Force Distribution


  • The force of the load will be distributed across all points supporting the load
    • This is how people are able to lay on a bed of nails without getting hurt

What is Force Distribution?

  • The amount of force each support provides depends on the distance from the support to the load (torque)
  • The sum of the forces from all supports is equal to the load force

Force Distribution Example

  • Consider the support at F1 to be the fulcrum or pivot
  • Similar to the wheelbarrow problem, we can derive the following equation
    • F2 = d1L · Fload
    • F2 = 7"35" · 150lbs = 30lbs

Force Distribution Example Cont.

  • Since there are only two supports, the total force between them must be equal to the load
    • F1 + F2 = Fload
    • F1 = Fload - F2
    • F2 = 150lbs - 30lbs = 120lbs