress versus strain. One for the top gauge, one for the bottom
gauge and one showing the average of the absolute values of the strain measured
at the top and bottom gauges.

(b) Determine the E (Youngs Modulus) for this specimen from the slope of the
average stress strain plot.

(3) Provide a list of all variables (dimensions, force, strain, material properties etc.) and
discuss the accuracy of the measured or assumed value for each.

(4) Compare your experimentally determined values for modulus of elasticity to the value
used in the pre-lab.

22
Figure H.1: Experiment 1 Tension Strap

Figure H.2: Experiment 1 Beam Geometry

23
J. Sample Data Sheet for the beam in Experiment #1

24
EXPERIMENT #2

STRESS AND STRAIN IN AN ALUMINUM "I" BEAM

Objectives:
(1) To verify the assumed linearity of the stress/strain profile of a beam subjected to
bending. (My/I where y is the distance from the neutral surface)
This is the fundamental assumption upon which beam theory is based. The accuracy
of this assumption influences the accuracy of beam bending stress calculations, beam
shear stress calculations, beam deflection calculations and even column bucking.
("...each cross-section, originally plane, is assumed to remain plane and normal to the
longitudinal fibers of the beams." Timoshenko & Young, 5th ed.)
(2) To verify Hookes Law for aluminum
(3) To determine Youngs modulus (E) for aluminum alloy from laboratory
measurements
(4) To determine the value of Poisson's ratio for Aluminum by measuring longitudinal
and transverse bending strains in a beam.
(5) To verify the equations for shear stresses and strains in beams by means of principal
strain/stress analysis (strain gauge rosette) at the neutral surface.

Preparation for the Laboratory (see pages 3 & 4 of this manual):


Examine the beam assigned to your group noting the positions and numbers of the gauges
as these may vary from what is indicated in this manual. Group 1 uses beam 1, Group 2
uses beam 2, etc.
(1) Determine the allowable load for the beam assigned to your group. Show the shear
and moment diagrams for the beam.
Allowable bending stress +18,000 psi ( = Mc/I)
Allowable shear stress + 9,000 psi ( = VQ/It = ~ V/dtw)
where d is total beam depth, tw is web thickness
(2) Predict the strains based on a unit load or your calculated allowable load for:
(a) Bending strain at the top of the beam
(b) Poissons effect strain at the top of the beam
(c) Bending strain at the bottom of the beam
(d) Poissons effect strain at the bottom of the beam
(e) Bending strain in the web (y = 1, 0 and -1)
(f) The principal strains due to shear (biaxial stress) at the rosette
NOTE:
You do not need to predict the strains measured by the individual gauges of the
rosette. To do so requires that you know the rosette orientation. Therefore,
calculate factors for the maximum and minimum strains possible at the rosette.

25
Bear in mind that we are investigating shear stresses which result in biaxial
normal stress and strain at this location.
(3) Predict the coordinates of the center of Mohr's circle of strain at the rosette. In the
lab, your data can be partially verified by checking the location of the center of
Mohr's circle, which can be found by taking the average of the strain readings from
the two perpendicular gauges in the rosette.
(4) Sketch the orientation of the expected principal stresses at the rosette in relation to
the beam neutral axis.
(4) List dependent variable(s), independent variable(s) and controlled variable(s).
(5) Prepare a data sheet for use in the lab.

Elastic Constants for Aluminum:


For pre-lab calculations, E = 10,000,000 to 10,600,000 psi
For pre-lab calculations, Poisson's ratio in ~ 0.33.
The shear modulus (if needed) can be calculated from Poisson's ratio and the modulus of
elasticity.

In The Laboratory:

A universal testing machine will be used to apply the load to the simply supported aluminum
beam. Three sets of strain gauges are bonded to the beam in the locations shown in the attached
diagram.

(1) Using a suitable measuring tape, check all of the dimensions and record them on your
data sheet.
(2) Prepare sketches to show the test configuration as well as the location, number and
the orientation of the strain gauges including a detailed sketch of the rosette showing
gauge numbers and angle to the beam axis.
(3) Take zero readings for all strain gauges.
(4) Load the beam in at least four equal increments to the allowable load determined in
the pre-lab. Record all gauge readings for each increment of load.
(5) Obtain apparent strains for each gauge by subtracting the zero strain reading from all
subsequent strain readings. Strains in tension are positive and those in compression are
negative.
(6) Record the zero reading for the gauges.

(7) Compare your data to the strains predicted in parts 2 and 3 of the pre-lab

Laboratory Report:

26
If your group will be preparing a full report on this experiment, please refer to the course
syllabus and the steps below.

(1) In order to investigate objective #1, prepare a plot or plots showing:


(a) The measured strain profile determined from the bending strain gauges (excluding the
shear rosette and the two Poissons effect gauges). This is a plot of "y" (the distance from
the neutral axis of the beam) on the vertical axis and strain on the horizontal axis. Use the
data from the largest applied load that provided good data.

(b) Your predicted strain profile. This can be overlaid on the measured profile plot or a
separate plot to the same scale.
(2) In order to investigate objective #2, determine Youngs modulus E from a stress vs.
strain plot. Use the stain measurements from gauges 1,2,3 and 5,6,7. Calculate the stress at
these gauges from the applied load and beam geometry.
(3) Determine Poisson's ratio in order to investigate objective #4. Poisson's ratio can be
calculated from the strain readings from gauges 1 through 8. Taking averages of repetitive
data can increase the accuracy of your result.
(4) For objective # 4, using the data from your maximum load, solve for the principal normal
stresses and maximum shear stress at the neutral surface using your data from the strain
gauge rosette. The analysis of your rosette data should result in both the magnitude and
direction of the principal stress which can be compared to the shear stress calculation. Note
that 1 = 2 = = VQ / Ib or V / A W
(5) Compare your calculated and pre-lab values of E, v, and maximum shear stress. Be sure
to compare both the magnitude and the direction of the shear stresses at the rosette.
(6) Include a corrected copy of your pre-lab.

Table I.1: Section Properties:


I Major Area
Beam No.
in4 in2
1 or 3 6.06 2.25
2 or 4 6.79 2.79

27
Note that all gauges are aligned with the long axis of the beam with the exceptions of #4, #8 and the rosette
Figure I.1: Experiment 2 Beam Sections

FigureI.2: Experiment 2 Beam loading geometry

28
K. EXPERIMENT #3

DEFLECTION OF A BEAM

Objectives:

(1) Verification of beam deflection theory for a beam.

Preparation for the Laboratory (see pages 3 & 4 of this manual):

Inspect and measure the beam provided for the experiment. The material is ASTM A500
grade B.

(1) Construct shear and moment diagrams and calculate the safe capacity of the beam for
both bending and beam shear. Determine the allowable flexural load using an allowable
stress equal to one half the yield stress. (A safety factor of 2.0) Use an allowable shear
stress equal to one fourth the yield stress.

(2) Using one of the theoretical equations for deflection provided, predict the deflection of
the beam at the various locations along the beam where the deflectometers are located.

(3) List dependent variable(s), independent variable(s) and controlled variable(s). See
section H.1 of this manual.

(4) Prepare a data sheet for the laboratory. Deflections will be measured at the same
four locations along the beam as required for your predictions.

In The Laboratory:

If there are two beams set up for testing, you are only required to collect data from one beam.

(1) Check location and operation of the deflection gauges and take your "zero" readings.

(2) Pre-load the beam to approximately 10% of the maximum load. See Section H.1. of this
manual to learn more about pre-loads.

(3) Apply your calculated allowable load in at least five increments while taking deflection
readings for each increment.

(4) Record the final zero reading for the gauges.

(5) Compare your data to the predictions from part 3 of the pre-lab.

29
Laboratory Report:

Please refer to the required format provided in the course syllabus and the steps below.

Note: If possible, you should present your data and predictions as plots for comparison. All
plots for comparison should be to the same scale. Present numerical comparisons in
tables.

(1) Prepare four plots comparing predicted and measured deflections at each deflection
gauge (load vs. deflection). If the deflections for your first increment of load (pre-load)
are not linear, you may need to consider the first load increment data as your effective
zero for data analysis. See Section H.2. of this manual

(2) Prepare a plot comparing the predicted and measured deflected shape of the beam at the
maximum applied load. This is a plot of X (position along the beam) vs. Y (deflection).

(3) Include a copy of a corrected pre-lab.

General differential equation for beam deflection:

d
=
x
d 2 1 M
=k = =
dx 2
EI

Note that the total applied load in this figure is 2P

30
L. EXPERIMENT #4

DESIGN AND RUN AN EXPERIMENT


Preparation for the Laboratory:

1. Define the objectives of the experiment. Objectives need to be specific and directly or
indirectly measurable.

2. Research any relevant theory that might predict the results of the experiment.

3. Select the controlled variable(s).

4. Select the dependent and independent variable(s) to be measured.

5. Determine the proper ranges of the dependent and independent variables.

6. Verify that the equipment and instrumentation is appropriate for measuring the dependent
and independent variables.

7. Determine an appropriate number of data points needed for each type of measurement.

8. Prepare data sheets and anything else you might need to perform the experiment.

Presentation of Results:

See section E of this manual and the report format provided by your instructor.

Provide a list of all variables measured or assumed and estimate the expected error for each.

31
M. EXPERIMENT # 5

ELASTIC AND INELASTIC BUCKLING OF COLUMNS

Objective:

(1) Prediction and observation of column failure modes (elastic or inelastic).


(2) Prediction and measurement of the buckling loads of columns of varying lengths and
materials.

Preparation for the Laboratory (see pages 3 & 4 of this manual):

(1) Calculate your predicted critical loads for the pin-supported columns to be tested in
the laboratory. The test specimens are 6", 9", 12", 15", 18", and 21" in length for
both steel and aluminum. All of the columns are 5/8 inch diameter round bars.

(2) Prepare a data sheet for the laboratory indicating the following information in a table:
length, predicted critical load, measured critical load, and failure mode (elastic or
inelastic).

(3) List dependent variable(s), independent variable(s) and controlled variable(s).

(4) Submit copies of your calculations and data sheet to your laboratory instructor at
the beginning of the laboratory period.

In The Laboratory:

(1) Check the lengths and diameters of each specimen.

(2) Select the appropriate load range on the testing machine.

(3) Before placing a specimen in the machine, check for zero load reading and adjust if
necessary.

(4) Carefully bring the load head into contact with the specimen.

(5) For each column, apply load very slowly to buckling failure. Record the critical
load and failure mode.

Laboratory Report:

Please refer to the format provided in the course syllabus and the steps below.

32
Note: If possible, you should present your data and predictions as plots for comparison. All
plots for comparison should be to the same scale. Present numerical comparisons in
tables.

1) Acquire the column test data from all of the current semester lab sections and work with
the average critical load for each column type. Data may be made available on the course
web-site http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/dmerrick/113/.

2) Plot the average critical load data for each material on a chart of critical load verses
length. The column length scale of your plot should extend from zero length to 24 inches.

3) Using Euler's equation and the average critical load data for the 21 inch columns, solve
for the effective length of the 21 inch columns and the effective length factor k: Le = kL

4) Use Johnson's equation and the average critical load for the 6 in columns to solve for the
yield strength of each material. Note that Lc is a function of both E and y resulting in a
quadratic equation.

5) Recalculate the theoretical critical loads for each column length and material using the
method described in the pre-lab basing your calculations on the yield strength determined
in #4 and the effective length factor determined in #3. These new lengths will be different
from the lengths used in the pre-lab; : Le = kL

6) Graphically show that Eulers equation diverges from your data as the column length
decreases. Extend the lines for the expected Euler values to near zero length and 24
inches.

7) Graphically show that Johnsons equation diverges from your data as the column length
increases. Extend the lines for the expected Johnson values to zero length and 24 inches.

8) Provide a critical load verses length plot for each material showing:

a) The average critical load data (data points without line)


b) The theoretical critical load from #5. Extend the lines for the expected values
to 3 inches and 24 inches.

9) Attach a corrected copy of your corrected pre-lab.

Laboratory summary (No PI assigned)


If your group does not have a principal investigator assigned to this experiment, do the
following:

(1) Acquire the data from all of the current semester sections.

(2) Scale your data for engineering units if required.

(3) Present all of your data in a table.


33
(4) Calculate the expected values using your corrected pre-lab.

(5) In a table, compare your experimental values and theoretical values for all of the tests.
This can probably be done with three columns; laboratory data, expected values and
percent error.

(6) Provide plots of your data and predictions. Extend the lines for the expected values to
3 inches and 24 inches.

(7) Include a corrected copy of the pre-lab.

(8) Include the raw data sheet used in the lab.

Background:

In this experiment, we will consider both elastic columns (also referred to as Euler or long
columns) and intermediate columns. All of the columns will have pinned ends and be loaded
concentrically with a force P that is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the column. This system
is stable when the load P is less than the critical load (Pcr) and unstable when the load is greater
than the critical load.

The critical load for an elastic column can be determined as follows:

= Eulers Equation for long, elastic columns

Where: EI = the flexural rigidity for bending in the xy plane


Le = the effective length of the column : Le = kL
(Le = L for a pinned end column)

The prediction of critical load for inelastic columns is more complex than it is for elastic
columns. Various methods have been proposed and used over the years such as Hodgekins
straight line equation, reduced modulus, the Rankine equation, Engessers tangent modulus
method, the secant method and the double modulus method have been developed and can
provide reliable results.

The Rankine method is an interaction equation using the yield and Euler capacities of the
column. Engessers method (also known as the Tangent Modulus Method) uses a tangent
modulus theory and works well for non-ideal elastic/plastic materials if detailed material
information is available. Steel is a nearly ideal elastic/plastic material so this method does not
work well for steel but has other applications for materials such as aluminum. The double
modulus approach is also intended for non-ideal elastic/plastic materials and recognizes that the
modulus may vary in the section due to variation in stress due to flexure. The Secant method
assumes an eccentric applied load to calculate a combined bending and axial stress, which is then
compared to the proportional limit of the material. The Secant method requires a known or

34
assumed eccentricity (crookedness of column) The Secant Method requires a trial-and-error
solution.

Several approximate methods such and Hodgekins and Johnsons have been developed that are
usually more appropriate for general engineering design and for this laboratory experiment.
These approximate methods rely on an empirical equation or equations to predict the behavior of
short and intermediate columns. The equation that we will use for inelastic columns in our
predictions is referred to as Johnsons Equation (see J. B. Johnson, et al The Theory and
Practice of Modern Framed Structures. Vol. 2 1893) and is used in structural steel design
methods. In our method, all columns are divided into two categories, elastic and inelastic. The
division between these two categories is the column length for which the solution to Eulers
equation provides a critical stress equal to 1/2 the yield stress. This is dividing point is referred
to as a slenderness ratio equal to cc or as a column length of Lc. The slenderness ratio, r, is a
dimensionless measure of the slenderness of a particular column. cc is a dimensionless material
property. For a given column cross-section, the length that corresponds to cc will be referred to
as Lc.

y Pcr 2 EI
= = 2
2 A Lc A
Or, solving for L c :
2 2 EI 2 2 E
Lc = =r = rcc
yA y
Note that c c is a dimensionless material property
cc = 2 2 E / y
Where :
y = Yield Stress E = Modulus of Elasticity
I = Moment of Inertia A = Area
Lc = Column Length at which Euler' s Equation equals half the yield stress
I
r = Radius of Gyration =
A

Material Properties:

Lookup the required properties at MatWeb http://www.matweb.com/

Steel Aluminum

Type A36 7075-T6

Diameter 5/8 5/8

35
The following are equations will provide adequate predictions of column critical loads for this
laboratory experiment:

For columns where L e L c use Euler' s Equation :


2 EI
Pcr = 2
Le
For columns where L e < L c use Johnson' s Equation :
1 L 2

Pcr = y A 1 e
L
2 c

Your Predictions will result in a plot similar to the following:

Figure L.1: Example of Critical Load Prediction for Lab #5

See:
Johnson, J. B., Bryan, C. W. and Turneaure, F. E., Theory and Practice of Modern
Framed Structures, John Wiley and Sons, 7th ed. (1899)

Johnston, B. G. (editor) The Column Research Council Guide to Design Criteria for
Metal Compression Members, John Wiley and Sons, 2nd ed. (1966)

Ziemian, R. D. (editor) Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures, John
Wiley and Sons, 6th ed. (2010)

36
N. EXPERIMENT #6

THE PROPERTIES OF WOOD


Objectives:

1) Gain an understanding of the nature of a non-isotropic engineering material.


a) Investigate the bending and/or shear strength of various wood beams.
b) Investigate the behavior of wood subjected to compressive stresses in various
orientations.
2) Learn about other factors that effect the engineering properties of wood
a) Species
b) Moisture
c) Defects
d) Load duration
3) Learn about statistical representation of engineering properties and safety factors for a
variable material. (see section H.4 on page 17)

Preparation for the Laboratory (see pages 3 & 4 of this manual):

1) If possible, inspect the test specimens and identify the species of wood being investigated. If
the specimens are not available, assume dry, coast Douglas Fir.
2) For the four specimens:
a) Check bending and shear to find the maximum allowable load for beam #1.
b) Check bending and shear to find the expected ultimate strength for beam #1.
c) Check bending and shear to find the maximum allowable load for beam #2.
d) Check bending and shear to find the expected ultimate strength for beam #2.
e) Calculate the maximum allowable load for block #1.
f) Calculate the expected ultimate strength for block #1.
g) Calculate the maximum allowable load for block #2.
h) Calculate the expected ultimate strength for block #2.
3) Calculate the expected safety factor for each specimen. The beams will actually have two
safety factors, one for shear and one for bending.
4) Tabulate your results from part 2 and 3.

Allowable load Ultimate load Factor


of
Shear Bending Shear Bending safety
Beam
#1
Beam
#2

Factor
Allowable Ultimate of
load load safety
Block
#1
Block
#2

37
5) Prepare a data sheet. There must be space on your data sheet to sketch the failure of the
specimens and to write a description of the test and failure.

In the Laboratory:

1) Slowly load one block in compression perpendicular to the grain until the load rate decreases
significantly. Initially the piece will be fairly stiff but the stiffness will abruptly decrease when
the wood cells begin to collapse. Record the magnitude of the load when the cells begin to crush.
Sketch and note any observed phenomena.

2) Slowly load the other compression block in compression parallel to the grain until the
maximum load is achieved. Record the magnitude of the maximum load. Sketch and note any
observed phenomena.

3) Slowly load the first beam until the ultimate load is achieved. Record the magnitude of the
maximum load. Sketch and note any observed phenomena.

4) Slowly load the second beam until the ultimate load is achieved. Record the magnitude of the
maximum load. Sketch and note any observed phenomena.

Laboratory Summary:

Note: Reports may be submitted without: table of contents, introduction, objectives, procedures
or conclusion.

1) Report the failure load and failure mode for each specimen.

2) Carefully describe your observations of the loading, failure and the failed specimen. Describe
any remarkable sights, sounds, smells, etc.

3) Use the values in Table M.1 to calculate the allowable loads.

4) Determine the factor of safety for the wood specimens tested. Provide a table showing
allowable load, ultimate load and factor of safety for each specimen. For the beams, you can only
provide a safety factor for the actual failure mode

(Factor of Safety) = (Ultimate load from test) / (Calculated allowable load)

5) Describe any physical factors that may have had an affect on the performance of the
specimens.

6) Attach a corrected copy of your pre-lab calculations.

Material Information: The specimens tested in this laboratory are western softwoods. The
following are typical design allowable strength values for western softwoods that include factors
of safety. These values have been adjusted for size (2x4) and for assumed load duration of one
minute (1.75):

38
Table M.1
Allowable Stresses (psi)
Compression
Species Bending Shear
Parallel Perpendicular
Western Hemlock 3680 260 3940 400
Sugar Pine 3280 120 3680 425
Douglas Fir 3900 170 3400 625

The strength of wood for most loading conditions is time dependant. In the chart below it can be
seen that wood can resist about twice the stress in impact loading as it can in permanent loading.

Figure M.1

39
The following data was taken from Chapter 4 of:

Forest Products Laboratory. Wood handbook - Wood as an engineering material. General


Technical Report FPL-GTR-190. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Forest Products Laboratory: 508 p. 2010.

Download the PDF version of this publication at: http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/ for further
information.
Table M.2
(Table 53b in FPL Wood Handbook)
Example Strength properties for Douglas Fir
Go to the above website for other species of wood
Static bending
Douglas-fird Moisture Specific Modulus of Modulus of Work to Impact Com- Com- Shear Tension Side
content gravityb rupture elasticityc maximum load bending pression pression parallel perpen- hard-
(lbf/in2) (106 lbf/in2) (in- lbf/in2) (in) parallel to perpen- to grain dicular to ness
grain dicular to (lbf/in2) grain (lbf)
(lbf/in2) grain (lbf/in2)
(lbf/in2)
Coast Green 0.45 7,700 1.56 7.6 26 3,780 380 900 300 500
12% 0.48 12,400 1.95 9.9 31 7,230 800 1,130 340 710
Interior West Green 0.46 7,700 1.51 7.2 26 3,870 420 940 290 510
12% 0.50 12,600 1.83 10.6 32 7,430 760 1,290 350 660
Interior North Green 0.45 7,400 1.41 8.1 22 3,470 360 950 340 420
12% 0.48 13,100 1.79 10.5 26 6,900 770 1,400 390 600
Interior South Green 0.43 9,800 1.16 8.0 15 3,110 340 950 250 360
12% 0.46 11,900 1.49 9.0 20 6,230 740 1,510 330 510

a) Results of tests on small clear specimens in the green and air-dried conditions. Definition of properties: impact bending is height of drop that
causes complete failure, using 0.71-kg (50-lb) hammer; compression parallel to grain is also called maximum crushing strength; compression
perpendicular to grain is fiber stress at proportional limit; shear is maximum shearing strength; tension is maximum tensile strength; and side
hardness is hardness measured when load is perpendicular to grain.

b) Specific gravity is based on weight when ovendry and volume when green or at 12% moisture content.

c) Modulus of elasticity measured from a simply supported, center-loaded beam, on a span depth ratio of 14/1. To correct for shear deflection, the
modulus can be increased by 10%.

d) Coast Douglas-fir is defined as Douglas-fir growing in Oregon and Washington State west of the Cascade Mountains summit. Interior West
includes California and all counties in Oregon and Washington east of, but adjacent to, the Cascade summit; Interior North, the remainder of
Oregon and Washington plus Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming; and Interior South, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Average coefficients of variation for some mechanical properties of clear wood:


Property Coefficient of variationa (%)

Static bending
Modulus of rupture 16
Modulus of elasticity 22
Work to maximum load 34
Impact bending 25
Compression parallel to grain 18
Compression perpendicular to grain 28
Shear parallel to grain, maximum shearing strength 14
Tension parallel to grain 25
Side hardness 20
Toughness 34
Specific gravity 10

a) Values based on results of tests of green wood from approximately 50 species. Values for wood adjusted to 12% moisture content may be
assumed to be approximately of the same magnitude.

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Glossary of Common Properties of Wood:

Mechanical properties most commonly measured and represented as strength properties for
design include modulus of rupture in bending, maximum stress in compression parallel to grain,
compressive stress perpendicular to grain, and shear strength parallel to grain. Additional
measurements are often

Modulus of ruptureReflects the maximum load-carrying capacity of a member in bending


and is proportional to maximum moment borne by the specimen. Modulus of rupture is an
accepted criterion of strength, although it is not a true stress because the formula by which it is
computed is valid only to the elastic limit. The modulus of rupture is calculated by dividing the
ultimate moment by the section modulus.

Work to maximum load in bendingAbility to absorb shock with some permanent


deformation and more or less injury to a specimen. Work to maximum load is a measure of the
combined strength and toughness of wood under bending stresses.

Compressive strength parallel to grainMaximum stress sustained by a compression parallel-


to-grain specimen having a ratio of length to least dimension of less than 11.

Compressive stress perpendicular to grainReported as stress at the proportional limit. There


is no clearly defined ultimate stress for this property. The published values are based on a
specimen deformation of 0.04 inch.

Shear strength parallel to grainAbility to resist internal slipping of one part upon another
along the grain. Values presented are average strength in radial and tangential shear planes.

Impact bendingIn the impact bending test, a hammer of given weight is dropped upon a beam
from successively increased heights until rupture occurs or the beam deflects 152 mm (6 in.) or
more. The height of the maximum drop, or the drop that causes failure, is a comparative value
that represents the ability of wood to absorb shocks that cause stresses beyond the proportional
limit.

Tensile strength perpendicular to grainResistance of wood to forces acting across the grain
that tend to split a member. Values presented are the average of radial and
tangential observations.

HardnessGenerally defined as resistance to indentation using a modified Janka hardness test,


measured by the load required to embed a 11.28-mm (0.444-in.) ball to one-half its diameter.
Values presented are the average of radial and tangential penetrations.

Tensile strength parallel to grainMaximum tensile stress sustained in direction parallel to


grain. Relatively few data are available on the tensile strength of various species of clear wood
parallel to grain. The average tensile strength values available are for a limited number of
specimens of a few species. In the absence of sufficient tension test data, modulus of rupture
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values are sometimes substituted for tensile strength of small, clear, straight-grained pieces of
wood. The modulus of rupture is considered to be a low or conservative estimate of tensile
strength for clear specimens (this is not true for lumber). The average tensile strength for small,
clear, green, straight-grained specimens of Douglas-Fir Interior North is 15,600 psi. results are
about 13% higher for specimens tested at 12% moisture content.

Beam #1 Beam #2

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Block #1 Block #2

For additional information, see the glossary on previous pages for Modulus of Rupture

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