What is a Cantilever Beam?

By Harshal Vispute|Updated : July 25th, 2022

A rigid structural element known as a cantilever beam is supported at one end and is unsupported at the other. The cantilever beam can be built of steel or concrete, with one end cast or fastened to a vertical support. It is a horizontal beam structure, and the free end is exposed to vertical loads. A cantilever is built as an extension of a continuous beam in a building and a section of a cantilever girder in a bridge. It can be built using pre-stressing techniques or cast-in-place segmental construction.

Overhanging buildings can be built using cantilever technology without the need for additional bracing and supports. This structural component can give a building, tower, or bridge a special elegance. It is frequently employed in building construction.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cantilever Beam

The following are some of the cantilever beam's main Advantages:

  • Cantilever beams don't need assistance from the other side.
  • Cantilever beams' negative bending moments balance the positive bending moments produced.
  • Cantilever beams are simple to build.

The following are cantilever beam's Disadvantages:

  • Large deflections are applied to cantilever beams.
  • Moments are greater for cantilever beams.
  • To remain stable, the construction must have sturdy fixed support or a back span.


What is a Cantilever Beam?

Unsupported at one end and free at the other, a cantilever beam is a rigid structural component. Steel or concrete can be used to create the cantilever beam, which has one end that is cast or fastened to a vertical support. Its free end exposed to vertical loads is a horizontal beam structure. A beam with one end fixed and the other free is known as a cantilever beam. The fixed support stops the beam's displacement and rotation at that end. The overhanging feature is made possible by cantilever beams without any additional support. The cantilever transfers the load from the beam's free end to the support, where it exerts the sheer force [V] and the bending moment [B.M.] at the fixed end.

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What is a Cantilever Beam FAQ's

  • A cantilever beam is a structural component with one end protruding beyond the point of support and the ability to move freely in the vertical plane when supported by vertical loads applied to the area in between.

  • The cantilever beam is used in

    • In Buildings.
    • Overhanging projections and elements.
    • Cantilever bridges.
    • Balconies such as in Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water.
    • Overhanging projections and elements.
    • Overhanging roofs like shelters and stadium roofs.
    • Machinery and plants such as cranes.
    • Shelving and Furniture.

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