There are many structures whose individual members are made up of beams. Some examples include bridges, skyscrapers, artwork, signs, parking covers, and even furniture. These beams are intentionally designed with different cross-sectional shapes to optimize both strength, and weight all depending on the type of loading condition they will be subject to. As an engineer, it is our responsibility to consider the loading conditions of the structures we design then to select from the available beam geometries a shape and size that will be more than strong enough to last.
Common Beam Cross-Sectional Shapes
Statics allows us to quantify the loading conditions and use the support types to understand the forces and moments a beam must be designed to hold. Each symbol of a support type correlates to real-life connections that are commonly used in structural design. In some cases, support types that become too constraining create a statically indeterminant situation where statics is not enough to solve for the forces and moments on a structure.
Structures and Members
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