Midspan Deflection | Deflections in Simply Supported Beams

In simply supported beams, the tangent drawn to the elastic curve at the point of maximum deflection is horizontal and parallel to the unloaded beam. It simply means that the deviation from unsettling supports to the horizontal tangent is equal to the maximum deflection. If the simple beam is symmetrically loaded, the maximum deflection will occur at the midspan.

Finding the midspan deflection of a symmetrically loaded simple beam is straightforward because its value is equal to the maximum deflection. In unsymmetrically loaded simple beam however, the midspan deflection is not equal to the maximum deflection. To deal with unsymmetrically loaded simple beam, we will add a symmetrically placed load for each load actually acting on the beam, making the beam symmetrically loaded. The effect of this transformation to symmetry will double the actual midspan deflection, making the actual midspan deflection equal to one-half of the midspan deflection of the transformed symmetrically loaded beam.