Types of Support in Structures

In this article you will learn about different types of support used in structure. There are basically three types of support and these are roller, pinned and fixed support. There is a fourth support also called as simple support, it is generally not used in structures. Every support has its own field of application. Supports are used in structures to provide it stability and strength.

The various types of supports that are used in structures are:

1. Roller Support
2. Fixed Support
3. Pinned Support &
4. Simple Support

Roller Support

Roller Support

It is a support which is free to rotate and translate along the surface on which they rest. The surface on which the roller supports are install may be horizontal, vertical and inclined to any angle.

  • The roller supports has only one reaction, this reaction acts perpendicular to the surface and away from it. The reaction offered by the roller support is shown in the figure given above.
  • The roller supports are unable to resists the lateral loads (the lateral loads are the live loads whose main components are horizontal forces). They resist only vertical loads.
  • The best example of roller support is the roller skates. The roller skates resist the vertical loads of the persons standing on it. When the lateral loads are applied by the persons, then it starts translating. The translation is due to its inability to resists the lateral loads.

Pinned Support

Pinned Support

It is a types of support which resist the horizontal and vertical loads but are unable to resists the moment.

  • The pinned support has two support reactions and these are vertical and horizontal reactions. It allows the structural member to rotate but does not allow translating in any direction. The pinned support allows the rotation only in one direction and resists the rotation in any other direction.
  • The reactions of the pinned support are shown in the figure given above.
  • The pinned support is also known as hinge support.
  • The best example where we can see the pinned support is the doors and windows of our houses and our knee joint. Here the rotation happens in one direction but the translation motion is restricted.

Fixed Support

Fixed Support

It is a support which is capable of resisting all types of loads i.e. horizontal, vertical as well as moments. The fixed support does not allow the rotation and translation motion to the structural members.

  • The fixed support is also called as rigid support. 
  • The reactions acting in the fixed support is shown in the figure given above.
  • A flagpole fixed in the concrete base is the best example of fixed support. The other examples of the fixed support are electric pole in the streets, a bracket on the wall, and all the riveted and welded joints in the steel etc.
  • It provides the greater stability to the structure as compared with all other supports.

Simple Support

Simple support

The simple support is used where the structural member has to rest on the external structure. These types of support are not used widely in daily life. It is similar to the roller support. 

  • The simple supports resist only vertical forces or loads but not horizontal forces.
  • A pan of wood resting on two concrete blocks is the best example of a simple support.

Summary of Different Types of Support in Tabular Form

Types of support
This is all about various types of support such as roller, pinned, fixed and simple support. If you find anything missing or incorrect than comment us. And if you find this article useful than share it.

Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra is a blogger by passion and Mechanical Engineer by profession. He has completed his B.Tech degree in mechanical engineering in the year 2015. He loves to share his knowledge and help others.

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