Elements of Structures

A structure can be defined as a group of members connected to each other to resist loads. building, ship, aircraft, and bridges are an example of structures. the structure’s composed of several structural elements, each element will have a specific function, those elements will act together to resist and transfer loads safely, any damage may cause structural failure. I will mention the most common structural elements:

  • Tie road(bracing strut): this type of elements usually subjected to tensile forces, Tie road can be rod, bar or angle, due to their function they are slender.


  • Beams: beams are horizontal members used to carry vertical loads. beams can be classified according to support condition as shown in figure 2.

suppoty-6344229 Beams are designed to resist bending moment and shear forces. beam materials can be metals or reinforced concrete. when metal beam used, the cross-section shape in figure 3 will be the most effective to resist bending moment through flanges and shear using the web, this cross-section is known as “wide flange”. i2bsec-8199131
Concrete beams are used also, rectangular shape is common for concrete beams, concrete is weak at tension, for this reason reinforcing steel is used in tension zones to compensate for concrete weakness, the concrete beam can be cast at fields or at factories and then transported to construction fields and this known as a precast concrete beam.

  • columns: columns used mainly to resist axial compressive loads and in some cases bending moments, members resist both axial compressive force and bending moments know as beam-column, columns can be made of concrete or metal, circular and square cross-section are common for concrete, wide flange and tubes cross-section are common for metals.