structural banner 3Structural engineer, abbreviated as SE, uses physics principles and materials to designs projects like bridges, buildigs, industrial facilities and tunnels.  Structural engineers are responsible for the stability of the buildings and facilities, not the design or looks like an architect.


  • STRL - Structural
  • STRUCT - structure
  • SE - Structural Engineer


Structural Associations


Structural Related Articles


Structural Terms


  • Aggregate  -  A mixture of sand and stone with the major component concrete.
  • Axial force  -  A force that tends to stretch or shorten a member.


  • Beam  -  The main part of the structural framing that carries loads from one member to another.
  • Bracing  -  The stiffening of an area between columns by means of diagonal elements.


  • Column  -  A vertical structural compression member which supports loads.
  • Concrete  -  A mixture of Portland cement, gravel, sand, and water.
  • Connection  -  Joins members to transfer forces or moments from one to the other.
  • Cope  -  A cutout made in a structural member to remove materialand conform to the shape of an intersecting member.
  • Corrosion  -  The thinning of a pipe wall that is typically caused by a chemical reaction from a corroding fluid or agent and is limited almost exclusively to metal products.
  • Creep  -  Metal deformation that occures at stresses below the yield strength of a metal, normally at elevated temperature.


  • Deflection  -  The change in the position of something from zero or from its normal position.
  • Deformation  -  Is measured by how much an object is deformed from its origional dimensions.

  • Distributed load (Uniform load)  -  A force evenly distributed along a supportive structure.
  • Dynamic load  -  Cyclic load, such as gusty wind and seismic loads.


  • Elastic modulus  -  The ratio of the stress applied to a body or substance to the resulting strain within the elastic limits.
  • Elasticity  -  Measures the stiffness of an elastic material.
  • Expansion joint  -  Designed to withstand pressure and temperatures growth in foundations and piping system.  The thermal movement can be angular, axial or lateral.


  • Fixed connection  -  A connection that resists axial forces, shear forces, and bending moments.
  • Footing  -  A structural member used to distribute the loads to the soil in such a way that the load bearing capacity of the soil is not exceded.
  • Force  -  The push or pull of an object resulting in a change from rest or motion.


  • Girder  -  A type of the beam that supports other smaller beams.
  • Grout  -  A mixture of Portland cement, sand, water, and other elements used for bonding concrete and steel members.


  • Hardness  -  The property of a material that enables it to resist plastic deformation, usually by penetration.
  • Header  -  A beam that is perpendicular to a joist.
  • Heat  -  A form of energy that causes physical change in what is being heated. 
  • Heat capacity  -  The ratio of heat transferred to raise the temperature of an object.





  • Lap joint  -  The joint between two overlapping connections in parallel planes.
  • Laterial bracing  -  Provides in-plane laterial stability like diagonal bracing, shear walls, or other means.
  • Laterial load  -  Acting in a laterial direction, created by the wind or an earthquake.
  • Live load  -  Any load not perminently attached to the structure.


  • Mass  -  The amount of matter an object has.
  • Material  -  The matter an object is made of.  There are four categories of material: ceramic, composite, metal and polymer.


  • Net area  -  Gross areareduced to account for removing material.
  • Nominal load  -  The magnitude of the load specified by the applicable code.



  • Plate girder  -  A fabricated girder by which welding plates togeather creates the desired shape.
  • Point load  -  A load or force located at a certain point on a supporting structure.  This is the opposite of uniform load.
  • Pressure  -  The force exerted perpendicular to the surface of an object.



  • Radius of gyration  -  The distance from the axis of rotation to a point where the total mass of the body is supposed to be concentrated.
  • Reinforced concrete  -  A composit material made from concrete and reinforcing steel.
  • Rolled steel girder  -  A fabricated girder by which rolling a blank cylinder of steel through a series of dies creates the desired shape.


  • Safety factor  -  The ability of a system's structural capacity to be usable beyond it's expected or acrual loads.
  • Second moment of area  -  The resistance of an object to bend around a certain axis of a cross-section area.
  • Seismic load  -  Loads produced during a seismic movements of an earthquake.
  • Shear modulus  -  The ratio of the tangential force per unit area applied to a body or substance to the resulting tangential strain within the elastic limits.
  • Shear stress  - Tends to deform the material by breaking rather than stretching without changing the volume by restraining the object.
  • Shear wall  -  A structural member used to resist laterial forces parallel to the plane of the wall.
  • Span  -  The distance between the supports.
  • Stiffness  -  The elastic deformation of an object that applies to both compression and tension.
  • Strain  -  The deformation, stretched or compressed, of a material compared to its original length.

  • Stress  -  The force per unit area of cross-section.


  • Temperature  -  Normally described as the amount of heat or cold, but it is neither heat or cold.
  • Tension Strength  -  The capacity of a material to resist a force tending to stretch it.
  • Thermal expansion  - The increase in length, area or volume due to the increase (in some cased decrease) in temperature.
  • Thermal resistance  -  Measures the temperature difference by which an object or material resists a heat flow.
  • Tie plate  -  A metal plate used to tie parallel parts of a building structure.
  • Torsion  -  The stress of twisting of an object due to applied torque.
  • Torsional bracing  -  A bracing that prevents the stress of twisting of an object due to applied torque.
  • Triangular load  -  A force distributed along a supportive structure whose magnitude is zero at one end and increases constantly to the second end of the span.


  • Uniform load (Uniformally distributed load)  -  A force evenly distributed along a supportive structure.  This is the opposite of point load.



  • Web  -  The middle plate of a beam or channel.
  • Web buckling  -  A limit state of lateral instability of a web.
  • Welding  -  The fabrication process that fuses like materials togeather by heating them to a suitable temperatures, this can be acomplished by brazing, soldering or welding.



  • Yield point  -  The point where an elastic material is permanent change in length with no extra load force.




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Beam Design Formulas
Beam Fixed at Both Ends - Concentrated Load at Any Point
Beam Fixed at Both Ends - Concentrated Load at Center
Beam Fixed at Both Ends - Uniformly Distributed Load
Beam Fixed at One End - Concentrated Load at Any Point
Beam Fixed at One End - Concentrated Load at Center
Beam Fixed at One End - Uniformly Distributed Load
Beam Loading
Bend Allowance
Buttweld Under Axial and Transverse Loading