In a simply supported beam, the maximum deflection induced by the applied loading always approximates the mid-span value if it is not equal to it. A number of standard frequently used load cases for which the elastic deformation is required are given in
In many cases beams support complex load arrangements which do not lend themselves either to an individual load case or to a combination of the load cases given in Appendix 2. Provided that deflection is not the governing design criterion, a calculation which gives an approximate answer is usually adequate. The equivalent UDL method is a useful tool for estimating the deflection in a simply supported beam with a complex loading.
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