This rig is a small model of a structural beam. Students can interactively apply loads and load rates in different configurations to investigate the tensile and compressive forces in structures, such as concrete floors or aircraft wings.
The rig consists of a rectangular beam (40mm x 20mm) made of a polyurethane elastomer, two pneumatic actuators (rams) and two linear displacement transducers. The beam can be pinned down at one end while being supported at a cantilever point. The two rams are positioned vertically overhead and can be independently lowered to apply adjustable loading forces to specific points of the beam. The resulting deflections at these points is measured by the displacement transducers and graphed in real-time in a user interface. The student can interactively select several experimental parameters, such as configuration, maximum force and load rate (N/sec) to investigate the deflection and the stiffness characteristics of the beam. All measurements are plotted on the screen, and the experimental data is also available for download. The loaded beam rig is available in a horizontal setup (beam cross-section lying flat) and a vertical setup (upright).