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Definition of Beams and its Functions

A beam stands for a vertical or sloping structural component that primarily withstands vertical loads, shear forces & bending moments employed laterally to the beam's axis as well as joins columns and support slabs. Its mode of deflection occurs mainly by bending.

It is primarily applied in erection of bridges, trusses, and other structures.

If beams support slabs, they function jointly together and produce a “T” section beam. The level of the slabs with regards to the level of the beams leads to the development of rectangular beams, inverted beams or “Z” beams.

Normally, columns provide support to the beams (beam to column connection). Occasionally one or both ends of beam are supported with another beam (beam to beam connection) and other times only one end is supported with a column or beam whereas there is no support to the other end. The beam supported only in one end is known as cantilever.

The beam to column connection is defined as direct support and the beam to beam connection is defined as indirect support.

The beam called as the one supported by two columns is frequently utilized and the cantilever beam is rarely used. Indirect supports are seldom applied in the case of non-existence of alternative solution.

In tilted roofs, both beams and slabs contain cross sections and supports similar to the ones stated above but they are sloped.

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Definition of Beams and its Functions