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Crosssection

An example bridge with a tube and bar labeled.

The Cross Section of a member is a drawing of what the inside of the member looks like after a slice has been made through it. The BD represents tubes with a darker outline and lighter middle, and bars with a dark shade throughout. In the image to the right, a tube and bar are labeled.

Cross Section TypesEdit

In the BD, there are two types of cross sections members can have. These are Tube (hollow) and Bar (solid). Here's the general rule to remember: If it's red (carrying compression), make it a tube; if it's blue (carrying tension), make it a bar. The following subsections explain this rule.

TubeEdit

Csdraw

The cross section of a tube.

Tubes are hollow members. For a given weight and type of material, tubes are more expensive than bars, but tubes carry compression much more efficiently. Therefore, it is generally better to use tubes for members that sustain more compression than tension (red members).

BarEdit

Bars are solid members. For a given weight and type of material, hollow tubes and solid bars carry tension with equal efficiency. Since tubes are more expensive than bars, it is generally better to use solid bars for members that sustain more tension than compression (blue members).

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