VDAS Onboard STS4 - Experiment

Deflection of Beams and Cantilevers (Next Generation Structures)

Experiment for the study of beam deflection under different loads and fixing conditions, and the demonstration of Young’s modulus. Mounts on the Structures platform and connects to the Structures automatic data acquisition unit and software.

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Deflection of Beams and Cantilevers (Next Generation Structures)

One of a range of experiment modules that fit to the Structures platform (STS1, available separately), this product helps students to understand the elastic properties of beams and cantilevers. Students choose from a selection of test beams and fi t them to supports.

They may choose to fit the beams to one support only, forming a cantilever. They may also fit them between two supports with different fixing methods, forming simply supported and fixed or ‘encastre’ beams. Each support includes pointers that work with the scale on the platform for accurate positioning.

Students apply loads to any position along the beam and measure the resulting defl ection, also at any point along the beam. They use textbook beam equations to predict the defl ection for any given load and compare the calculated results with the measured results. This helps confi rm the reliability of the textbook equations and the accuracy of the experiment results.

This product includes a set of beam ‘specimens’ of different metals and cross-section for comparison of the elastic properties and ‘I’ value. It also allows the student to vary the eff ective length of the beam to see how this affects the magnitude of deflection for any given load.

The defl ection indicator has its own display, but it can connect to the USB interface hub of the Structures platform for computer display and data acquisition.

Learning outcomes

• Beam bending formula and structural ‘stiffness’

• Defl ection due to point loads and UDLs (uniformly distributed loads)

• How beam fixings aff ect deflection of:

• Simply supported beams

• Fixed or ‘encastre’ beams

• Cantilever beams

• Propped cantilever

• Shape of a deflected beam

• Beam length and deflection

• Beam material and defl ection — the elastic (Young’s) modulus

• Beam cross-section and deflection — the Second Moment of Area (‘I’ value)

• Pure bending of a beam

• Reciprocal theorem (Maxwell-Betti)

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Essential Base Units
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