What is an uniformly distributed load?


Quick Answer

A uniformly distributed load has a constant value, for example, 1kN/m; hence the "uniform" distribution of the load. Each uniformly distributed load can be changed to a simple point force that can be used to determine the stresses in an object.

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Full Answer

A UDL, or uniformly distributed load, can be drawn by using arrows and lines. First, the vectors must be drawn along where the load acts and must be connected with tails. A single line must connect the vectors together and represent the force point. The line should be horizontal.

Sometimes, people are asked to work out the forces and simplify the distributed load to a single point force. To change the uniformly distributed load to a point force, a person will first need to know the total force and the location that the total force will act through. Then, the person will need to find the areas that are enclosed by the object that is being analyzed. The person will need to view the left, right, and top sides of the UDL. Next, multiply the force applied per meter by the length that the force acts over and the entire force will be determined. To find the point force, the centroid area, or direct center of the load, will need to be determined. That is the point force.

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