What are the steps in beam analysis?


Beam is the most important and widely used structural member in a structure. A component which is under transverse loading is designated as beam. This transverse loading initiates bending of the beam which results into bending and shearing stresses.

A typical beam has following two components:

Flange – Flanges carry bending loads

Web – Web carries shear load.

Following are the steps in beam analysis:

  • Idealize the beam support – To calculate the moment
  • Idealize the loads – To determine the reactions
  • Draw Free Body Diagram (FBD) – To get a clear picture of maximum loading
  • Calculate the reactions – To determine the Shear Force
  • Find Shear Force (V), Axial Force (P) & Moment (M) at the location of interest – In case of variable cross-section or in case of multiple loads
  • Draw Shear Force Diagram, Bending Moment Diagram & Axial Force Diagram (SFD, BMD & AFD) – In case of variable cross-section or in case of multiple loads
  • Calculate cross sectional properties (Inertia & Cross-sectional area)
  • Calculate Bending stress and shear stress
  • Calculate Equivalent stress – Use theories of failure as per the scenario
  • Compare with the Yield/Ultimate point of material to determine failure


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