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Influence Lines
Calculation of Maximum and Minimum Shear Force and Moments on a Statically Determinate Continuous Beam
problem statement
Determine the resulting forces for R_{A}, R_{B}, R_{C},
M_{s1}, V_{s1}, M_{s1}, V_{s2},
V_{BL}, and V_{BR} under a uniform live load of 2 k/ft and a
uniform dead load of 3 k/ft for the beam below.
note: influence lines for this beam are developed in the
Statically Determinate Continuous Beam example.
Figure 1  Beam structure to analyze
From the Continuous Beam with a Hinge example, the required influence lines for the structure are:




In order to calculate the forces due to uniform dead and live loads on a structure, a relationship between the influence line and the uniform load is required. Referring to Figure 2, each segment dx, of a uniform load w, creates an equivalent concentrated load, dF = w dx, acting a distance x from an origin.
From the general properties for influence lines, given in the introduction, it is known that the resulting value of the function for a force acting at a point is equivalent to the magnitude of the force, dF, multiplied by the ordinate value, y, of the influence line at the point of application.
Figure 2  Equivalent concentrated load
In order to determine the effect of the uniform load, the effect of all series loads, dF, must be determined for the beam. This is accomplished by integrating y dF over the length of the beam, i.e., w y dx = wy dx. The integration of y dx equal to the area under the influence line. Thus, the value of the function caused by a uniform load is equal to the magnitude of the uniform load multiplied by the area under the influence line diagram.
In order to find the resulting minimum and maximum values for the reactions, shears, and moments required, create a table which contains the resulting positive and negative values for the areas enclosed by the influence lines for each function. The effect of the dead load is determined by multiplying the net area under the influence line by the dead load. For the live load, multiply the respective positive and negative areas by the live load, yields to the positive and negative forces, respectively. The resulting maximum and minimum forces for dead load plus the effects of positive and negative live loads are then found by adding the respective values.
The resulting forces due to a uniformly distributed dead load = 3 k/ft and a live load = 2 k/ft applied to the beam above, are as follows:
Force I 
Positive area under the influence line II 
Negative area under the influence line III 
Net area IV 
Force due to DL V 
Positive force due to LL VI 
Negative force due to LL VII 
Maximum force (DL+LL) VIII 
Minimum force (DLLL) IX 

R_{A}  4  1  3  9  8  2  17  7 
R_{B}  10    10  30  20    50  30 
R_{C}  3    3  9  6    15  9 
M_{S1}  8  4  4  12  16  8  28  4 
V_{S1}  1  2  1  3  2  4  1  7 
M_{S2}  4.5    4.5  13.5  9    22.5  13.5 
V_{S2}  0.75  0.75      1.5  1.5  1.5  1.5 
V_{BR}  5    5  15  10    25  15 
V_{BL}    5  5  15    10  15  25 
Column IV = Column II + Column III
Column V = Dead Load * Column IV
Column VI = Live Load * Column II
Column VII = Live Load * Column III
Column VIII = Column V + Column VI
Column IX = Column V + Column VII
Contact Dr. Fouad Fanous for more information.