System of Forces: Types of Forces, Explain System of Forces

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : August 3rd, 2022

A system of forces is a collection of forces acting on an object simultaneously. Any external agent that changes or tries to change an object's state is called a force. A force requires four characteristics for representation: magnitude, direction, point of application, and line of action. The unit of force in the SI system is "Newton". In real life, many objects are subjected to more than one force, i.e., a system of forces. The analysis of such objects becomes a bit complicated.

The study of the system of forces is very important to analyze the effect of the system of forces on the object and to calculate the results of the system of forces. This article will cover the definition, types, and examples of the system of forces.

What is the System of Forces?

When one body interacts with another, they exert different forces on each other. When multiple forces act on a body at the same time, they form a system known as a "force system" or "system of force". In simple words, the system of force can be defined as a "force system or system of force is a group of forces acting on a body or number of connected bodies." As a result, it is a term used to describe a group of forces.

Forces can act on a single point or in a single plane. Forces can also act on several planes of a three-dimensional object. Some real-life applications for the system of forces are: "forces on the tug of war", "forces on blades of ceiling fans", "forces at a joint of truss", etc.

Types of System of Forces

There are various systems of forces that act on a member. Different types of force systems on the same body produce different behaviours. That's why the study of types of force systems is very important. Generally, force systems can be divided into two types.

  1. Coplanar force system
  2. Non coplanar force system

Coplanar Force System

The term coplanar implies that the quantities should be in the same plane. A coplanar force system is one in which the line of action of all of the force systems acting on a body lies in the same plane as the body.

The following are the types of coplanar system of forces;

  • Collinear coplanar force system
  • Concurrent coplanar force system
  • Parallel coplanar force system
  • Non-concurrent coplanar force system

Non-Coplanar Force System

The term coplanar denotes that the quantities should not be in the same plane. A non-coplanar force system is one in which the line of action of all of the force systems acting on a body does not lie in the same plane.

The following are the types of non-coplanar system of forces;

  • Concurrent non-coplanar force system
  • Parallel non-coplanar force system
  • Non-concurrent non-coplanar force system
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FAQs on System of Forces

  • When a single agency acts on a body, it is referred to as a force. However, when multiple forces act simultaneously on the body or group of bodies, the system is referred to as a "system of forces" or "force system."

  • On the same body, different types of force systems produce diverse behaviours. The major types of systems of forces are

    1. Coplanar force system
    2. Non coplanar force system
  • When a body is acted upon by a group of forces whose line of action lies in the same plane as the body, such a group of forces is referred to as a coplanar system of forces. A force system at the pin joint of a truss is an example of a coplanar force system.

  • For the equilibrium of any system of forces, the net force on the body and the net moment on the body due to the system of forces must be equal to zero. Mathematically, the condition for the equilibrium of any system of forces is;  ΣF_x =0, ΣF_y= 0 and  ΣM =0 

  • A group of forces is referred to as a system of forces. Any object acted upon by two or more than two forces are example of system of force. Some real-life examples of systems of forces are tug-of-war forces, forces on table legs, forces on a tripod containing a camera, forces on a rod resting against a wall, etc.

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