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# Classification of Beams

Beams are classified on the basis of their geometry and the manner in which they are supported.

Beams classification

Classification of Beams:

Beams are classified on the basis of their geometry and the manner in which they are supported.

Classification I: The classification based on the basis of geometry normally includes features such as the shape of the X-section and whether the beam is straight or curved.

Classification II: Beams are classified into several groups, depending primarily on the kind of supports used. But it must be clearly understood why do we need supports. The supports are required to provide constrainment to the movement of the beams or simply the supports resists the movements either in particular direction or in rotational direction or both. As a consequence of this, the reaction comes into picture whereas to resist rotational movements the moment comes into picture. On the basis of the support, the beams may be classified as follows:

Cantilever Beam: A beam which is supported on the fixed support is termed as a cantilever beam: Now let us understand the meaning of a fixed support. Such a support is obtained by building a beam into a brick wall, casting it into concrete or welding the end of the beam. Such a support provides both the translational and rotational constrainment to the beam, therefore the reaction as well as the moments appears, as shown in the figure below

Simply Supported Beam: The beams are said to be simply supported if their supports creates only the translational constraints.

Some times the translational movement may be allowed in one direction with the help of rollers and can be represented like this

Statically Determinate or Statically Indeterminate Beams:

The beams can also be categorized as statically determinate or else it can be referred as statically indeterminate. If all the external forces and moments acting on it can be determined from the equilibrium conditions alone then. It would be referred as a statically determinate beam, whereas in the statically indeterminate beams one has to consider deformation i.e. deflections to solve the problem.

Types of beams: Supports and Loads

In many engineering structures members are required to resist forces that are applied laterally or transversely to their axes. These type of members are termed as beam. There are various ways to define the beams such as

Definition I: A beam is a laterally loaded member, whose cross-sectional dimensions are small as compared to its length.

Definition II: A beam is nothing simply a bar which is subjected to forces or couples that lie in a plane containing the longitudnal axis of the bar. The forces are understood to act perpendicular to the longitudnal axis of the bar.

Definition III: A bar working under bending is generally termed as a beam.

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