4

Geometric Properties

INTRODUCTION

To design a beam or column, a structural designer first needs to calculate the actual stresses present, select a shape with the appropriate geometric properties, and identify the material from which the member will be made. In Chapter 3, calculating the stress in beams was discussed, and, in this chapter, quantifying the geometric properties of a shape will be covered. In Chapters 5 through 10, material issues will be considered.

In structural design, “shape” refers to the cross-section of the member and is independent of the material choice. The ability of a shape to resist stresses is quantified by its geometric properties. The geometric properties of primary importance are the moment of inertia, section ...

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