Cantilever beam

Cantilever beam are simply supported at one end and free at other end.

In this configuration, one end carries all of the load, so a good anchor is needed to resist the bending moment.

This configuration is typically called Encastre.

The cantilever beam is a rigid structural element constructed with trusses, slabs and racks for the structural load.

It allows for overwhelming structures without external bracing such a simply supported beam found in a post and lintel system.


Sometimes it is used for aesthetic purposes in structures.

Objective of Cantilever Beam:

  • A beam is a structural element capable of sensing load mainly by resistance against bending.
  • A beam can be made of wood, concrete, steel.
  • The bending force was induced in the beam’s material as a result of the external load, own load, span, and external reactions of these loads.
  • Internally, the beams experience compressive, tensile and shear stresses as a result of the loads applied to them.
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  • We compared cantilever beam stress and natural frequency for different materials with the same I, C and T cross-sectional beams.
  • Steel, stainless steel, and cast iron cantilever beams undergo static and modal analysis.
  • To maintain the beam within a safe operating environment, it must be designed with high stiffness and damping capacity.
  • One end of the cantilever beams is fixed and one end is weighted.

Advantages of Cantilever Beam:

  1. Enables erection with little disturbance in navigation.
  2. The span can be longer than simple beams because beams can be added to the cantilever arms.
  3. The beam is resting only on the arms, it is quite simple to maintain thermal expansion and ground motion.
  4. The cantilever arms are very stiff due to their depth.
  5. Very simple to construct.
  6. Only one fixed support is required, support on the opposite side is not required.

Disadvantages of Cantilever Beam:

  • Like beams, they maintain shear shape along with resistance to large tensile and compressive forces and are therefore relatively large in scale.
  • Truss construction is used in large examples to reduce weight.
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Cantilever beam examples:

  • A good example is a balcony, it is supported at one end only, the rest of the beams extends over the open space and on the other hand, it has nothing to support.
  • Other examples are a cantilever roof in a bus shelter, car park, or railway station.

Also, read 1. Slip Formwork 2. Scaffolding 3. Micropiles

Cantilever beam formula:

cantilever beam formula

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is meant by cantilever beam?

Cantilever beam means a rigid beam or bar that is usually fixed to support a vertical structure or wall.

How long can a cantilever beam be?

14 feet.

How much weight can a cantilever support?

Each cantilever arm can support 2,000 pounds.

What is the principle of cantilever?

When a load is applied to the cantilever, that load is moved to a fixed end by bending.


Cantilever beams are used in specific points where you have only one end for support and the other end is free without any support.

Therefore cantilever beams are used in place were you cannot support the one end of the beam.


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