Cantilever beam

A cantilever beam is a rigid structural element supported at one end and free at the other, the cantilever beam may be made of concrete or steel with one end cast or anchored to a vertical support. It is a horizontal beam structure whose free end is exposed to vertical load.

In this configuration, one end carries all the load as good anchor which is needed to resist the bending moment, it is also called Encastre.

This beam carries a span over a period that undergoes both shear stress and bending moments.

Here we will learn about cantilever beam, cantilever beams formula & much more.

Introduction to cantilever beam:

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

It allows to make enormous 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:

  • This beam is a structural element that is capable of sensing load mainly by resistance against bending.
  • The bending force was induced in the beam’s material as a result of the external load, own span load and external reactions of these loads.
  • Internally, the beams experience compressive, tensile and shear stresses as a result of the loads applied to them.
  • We compared 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.

Advantages of Cantilever Beam:

  1. These beam 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 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. They are 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 therefore relatively large in scale.
  • Truss construction is used in large structures to reduce weight.
Also read: Spandrel Beam & Bond Beam

Cantilever beams formula:

cantilever beam formula

Examples of cantilever beams:

  • A good example is a balcony, it is supported at one end only, the rest of the beams extends over the open space, 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: Slab Beam, Flitch Beam & Grade Beam


Cantilever beams are used in specific points where 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.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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