Faculty Resource Center

Unsymmetrical bending occurs when a structural member is subjected to bending moments in a plane that does not align with the member's principal axes. This scenario typically arises in beams and other structural components when loads are applied at non-ideal angles, introducing complexities in stress analysis.

When a bending moment is applied at an angle θ concerning the vertical axis of a symmetrical member, it can be resolved into components along the member's principal centroidal axes. The stress distribution resulting from each component can be separately calculated and then combined using the superposition principle, discussed in a previous lesson. The stresses are distributed linearly across the member, with the maximum and minimum stresses occurring at the furthest points from the neutral axis, where the stress equals zero.

The neutral axis is where the bending stress is zero. It follows a straight line whose orientation can be determined by the relationship between the angle of the applied load and the member's moments of inertia about its axes. The angle ϕ, which the neutral axis makes with the vertical axis, depends on these moments of inertia. If the moment of inertia along the vertical axis is greater than along the horizontal axis, ϕ will be greater than θ, indicating that the neutral axis rotates in proportion to the member's anisotropic inertial properties.

Privacy