Highly Flexible Structures

Conventional structural analysis focuses on structures in which the elastic bending stiffness dominates. But for very slender structures the effect of weight can be important. This section describes a few systems in which gravity competes with flexural stiffness to determine equilibrium configurations:

This is a 'heavy' beam on an inclined foundation, polycarbonate provides a convenient material to illustrate highly flexible behavior.

and we can extend the analysis to large amplitude motion, for example if the root of the upright cantilever is subject to horizontal harmonic excitation:

and an animation corresponding to this (undamped) motion can be found here.