Statics - Types of support

The point at which a body is fixed is called a support. The supports are structural elements that restrict the movement of a body in one or more directions. The supports also transmit the reaction forces that allows the body to be in static equilibrium.

You will see examples of 2d supports (in a two-dimensional plane) in the solved problems of Statics. We have represented here the most common ones along with the reaction they exert on a body.

Simple support:

A simple support restricts movement only in one direction, so it only has one reaction (or normal), which is perpendicular.

If the body is resting on the ground, the reaction is represented perpendicular to the ground (a). If the body is supported in a corner the reaction is represented perpendicular to the body (b).

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Support with friction:

If there is friction between the ground and the object, the reaction is represented as in case (a) of the previous figure and the friction force acts in the opposite direction to the relative displacement of the body with respect to the ground.

Joint:

It is a support that allows the rotation of the body but restricts its displacement in two dimensions. The reaction has therefore two components that are calculated independently. Their directions depend on the rest of the forces that act on the body in each particular situation.

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Cable or rope:

When a body hangs from a short rope (its mass or curvature is not considered), the tension of the rope will be acting on it.

In these pages you will find solved problems of static equilibrium where the different types of support represented in the previous figures will be used.

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