**Deflection (engineering)**

In engineering, **deflection** is the degree to which a structural element is displaced under a load. It may refer to an angle or a distance.

The deflection distance of a member under a load is directly related to the slope of the deflected shape of the member under that load and can be calculated by integrating the function that mathematically describes the slope of the member under that load. Deflection can be calculated by standard formula (will only give the deflection of common beam configurations and load cases at discrete locations), or by methods such as "virtual work", "direct integration", "Castigliano's method", "Macaulay's method" or the "direct stiffness method" amongst others. The deflection of beam elements is usually calculated on the basis of the Eulerâ€“Bernoulli beam equation while that of a plate or shell element is calculated using plate or shell theory.

An example of the use of deflection in this context is in building construction. Architects and engineers select materials for various applications. The beams used for frame work are selected on the basis of deflection, amongst other factors.

Read more about Deflection (engineering): End Load Cantilever Beams, Centre Loaded Beam, Intermediately Loaded Beams, Structural Deflection

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