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Calculate center of gravity (mass)

Details of Calculate center of gravity (mass)

  • Module code ESA1413
  • Software
    • SCIA Engineer
  • FAQ topic

The only possibility to calculate the center of gravity is by means of the resultant of reactions & the position of the central point.
Then the resultant internal forces can be calculated back to find the center of gravity.

STEP 1: create 3 load cases

Create 3 load cases: 'Self Weight +X', 'Self Weight +Y' and 'Self Weight +Z'. The figure below shows the settings for load case 'Self Weight +X'. The other load cases are set similarly.

STEP 2: calculation

Execute the linear calculation.

STEP 3: results

Look at the result 'Resultant of reactions' (Main menu > Results > Supports) for the 3 created load cases.
The figure below shows the result for load case 'Self Weight +X'

You also need the central point. The coordinates of this point can be found as well in the results table (if this is not visible, you can right-click in the bar and choose for 'Add all columns').
You can copy these results from the results table immediately to MS Excel.

STEP 4: calculate the center of gravity

The equations for a 3D structure in the center of gravity are: 

  • Mx = Rz*dY - Ry*dZ
  • My = Rx*dZ - Rz*dX
  • Mz = Ry*dX - Rx*dY

For load case 'Self Weight +X' (Ry and Rz are 0) this becomes: 

  • My = Rx*dZ => dZ = My/Rx
  • Mz = -Rx*dY => dY = -Mz/Rx

For 'Self Weight +Y' (Rx and Rz are 0) this becomes: 

  • Mx = -Ry*dZ => dZ = -Mx/Ry
  • Mz = Ry*dX => dX = Mz/Ry

For 'Self Weight +Z' (Rx and Ry are 0) this becomes: 

  • Mx = Rz*dY => dY = Mx/Rz
  • My = -Rz*dX => dX = -My/Rz

Calculate the center of gravity (Xc, Yc, Zc) with: 

  • Xc = X + dX
  • Yc = Y + dY
  • Zc = Z + dZ

(X, Y, Z) are the coordinates of the central point.

Following Excel-file calculates the point of gravity automatically with the formulas that are described above: