Structures: Bending, Effect of Overhang

Bending moments can be greatly reduced, using the effect of overhangs.  This can be describe on the example of a beam but applies also to other bending members of horizontal, span subject to gravity load as well.  For a beam subject to uniform load with two overhangs, a ratio of overhangs to mid-span of 1:2.8 (or about 1/3) is optimal, with equal positive and negative bending moments.  This implies an efficient use of material because if the beam has a constant size – which is most common – the beam is used to full capacity on both, overhang and span.  Compared to the same beam with supports at both ends, the bending moment in a beam with two overhangs is about one sixth !  To a lesser degree, a single overhang has a similar effect. Thus, taking advantage of overhangs in a design may result in great savings and economy of resources.

1. Simple beam with end supports and uniform load
2. Cantilevers of about 1/3 the span equalize positive and negative bending moments and reduces them to about one sixth, compared to a beam of equal length and load with but with simple end support.

Structures: Bending, Effect of Overhang