# Introduction to Trusses - TeachEngineering

Introduction to Trusses What is a truss? A truss is a structural unit made from straight bars that form triangles or other stable, rigid shapes.

The simplest form of a truss is one single triangle. For roof construction Support for

elevated train tracks A church ceiling Tell me an example of a truss you have seen.

What makes up a truss? A truss is a series of straight bars that form triangles or other stable, rigid shapes.

A truss is composed of: structural members joints or nodes angles polygons Due to their geometry and rigidity, trusses can distribute a single point of weight over a wider area.

What is the difference between a planar truss and a space truss? planar (simple) truss Members and nodes in the 2D plane Examples: bicycle frame, roofing, rafters

space truss Members and nodes in the 3D plane Examples: bridges, transmission towers Which is which?

Many more truss designs pitched (common) truss Howe truss

Engineering Terminology Load Structural Member Applied weight or force on a structure

A physical piece of a larger structure Example: vehicles and wind on a bridge

Example: a steel beam Compression and Tension Truss in Compression and Tension Pratt truss

Uses vertical members in compression and horizontal members in tension Most efficient under vertical-loading compression Have you ever walked across a simple footbridge made of boards or a rope bridge and noticed how the bridge changes shape (bends) as you walk across its center?

Deformation This bending of the bridge is called deformation. Deformation refers to something that changes shape when pressure is applied. As we design and test trusses

today, we will apply weight (in the form of books) to our trusses and observe how the angles deflect when subjected to a load. We will measure some of the angles in our

trussboth before and after a load is appliedin order to calculate the amount of deflection. Engineers consider many factors in bridge design, including the maximum load it can support and how much deformation the bridge materials can withstand before

breaking. Your Engineering Design Challenge You are going to make a space truss! Choose from these regular polygons:

Octagon Pentagon Nonagon Hexagon

Decagon Example Trusses Data Collection

Sum of interior angles = (n-2)*180 n=number of sides in your polygon Tagging and Measuring Your Target Angles

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