• Determination of frame vertical reaction forces upon loading.
  • Determination of frame horizontal reaction forces upon loading.
  • Relationship between load application and deformation on the frame.
  • Differences between statically determinate and Statically indeterminate frame.
  • Familiarisation with the first-order elasticity theory for statically determinate and Indeterminate systems.
  • Application of the principle of superposition.
  • Application of the principle of virtual work on statically determinate and statically Indeterminate frames determination of a deformation by the principle of virtual forces.
  • Determination of a load by the principle of virtual displacement.
  • Comparison of calculated and measured Deformations.


Portal frames:

  • Two, of aluminium alloy, nominally 250 mm x 500 mm, one with a uniform section, one with a non-uniform section
  • Width of frame: 25mm
  • Breadth of uniform frame: 6mm
  • Breadth of non-uniform frame: 4mm (on one side)
  • Load application: 0.5N x5 (hanger), 10g x150

The experiment hardware fits onto a Frame. The hardware includes two rectangular portal frames with the same dimensions. However, one of the frames has a constant second moment of area, while the other has one leg with a smaller second moment of area.

Students clamp each leg of one of the portal frames to supports attached to the test frame. They then load the top of the portal frame using masses on a hanger. Load cells on the supports connect to a Digital Force Display unit. These measure the downward and up reaction force at both ends of the portal frame. A digital deflection indicator measures sway at the top of the portal frame.

Students use the results of moments and reactions to plot bending moment diagrams. They compare the bending moment diagrams, the direction of sway (and its causes) to theoretical calculations. They then repeat the experiment using the other portal frame.

The manual provides details of the equipment including sample experiment results and also describes how to use the equipment and gives experiment procedures.

For extra ‘virtual’ experiments, company can supply the optional Software, for use on a suitable computer. The virtual experiments simulate the tests you can perform with the hardware. They also extend the choice of tests beyond that available using only the hardware, for example: higher loads, uniform loads or different test specimens. This extends the student’s learning experience.

For automatic data acquisition of your experiment results, company can supply the optional Automatic Data Acquisition system. Supplied as standard with the Software that displays and logs your experiment results and gives the extra virtual experiments (optional).

Software SM-1424ASW (optional)

  • Customized Software designed in LABVIEW™ for logging and results processing
  • Environment: Any Windows™ Based operating System