Trusses Made Easy: Learn Structural Analysis of Trusses

Basics behind truss behavior and two commonly used analysis method to analyze simple truss structures

In this course, you will learn all about truss behavior and analysis. We will start with the basics of truss behavior, starting with, what a truss is. You will be introduced to common types of trusses and different truss categories. Then you will learn about the structural action of trusses in general i.e. how they behave under loads. You will learn the theoretical assumptions that are made in order to understand them better. Then we’ll move on and see the differences between theoretical “text-book” trusses and real life trusses. At this point, you will have understood what trusses are.

What you’ll learn

• Basic structural analysis concepts for trusses.
• Different types of trusses.
• Behavior of determinate trusses under loads.
• Common truss structures.
• How to determine the degree of determinacy and stability of a truss.
• Analyse a determinate truss using method of joints.
• Analyse a determinate truss using method of sections.
• Learn basic concepts of a 3-D truss.
• How to use the spreadsheet provided to observe change in member forces by changing applied loads.

Course Content

• Introduction –> 2 lectures • 10min.
• Degree of Determinacy, Stability and Analysis Methods –> 9 lectures • 1hr 38min.
• Space Trusses –> 1 lecture • 7min.
• Additional Content: Method of Joints Spreadsheet –> 1 lecture • 14min. Requirements

• Basic high school math and physics.
• Basic knowledge of load paths and patterns.
• Basic knowledge of statics (i.e. moment and force equilibrium) and idealized support conditions.

In this course, you will learn all about truss behavior and analysis. We will start with the basics of truss behavior, starting with, what a truss is. You will be introduced to common types of trusses and different truss categories. Then you will learn about the structural action of trusses in general i.e. how they behave under loads. You will learn the theoretical assumptions that are made in order to understand them better. Then we’ll move on and see the differences between theoretical “text-book” trusses and real life trusses. At this point, you will have understood what trusses are.

After this, we will discuss some underlying concepts and equations that are required to do analysis of trusses. We will recap some very basic high-school physics and math and learn some new equations.

Then, we will deal with the main chunk of the course, the analysis methods. Two main methods are covered, which are commonly used to analyze simple trusses, namely, Method of Joints and Method of Sections. First, we will discuss what these methods are, understand the physics and the math behind them, and then solve some examples so that you can learn exactly how they are applied. You will learn to follow a step-by-step procedure to run these analysis techniques, which will save you time and organize your calculations so that the solution remains clear and understandable. After discussing each analysis method and solving examples for them, you will be given assignments to apply what you learned and solve some problems on your own. All of the above is concerning two dimensional trusses.

After understanding two dimensional trusses, we will touch into the world of three dimensional trusses. We will talk about the basic 3-D truss (also known as Space Truss) types and how they differ from 2-D trusses in terms of their behavior under loads. Now this course will not cover the very detailed examples and analysis procedures employed for space trusses as its not the focus of this course. But we will cover the basic math and physics behind it so that you can understand how they work. We will discuss how the formulas are derived for determining forces in 3-D trusses. You will be able to understand them in much clarity after you have covered two dimensional trusses.

Finally, at the end there is a bonus lecture, where I have created a very basic and easy to use MS Excel spreadsheet, which uses one of the analysis methods to determine forces in a specific truss structure. This spreadsheet will help you to visualize and understand the change in the behavior of that specific truss under varying loads, without having to do calculations by hand over and over again. It will help you to better understand truss behavior under different load configurations. You may also use this spreadsheet as a basis to formulate your own and perhaps improve on it.

You will find this course helpful and benefit from it whether you are a student, an engineer who is starting out or even someone looking to learn more about trusses and how to solve them.

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