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Statics with MATLAB Dan B. Marghitu Mihai Dupac Nels H. Madsen

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Statics with 
Dan B. Marghitu · Mihai Dupac
Nels H. Madsen
Statics with MATLAB�
Dan B. Marghitu • Mihai Dupac
Nels H. Madsen
Statics with MATLAB�
Dan B. Marghitu
Mechanical Engineering
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
Nels H. Madsen
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
Mihai Dupac
Talbot Campus, School of Design,
Engineering and Computing
Bournemouth University
ISBN 978-1-4471-5109-8 ISBN 978-1-4471-5110-4 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4471-5110-4
Springer London Heidelberg New York Dordrecht
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013936003
� Springer-Verlag London 2013
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Engineering mechanics involves the development of mathematical models of the
physical world. Statics, a branch of mechanics, addresses the forces acting on and
in mechanical objects and systems in equilibrium, and the impact those forces have
on the motion, or lack thereof, of those systems. The project deals with the
understanding of the mechanical behavior of complex engineering structures and
components. The tools of formulating the mathematical equations and the solution
methods are discussed. An understanding of forces in and equilibrium of structures
and components is most important for their design.
MATLAB is a modern tool that has transformed mathematical methods,
because MATLAB not only provides numerical calculations but also facilitates
analytical or symbolic calculations using the computer. The present project uses
MATLAB as a tool to solve problems. The intent is to show the convenience of
MATLAB for theory and applications in statics. This approach will significantly
enhance the student’s ability to use MATLAB both within statics and beyond.
Using examples of problems the MATLAB syntax will be demonstrated.
MATLAB is very useful in the process of deriving solutions for any problem in
statics. The project will include a large number of problems that are solved using
MATLAB. Specific functions dealing with statics topics are introduced and cre-
ated. The programs will be available on a website accompanying the project.
The main distinction of the study from other projects and books is the use of
symbolic MATLAB for both theory and applications. Special attention is given to
the solutions of the problems that are solved analytically and numerically using
MATLAB. The figures generated with MATLAB will reinforce visual learning for
students as they study the programs.
This project is intended primarily for use in a one semester course in statics and
could be used in a two semester sequence of courses in statics and dynamics. The
project can be used for classroom instruction, for self-study, and in a distance
learning environment. It would be appropriate for use as a text at the undergrad-
uate level.
Chapter 1 is intended to give an introduction to vector mechanics. The reason
for this chapter is that many scientific concepts used to describe the physical
world, have attributes not only of size or magnitude, but also have associated with
them the idea of a direction. Examples of such quantities include force, moment,
and couple. This chapter provides a starting point for students wishing to develop
the basic principle of mechanics. MATLAB is used to calculate the magnitudes of
vectors, direction cosines, dot products, cross products, scalar triple products,
vector triple products, and derivatives of vector functions. The examples presented
begin with a symbolic development, followed by numerical evaluation and the
generation of vector figures, all done within MATLAB.
Chapter 2 demonstrates the use of MATLAB in finding the moment of a vector
about a point, the moment of a system of vectors, the moment of a couple about a
point, the equivalence of systems of vectors, and the force vector and the moment
of a force. The figures are depicted using graphical functions built in MATLAB.
This chapter also provides an introduction to the basic principles of mechanics.
Chapter 3, centroids and center of mass, presents the principles and details of
centroids (also known as the geometric center and connected to the first moment of
area) and surface properties, their meaning and importance. All the presentation
will be detailed (centroid of a set of points, centroid of a curve, surface or solid,
Guldinus-Pappus theorems, parallel-axis theorem) and in some cases followed by
examples using MATLAB. External functions can be introduced to calculate the
centroids of complex figures. The concepts of the first moment are also useful in
analyzing distributed forces.
Chapter 4 analyzes many of the equilibrium problems that are encountered in
engineering applications. The equilibrium equations are stated and various types of
supports are depicted. The unknown forces and moments acting on bodies are
communicated using free-body diagrams and the equilibrium equations are
determined. If an object is in equilibrium, the net moment about any point due to
the forces and couples acting on the object is zero and the sum of the forces must
also be zero. The calculation of moments is explained and the concept of equiv-
alent systems of forces and moments is introduced. In engineering, the term
structure can refer to any object that has the capacity to support and exert loads.
This chapter studies structures composed of interconnected parts or links. The
forces and couples acting on the structure as a total as well as on its individual
members are determined. Trusses, which are composed of two-force members, are
studied and then frames and machines are considered. MATLAB functions are
applied to find and solve the algebraic static equations.
The objective of Chap. 5 is to provide an introduction to friction. Friction forces
in engineering applications, have important effects both desirable and undesirable.
The Coulomb law of friction is used to find the maximum friction forces that can
be exerted by contacting surfaces and the friction forces exerted by sliding sur-
faces. Threaded connections are also analyzed.

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