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Zero-force members prevent a truss from becoming a mechanism -- Why?

  1. Dec 31, 2016 #1
    My professor explained to us that the purpose of a zero-force member in a truss is to increase the stability of the truss during construction, to provide added support if the loading is changed and to prevent the structure from becoming a mechanism.

    It is this latter point that I do not understand the meaning of. What does it mean for a structure to become a mechanism? Why is this unwanted? Why does a zero-force member prevent this?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You should get all your answers from the definition of "mechanism".
  4. Dec 31, 2016 #3


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    Is it like racking?
  5. Jan 1, 2017 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2017
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