Engineering Mechanics for Structures by Louis L. Bucciarelli

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Engineering Mechanics for Structures by Louis Bucciarelli

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Introduction to Engineering Mechanics for Structures

This is a book about the Mechanics of Solids, Statics, the Strength of Materials, and Elasticity Theory.

But that doesn’t mean a thing unless you have had a course in the Mechanics of Solids, Statics, the Strength of Materials, or Elasticity Theory.

I assume you have not; let us try again: This is a book that builds upon what you were supposed to learn in your basic physics and mathematics courses last year.

We will talk about forces – not political, but vector forces – about moments and torques, reactions, displacements, linear springs, and the requirements of static equilibrium of a particle or a rigid body.

We will solve sets of linear algebraic equations and talk about when we can not find a unique solution to a set of linear algebraic equations.

We will derive a whole raft of new equations that apply to particles, bodies, structures, and mechanisms;these will often contain the spatial derivatives of forces, moments, and displacements.

You have seen a good bit of the basic stuff of this course before, but we will not assume you know the way to talk about, or work with, these concepts, principles, and methods so fundamental to our subject.

So we will recast the basics in our own language, the language of engineering mechanics.

For the moment, think of this book as a language text;of yourself as a language student beginning the study of Engineering Mechanics, the Mechanics of Solids, the Strength of Materials, and Elasticity Theory.

You must learn the language if you aspire to be an engineer. But this is a difficult language to learn, unlike any other foreign language you have learned.

It is difficult because, on the surface, it appears to be a language you already know.

That is deceptive: You will have to be on guard, careful not to presume the word you have heard before bears the same meaning.

Words and phrases you have already encountered now take on a more special and, in most cases, narrower meaning;a couple of forces is more than just two forces.

An important part of learning the vocabulary, is the quick sketch. Along with learning to sketch in the engineering mechanics way, you will have to learn the meaning of certain icons;a small circle, for example, becomes a frictionless pin.

So too, grammar and syntax will be crucial. Rigorous rules must be learned and obeyed.

Some of these rules will at first seem pedantic;they may strike you as not only irrelevant to solving the problem, but wrong-headed or counter intuitive.

But don’t despair; with use they will become familiar and reliable friends.

When you become able to speak and respond in a foreign language without thinking of every word, you start to see the world around you from a new perspective.

What was once a curiosity now is mundane and used everyday, often without thinking. So too, in this course, you will look at a tree and see its limbs as cantilever beams, you will look at a beam and see an internal bending moment, you will look at a bending moment and conjecture a stress distribution.

You will also be asked to be creative in the use of this new language, to model, to estimate, to design.

That’s the goal: To get you seeing the world from the perspective of an engineer responsible for making sure that the structure does not fail, that the mechanism doesn’t make too much noise, that the bridge doesn’t sway in the wind, that the latch latches firmly, the landing gear do not collapse upon touchdown, the drive-shaft does not fracture in fatigue…

Ultimately, that is what this book is about. Along the way you will learn about stress, strain, the behavior of trusses, beams, of shafts that carry torsion, even columns that may buckle.

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