A Beginner's Guide to the Steel Construction Manual, 14th ed.

Chapter 8 - Bending Members

2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 T. Bartlett Quimby





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Section 8.1


Last Revised: 07/30/2011

Bending, or flexural, members (often times referred to as beams) are members that are subject to bending and shear.  Up to this point, we have dealt with members that have constant axial force and the internal forces do not vary with length.  This is generally not true of flexural members.  In flexural members the internal shear and moment tend to vary with position along the beam as does deflection.

Flexural members are designed to have sufficient bending and shear strength to support the anticipated loads.  They are also designed to be stiff enough to meet the serviceability deflection requirements of the structure.

This chapter investigates the behaviors of bending members and the SCM specification requirements that ensure a safe design.

This chapter will look specifically at beams that do not have an applied axial load.  Members with both flexure and axial force are commonly referred to as beam-columns and are treated later.

While on the subject of beams, there are several detail items that an engineer may need to consider.  A few of these include:

  • The enhancement of beam flexural strength by the addition of cover plates,
  • The determination of a beam's strength to resist concentrated transverse loads applied to the face of the flange, and
  • The design of base plates to transfer beam reactions to concrete or masonry.
  • The design of bolted and welded end connections.

These items are discussed in the design section of this chapter.

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