Beam Support Types in Structural Civil Engineering

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In this post, we will talk about Beam Support Types. But first I want to let you know that a beam transfers the load to the supports that in actual might be a column or a wall which in turn transfers the load to the foundation. This structure need support/s. There are several types of Beam Support based on the way it supports the beam.

Below are several Beam Support Types that are usually used in construction :

  1. Roller Support.
  2. Hinge or Pin Support.
  3. Fixed Support.
Beam Support Types Illustration - Credit Pict webDOTmitDOTedu.

Beam Support Types Illustration – Credit Pict webDOTmitDOTedu.

Beam Roller Support.

Roller Support provides only one direction resistive force to the beam. It is like a beam placed on a wall, it has one reaction force.

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Beam Hinge or Pin Support.

A hinge or a pin support provides two dimensional resistive forces that might be in horizontal and vertical dimensions, thus it have two reaction forces.

A practical example of a roller support is a Bridge Abutment in which a beam seat is designed on which the girder lies in such a way that only moment can be produced with no horizontal and vertical displacement is allowed.

Beam Fixed Support.

When the support provides resistance to the forces as well as the moment than this support is known as a fixed support. It have 3 reactions.

The knowledge of these three Beam Support Types is really important. This will influence how we will design a structure. When a civil engineer works as structural design engineer, he/she has to determine the right Beam Support Types for the structure which is designed. In ETABS and SAP2000 as well as STAAD Pro, if you want to design a structure, you will be asked about the option for Beam Support Types. The choice you will made will determine everything in the result. So, be careful if you want to determine the Beam Support Types.

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