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Statics: Moments

Moments represent rotational forces. A three dimensional problem can have up to three summed moments on it. You would calculate a moment the same way that a torque would be calculated, which would be the force times the perpendicular length. The difference between a moment and a torque is that a torque represents twisting while a moment represents bending. To view what a moment would look like refer to the figure below.

Moment representation for a statics or strength of materials problem

Also, when dealing with torques or moment you need to know if the torque is positive or negative. A positive moment or torque has a counter-clockwise rotation, while a clockwise rotation means it is negative. The way you can tell if you are not sure is to follow the right hand rule, which is sticking your them out on you right hand and following the direction of the curl of your fingers. This will represent a positive torque or moment.

The right hand rule is used to determine whether a torque or moment is positive or negative

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