# Polar moment of inertia

## The Attempt at a Solution

I know some of you may have given up on me understanding moment of inertia/second moment of area, but here is another problem. I am using the this table to get the equations for the polar moment of area of a hemicircle around the x-axis, then I am applying the parallel axis theorem to find the polar moment of inertia. The answer in the back of the book doesn't even have the term a in it, which is what I don't get.

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• 7.58.pdf
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• table of inertias.pdf
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• 7.58 attempt 1.pdf
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## Answers and Replies

Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
You had calculated the correct location for the centroid of each of the semicircular cutouts (d = 2a - 4a/(3π)), but then you didn't use this value when you subtracted the polar moments of inertia from that of the square. You used 2a instead.

Try using the correct d and recalculate your answer.

Mentor
You had calculated the correct location for the centroid of each of the semicircular cutouts (d = 2a - 4a/(3π)), but then you didn't use this value when you subtracted the polar moments of inertia from that of the square. You used 2a instead.

Try using the correct d and recalculate your answer.

I'm not sure, but I think the OP also used the wrong formula for the area of the semicircle.

The reason I didn't use the centroid was because I decided to use the formula as if I was considering the parallel axis at what would be point O in the "table of inertias'', so the distance from the centroid of the square to the edge of the semicircle is a distance 2a

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Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Chestermiller is right, and I checked into the polar moment of inertia for a semicircle. Your value is indeed about an axis coincident with the diameter and not the centroid of the semicircle.

Still, you need to correct your calculation of the polar moment for the figure, and then calculate the gyradius as requested by the problem statement.

here is my attempt #2.

The back of the book says the moment of inertia is 25.1 in^4 and the radius of gyration is 1.606a. I don't see how the moment of inertia could be independent of a. Perhaps the solution is wrong?

#### Attachments

• 7.58 attempt 2.pdf
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Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
I would think so. I will check your calcs tomorrow (or today).

Mentor
My understanding is that the parallel axis theorem only works relative to the centroid. This is because of the distance squared times the area term. So, if as SteamKing says, the moment of inertia for the semicircle in the figure is about the origin, then you first have to use the parallel axis theorem to get it back to the centrioid, and then apply the parallel axis theorem again to get it to your specific axis of rotation. I hope this makes sense.

Chet

Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
here is my attempt #2.

The back of the book says the moment of inertia is 25.1 in^4 and the radius of gyration is 1.606a. I don't see how the moment of inertia could be independent of a. Perhaps the solution is wrong?

I did my check calculation for the polar moment, and J = 25.1*a^4 in^4 and the radius of gyration = 1.606*a. It appears the book omitted the factor of a^4 in their answer for J.

NB for Woopydalan: I looked at your calcs, and there is something off with your calculation for J.
In my check calculations, because of symmetry for this problem, Ix = Iy, and because J = Ix + Iy, J = 2*Ix = 2*Iy. Therefore, I calculated Ix and used that to obtain J. You might like to try this approach as well.

So what is wrong with my calculation for J?? Is it true what chestermiller said regarding the parallel axis theorem?

Edit: I found an equation online for the polar moment of inertia around the centroid of a semicircle
http://www.efunda.com/math/areas/circlehalf.cfm

and used that with the parallel axis theorem and got it..finally it's been like 2 days for one problem, except I don't know why I have to use centroids for the parallel axis theorem???

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Staff Emeritus