What are six ways to reduce cantilever beam deflection?

Simply Supported Cantilever Beam, Apple

The deflection of a cantilevered beam depends on four factors: load, length, material of beam, and cross-sectional shape.

  1. Load: How many loads, point load or distributed load? §
  2. Length: Length of the beam (L)
  3. Material: Represents the modulus of elasticity (E)
  4. Cross-Sectional Shape: Represents the moment of inertia (I)

General Form:

Deflection = \frac{PL}{EI}

By looking at the equation:

  1. Reduce the load (w), move the load closer to support of cantilever beam if it’s a point load, distribute the load more if distributed load
  2. Decrease the length L
  3. Increase the stiffness EI factor
  • Increase modulus of elasticity and moment of inertia
  • Increase the section size/depth if steel and with most materials
  1. Share load with another beam

Theoretically, understanding the beam as a whole:

  1. Changing the material (with a higher modulus of elasticity)
  2. Don’t make it a beam/cantilever
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Now that you know how to reduce cantilever beam deflection, try out this flagpole problem or stool leg question!