The Engineering Behind Trusses

If we consider trusses from the point of view of engineering, the truss is basically a structure that consists of elements/members, which only takes compression or tension & there is no bending induced whatsoever. The members/elements are connected with the help of one gusset joint, which is either bolted, welded, or riveted in a certain way that only has axial forces induced in that structure. The actual reason behind the axial-forces is actually the reason that all the exterior or outer loads are used in a certain way that the effects appear to be in a form of the forces used on only the joints. In simpler terms, the truss is actually one structural member, which is basically assembled in a way that the forces are only applied on its ends.

truss engineering

Truss: In Engineering

Trusses or wood trusses that are commonly seen today are basically frames of triangulated lumber, which are actually bound together by galvanized steel’s connector plates, generally known as truss plates. In simple terms, trusses are actually a structure that has 2-force members & the two-force members are bonded in a manner that the entire thing appears to be a single object. Besides woodeb trusses there are also steel trusses that are widely utilized in construction.

In the typical context, the external forces & reactions to the forces are believed to only act at its nodes & result in the members’ forces, which are either compressive or tensile. For the straight members, torques (moments) are excluded explicitly because all the truss joints are considered as revolutes, which is important for its links to become two-force members.

The nodes and members in the planar truss, lies within one two-dimensional plane, while the space truss consists of nodes and members, which extend into 3 dimensions. The truss’ top beams are known as the top chords & are normally in compression, and the truss’ bottom beams are known as the bottom chords, which are normally in tension. Further, the truss’ interior beams are known as the webs & the areas found inside these webs are known as panels.


The truss typically consists of straight members that are connected at the joints, traditionally called the panel points. The trusses are normally made of triangles and the reason behind that is its design and shape’s structural stability. The triangle is considered as the simplest and easiest geometric figure, which won’t change its shape when its sides’ lengths are fixed. On the other hand, both the lengths and angles of one four-sided figure should be fixed in order to retain the shape. The truss is usually designed at the joint, which should be supported and that joint is commonly called as Munter Point.

Trusses, like most of the structures, are basically devices that are mainly used for load bearing and, then transferring the stress load from one point to another. For instance, the roof truss usually takes the roof’s weight or the snow & transfers the weight into the house’s load-bearing walls. Similarly, the bridge truss basically takes the entire weight of trucks and cars passing over the bridge & transfers the weight to the bridge’s piers. The main characteristics or feature of a truss is its efficient and clever way of carrying the load. The trusses are usually lightweight because the trusses take the advantage of the statics and geometry or mathematics laws.

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