Analyzation of a Wooden Bridge Structure

We found, after attempting to factor out all of the experimental "noise" we experienced, that the data from the sensors and the answers from the calculations were surprisingly close. Unfortunately, we were not able to correct or minimize the skew in the data due to the actual mass of the members of the bridge truss as well as the slight looseness of the pins joining the members. We suspended various weights from the uppermost node, the pin connecting the upper members, and measured the results with the sensors connected to one end of each member. We also derived and used our calculations for the estimated amount of force on each member if it was of the same dimensions as ours, as well as with the same amount of weight on the top node as ours had. As the results were close to each other, we figured that if we had figured in the mass of the members themselves, plus if we had built the bridge truss to be more structurally sound so that it did not move slightly at the joints or the anchor points, then the data from the sensors would have been much closer to the calculated data, if not exactly the same within measurable standards.

Research Done By:

Gary Bellia

Jeffrey Thueme