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Which method do you like for calculating deflection

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Hello List,

I'm wondering which method is your preference for calculating deflections
on two or more continuous unequal spans.  We have equations for equal
spans but not for unequal spans.

On two span continuous beams, I've used superposition to calculate the
middle reaction then summation of moments about the left reaction to
get the right reaction.  Then I use summation of vertical forces to get the
left reaction, followed by calculating the shears at each side of the
reactions, then the moments from the area of the shear diagrams.  I usually
then use the moments and back calculate a uniform load and then use
that uniform load in the deflection equation for a simple span beam.

I'm not loving this method.  I've been wondering about using a moment-area
method or an M/EI approach.  If any of you use either of these I would
really like to hear your approach.  If any of you use something else, will
you tell me what you like and why?  I would like a more elegant and
hopefully more precise method.

Thank you,
Lloyd Pack, P.E.
Advantage Consulting Engineers
www.advantage-engineers.com
(208)453-9356

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