Bending Moments in a Portal Frame

This product helps students to understand the bending moments around a portal frame due to a loads. Students add vertical or horizontal or combinational loads to a portal frame held between two fixing blocks. They may also add loads to moment arms on the vertical members (columns) of the frame. These simulate the effect of internal and external cantilever floors of a structure. Strain gauges at key points around the portal measure the strains and in turn the bending moment due to the loads.

Students use textbook analysis methods to predict the bending moments at key positions, along with the sway magnitude (if any).

This product includes a Vernier caliper for accurate measurement of cross-section.

Learning Outcomes

  • Strain gauges as instruments
  • Relationship between measured strain and bending moment
  • Elastic bending of portal frames, and linear relationship between the bending moments in the frame and the load
  • Use of the moment distribution (Hardy Cross) method to calculate bending moments, sway magnitude and horizontal support reactions.
  • The generation and measurement of sway deflections and bending moments around the frame due to:
    • Vertical loads on the beam
    • Horizontal loads at the junction of the beam and uprights
    • Moments applied to the uprights
    • Any combination of the above
  • Plotting of bending moment diagrams

Key Features

  • Industrial, high-resolution digital deflection indicator for accurate results
  • Multiple strain gauges for a complete set of measurements around the portal frame
  • Includes moment arms and vertical and horizontal loads to replicate floor supports and point loads
  • Includes Vernier caliper for cross-section measurement
  • Supplied with a storage tray to keep smaller items safe
  • Works with user-friendly software (VDAS®)
  • Complementary experiment available: Frame Deflections and Reactions (STS18)
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