Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Beliveau, Jean-Guy


The motivation for this research was to apply methods of vibrations testing in order to determine axial loads in the pin-ended truss members of the Breeding Bam. This method of vibrations testing was necessary in order to determine the in-situ axial loads of the truss members in the bam. Other common methods, such as strain gauges, were not useful for this application. This is because strain gauges can only detect changes in strain and therefore only changes in load. However due to the size and weight of the roof at the Breeding Bam, significant axial loads are produced in the truss members. This in-situ axial load due to the dead load of the roof is a significant portion of any additional loading and cannot be ignored. The ultimate goal of determining the axial loads in the truss members was to develop a model for the roof structure of the bam that accurately predicts axial loads in the truss members over a range of loading conditions. Developing such a model was important in order to make a structural assessment ofthe Breeding Bam's roof structure. In order to determine the axial loads in the truss members, acceleration time histories of the individual truss members were collected using wireless accelerometers provided by MicroStrain of Williston, Vermont. Using the Fourier transform, power spectral densities were produced from the raw acceleration time histories. It was from these plots that the resonant frequencies of the truss members were determined. Knowing the resonant frequencies for a member and the beam vibration equation developed for pin-ended members, the axial load of the truss member were calculated. This process was done for each wrought iron truss member for three separate loading conditions. The purpose of this was to provide enough experimental data so that it could be compared with predictions of several proposed frame models of the bam's roof structure. Ultimately a model was chosen that best predicted the axial loads in the truss members based upon the three loading combinations tested. Using this frame model, an assessment of the bam's roof structure could be made.