Simple and Cantilever Beams

Simple and cantilever beams are structural members that are loaded by forces applied at right angles to the longitudinal axis. The load that a beam can carry depends on its length, the method of support, the manner of loading, its cross-sectional size and shape, and the strength of the beam material.

Many different types of beams and loads exist in buildings and structures, but only two types of beams and two types of loads are considered in this chapter. These are simple and cantilever beams, and point and uniform loads. A simple beam is supported at each end without rigid connections; it merely rests on supports.

Cantilever beam-point load


Simple beam—uniform load Cantilever beam—uniform load

FIGURE 24.1. Two types of beams and two types of loads.

A cantilever beam is supported solidly at one end, with the other end free to move, Figure 24.1.

Point loads can be applied at any specific point along the beam, but the equations used in this chapter only apply to point loads in the middle of a simple beam and at the end of a cantilever beam. A point load is indicated by a single arrow. Uniform loads are applied along the entire length of the beam, and are indicated by a series of arrows.

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