How to Enter Beam Supports (Metric Units)

In ClearCalcs there is a designated table for beam supports under 'Key Properties' section as shown below.

If you scroll down to the 'Loads' section, there is a diagram of the structural element being analysed, that shows the supports you have entered graphically.

In this article, we will introduce the different types of beam supports and use examples to show how to input beam supports into ClearCalcs. 

Input Parameters

A. Support Type

There are three basic types of supports. Each support type restricts the movement of the beam in at least one direction. There are reaction forces at the supports in directions in which the movement has been restricted. For better understanding, refer to the table below.

**Please note for reaction forces the direction of the reactions needs to be determined on a case by case basis. This is done automatically by Clearcalcs.

B. Position 

Position refers to the distance between the particular support and the left end of the beam. This parameter needs to be in millimetres, alternatively, conversion formulae can also be entered into the cell for convenience (similar to Excel).

C. Length of Bearing

This column is only present in some of our calculators as it is not relevant to all beams. The length of bearing is a measurable dimension that can be found in the load-bearing area. The load-bearing area is the area that comes into direct physical contact with the support. This area transfers to load from the beam to the support. The load-bearing area can only be observed in beams that are supported on the bottom surface by perpendicular beams, brackets or other connectors with a measurable contact area. 

The width of the load-bearing area is usually the width of the beam. The length of the load-bearing area can simply be measured or calculated by dividing the load-bearing area by the width of the beam (given that width of the beam = width of the load-bearing area). This parameter needs to be in millimetres, alternatively, conversion formulae can also be entered into the cell for convenience (similar to Excel). See Example 4, for a worked-out example on how to input load-bearing lengths.

Example 1

Task

Input supports for a 3m long right cantilever beam. (assume support is at the left end)

Solution

Example 2

Task

Input supports for a 5m long two-span beam with pinned supports.

Solution

Note that the order in which you enter the supports does not matter.

Example 3

Task

Input supports for double cantilever beam (6m in total length) with a pinned support at 2m and a roller support at 4m.

Solution

Example 4

Task 

Input supports for a 5m long joist with perpendicular bearer supports at 2m and 4m. The load-bearing length is 90mm each.

Solution

Note that there is a default load-bearing length set in Project Defaults, which will automatically fill in this field (that's the "projectDefault("l_b")" formula). However, individual bearing lengths can always be changed manually in this table.

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