Truss analysis by method of joints explained

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Engineer4Free
Published at : 26 Jan 2021
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This engineering statics tutorial explains method of joints for truss analysis. You first need to solve for the reaction forces by drawing a FBD of the entire structure. Once you have the reactions, you then need to draw a FBD of every joint. It’s the standard convention to draw unknown forces in tension, so that if you get a positive value for their magnitude, you know you have correctly assumed tension, and if you get a negative value, it just means that the member is in compression. Once you calculate an internal force in a member, it will be a known value for the next joint it touches. So if it’s found to be in compression, then just draw it in compression when you do the next FBD (meaning it’s pushing on the joint rather than pulling on it).

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Looking for practice problems with solutions? I also created a whole set of fully solved statics problems with step-by-step hand calculations:
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Looking for software? I highly recommend checking out SkyCiv. They make a full suite of online structural analysis software and tools that are useful for both students and professionals, including calculators for beams, trusses, frames, moment of inertia and more. It’s great for checking your work:
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