Trusses are components of larger structural systems, such as buildings, bridges, and towers. In order to evaluate the behavior under loading, one needs to identify the main structural components of the system and determine how the external load is transmitted from one component to another. This process is called “structural idealization,” it is a key step in the analysis process. In what follows, we illustrate idealization strategies for typical bridges and roof systems.
below Figure shows a typical single span truss bridge system. The key components are the two simple planar trusses, the lateral bracing systems at the top, sides, and bottom levels and the flooring system consisting of floor stringers/beams and deck slab. Loading applied to the deck slab is transmitted through the stringer/beam system to the bottom nodes of the two planar trusses. The major percentage of the analysis effort is concerned with analyzing a simple truss for dead weight, wind, and traffic loading.