The design and analysis of indeterminate frames and beams are important problems encountered by all structural engineers. With modern computer programs, analysis is not a difficult problem. Design is more complex and less amenable to programming. For efficient design, something between the following two extremes is needed:
- The first intuitive approximation of the structural design engineer, without any additional information, and
- A complex computer program where, of necessity, the original programmer has made general decisions/assumptions which seriously impact the diverse design criteria for which it is used, thereby constraining those who use the program.
This course is designed to assist structural engineers from all fields - civil to aeronautical - in developing initial design concepts. This is accomplished by determining an idealized optimum section property distribution for each of the most critical loading conditions. Even though, for many large structures encountered by civil engineers, it is impractical to vary the section properties continuously in accordance with the idealized optimum, it is very helpful to know what that idealized distribution is, so that it can be approximated within the limits of practicality.
Because the design of Optimum Beams - considered in this course - is a special case of the general theory, "Optimum Design of Indeterminate Frames", the general theory is briefly covered in this course.
The student is assumed to be familiar with basic strength analysis theory and elementary calculus.
The student must take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen questions at the end of this course to obtain PDH credits.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Development of efficient preliminary design concepts, using idealized, minimum weight designs as goals for comparison.
- Development of multiple methods for quickly locating inflection points for simple optimum beams, before either the specific loading or the section properties are specified.
- How to convert statically indeterminate beams into determinate beams by locating the inflection points.
- Methods for determining section properties for idealized optimum beams.
- Introduction to general methodology and equations for Optimum Design of Indeterminate Frames.
Click on the following link to the PDF document to review the course material before taking the quiz for credit.
Many of the concepts and equations in the course "Optimum Design of Indeterminate Beams" are from the original work titled Optimum Design of Intermediate Frames, W.B. Readey, Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences, Vol. 21, No. 9, Sept. 1954, pp. 615-620. Copyright © 1954 by the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences. Reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.
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