Fully Loaded: Understanding Loads in Engineering

Commercial FacilityWalk downtown and appreciate your surroundings. Marvelling at the skyscrapers, one question must have crossed your mind: why are they not falling over? The answer is obvious: engineering. But if you want to delve deeper into it, you will find out that it has something to do with loads.

In the engineering parlance, structural loads, or more commonly known as loads, are forces that interact with the structure. Computing the amount of these forces is important in selecting the right materials and the most appropriate design and building method. Calculating loads also help in gauging the costs of building, of course with the help of estimating software for civil engineering, according to Pronamics.

Below are some of the things you need to know about loads:

Types of Loads

It is important to note that there are different types of forces that act on a structure. Tension is perhaps the most common type. It is the force that pulls apart the body. Shear or shearing forces, on the other hand, is the force that pushes one section of a structural component in a specific direction, and the other section in the opposite direction.

Compression is the type of force that pushes both ends of a structural component inward or to one another. Bending is the force that acts on a horizontal body. Twisting, on the other hand, pushes a vertical body in an angular direction.

Structural Components to Bear Them

To counter or neutralise all these forces, engineers and designers come up with certain structural components. For instance, to counter the compressing forces that act on a horizontal component, engineers will put vertical members, such as columns, underneath it.

To transmit perpendicular forces, engineers will use beams. Walls are also structural components that transmit forces to the floors.

If you want to build a home or a commercial facility, such as warehouses, keep in mind the importance of loads. It is also important that you consult an engineer and an architect.