Figure 1. A side view of a simply supported beam (top) bending under a distributed lateral load (bottom).
This article is about the structural behavior. For other meanings see Bending (disambiguation).
In engineering mechanics, bending (also known as flexure) characterizes the behavior of a structural element subjected to a lateral load. A structural element subjected to bending is known as a beam.
A closet rod sagging under the weight of clothes on clothes hangers is an example of a beam experiencing bending.