Cantilever? What’s that you say?
Are you in construction? You’ve heard about the famous Forth Bridge in Scotland but you don’t have a clue why it’s so popular and why you’ve been advised to use cantilevers. Well, we are here to clear that up for you. So firstly, let me explain what a cantilever is.
In simple, non-engineering words, a cantilever is a beam that is secured with support at only one end, it is used to hold a load on the overhanging. According to a popular architect in Cronulla, Couvaras, this creates solid support because it isn’t rotatable.
Why Do People Use Cantilevers?
According to designingbuildings.co.uk cantilevers were invented because they provide a clear space underneath the beam without needing support at both ends. This makes the construction easier to do for the user.
Using support at only one end is a great benefit if you are unable to provide it at both ends due to functional reasons. For example, a crane needs support at only one end. Cranes are needed to lift and lower materials, which wouldn’t be possible to do if there was support on both sides as it would be fixed into one place.
What are Cantilevers made of?
The majority of cantilevers are used in construction work, they need to be robust and strong as they need to provide support for heavy loads. For this reason, they are made out of steel and reinforced concrete.
Where can you find Cantilevers?
Cantilevers are used in lots of things that we see daily. I can almost guarantee that you will see a cantilever at least once a day.
For example, a diving board at your local swimming board is a cantilever because it is supported at only one end, the part which is attached to the wall.
The most common place that you will find a cantilever used, is in construction work. Notably in the following:
· Cantilever Bridges
A famous cantilever bridge is the Forth Bridge in Scotland, which was made from three cantilevers. When it opened it was the longest cantilever bridge span in the world!
Balconies are a great example of a cantilever being used because they are supported by the building, but underneath there is a clear space.
· Overhanging Roofs
Stadiums and shelters are perfect examples of cantilevers because they are movable, meaning they are not fixed at both ends, instead only the one.
· Shelving Units
A daily cantilever that you might see in your home is shelving units. The shelving is anchored at one end by it being attached to the wall. Despite weight being put onto the shelves, it is still strong enough to hold it.
Cantilevers are very popular in construction and are often used in architecture. You can see some beautiful examples of these on CNN Style. It gives buildings an abstract look that is completely different from other types of buildings on the market.
A must for those unique house lovers, you might even have a chance to be on Grand Designs if you have a cantilevered house.
What Advantages Are There to Using Cantilever Beams?
- It is simple in construction.
- It does not require support at the opposite end
- When used in construction it means there is no disruption to anything below
Advantages of Cantilever Bridges
· According to Science Struck, cantilever bridges are ideal for areas that are more difficult to build on, such as gorges, places known to flood, etc. A cantilever bridge can be built in these areas because they are much easier to construct than other types of bridges.
· Cantilever bridges take less time to construct than other types of bridges.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Cantilever Beams?
· Large deflections
· Result in larger moments
What Cantilever Products Are On the Market?
Now if I’m being honest, I can expect that you and I both have a TV in our lounge. One product that you probably wouldn’t expect to be a cantilever is a TV mount. See now if you scroll back to the Cantilever explanation you’ll now understand that a TV mount is attached to the wall and has a swing arm that holds your TV. Can you now see why it is a cantilever?
Are you as shocked as I was when I found out? This is what I meant by you likely see a cantilever daily.
Amazon sells the Ultimate Mounts Twin Arm Cantilever Bracket for 35 to 70 inch TVs. And of course, as most of the cantilevers, we have spoken about, this is made out of steel and can hold up to 60KG which is pretty impressive, a human can weigh that much!
Another great cantilever product that you could buy for your home is an offset umbrella.
On Amazon, the brand Grand Patio sells a deluxe 11 foot or 12 foot offset umbrella in either a red or champagne color. Perfect for those who like to sunbathe in their gardens. The umbrella is held up by putting sand or water into the base.
Can You Notice Cantilevers Around You Now?
So now you know more information about cantilevers, I expect you’ll start to notice them more in your daily life. They are used most often in construction, if you’re in this type of work then I assure you, that you’ll be building using cantilevers one day.