Cantilever structures

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Cantilever structures

In: Engineering
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A piece of material sticks straight out horizontally from a vertical piece it is attached firmly to. What kind of explanation are you wanting?

a cantilever structure is pretty much any structure that extends out and is supported only on one end.

For example, say you have a beam that sticks out the side of a building to support a balcony, that is a cantilever beam.

These typically work by actually having the beam extend further into the building than it does out of the building. Say you have a beam that sticks out and hangs out 5 feet past the edge of the building, chances are that same beam also extends 8-10 feet into the structure of the building and is tied in by rivets, bolts, or welds. So the building acts like a big counterbalance on a seesaw.

Cantilevers are like seesaws, but raised into the air. And instead of being exactly in the middle, they are offset to one side or the other. And, instead of rotating in the fulcrum, the fulcrum is bolted stiff so it can’t see or saw.

Depending on how much weight you put on either side, the other side will resist stuff you put on it, like another person, or a bunch of people, or a redwood deck with people on it.

It can fail in a number of ways, always when the weighted side gets too heavy. The thing holding up the weighted side can break, where it breaks is called “the moment”. The thing holding the fulcrum stiff can break. Or, the weight on the other side can fly up if the other side gets too heavy and the other two failures don’t happen.