The idea of deflection, coming from the Latin word deflexio, is used in the field of physics to name the act of deviating the direction of a current or fluid. This is the definition provided by the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ), although the concept has several uses.
In the field of engineering, deflection is known as the deformation registered by an element from the application of a force. Deflection, in this frame, is generated by internal bending.
It is possible to calculate the deflection according to the laws that link forces and displacements through a geometric or energy method . Deflection is a structural response to load applications.
The concept of structural response is located in the field of structural analysis, that is, the application of the equations of resistance of materials (the discipline of several fields of engineering that is dedicated to the study of the mechanics of deformable solids through models simplified) to find the internal stresses (also called section stresses, these are physical magnitudes used to calculate prismatic pieces, sheets and plates), stresses and deformations that directly affect a resistant structure, such as skeletons or buildings.
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In this framework, it is possible to estimate the deflections using different calculation methods, some of which are the following:
* of real work : this is the method that takes advantage of the principle of conservation of energy, which ensures that the total energy in any physical system that is isolated does not vary over time, although it can change its form. The energy produced by the external work must be equal to that of the internal work that deforms the product due to the efforts generated by the loads. This method is limited to the analysis of a single unknown;
* Castigliano : is the partial derivative of elastic deformation, as a function of force. The basis of this method used to estimate deflections is found in Castigliano’s theorems, created by the Italian engineer Carlo Alberto Castigliano in the 19th century;
* of virtual work : it is the one that offers more versatility within the group of those that are traditionally used for the evaluation of elastic deflections. It can only be applied to cases in which overlapping is allowed;
* of the double integration : it serves to observe the equation of curvature of the beam, which is derived from analyzing the differential of the elastic line of the same in pure bending;
* from area of moments : used to calculate deflections of beams and frames, as well as slopes;
* of the conjugate beam : basically, it consists of exchanging the deflections and slopes that occur on a beam for an applied load system. Since it does not require knowing a zero tangent point in advance, it allows you to find out the deflection and slope at any point.
The concept of deflection is also employed in psychology. In this case, the deflection works as a defense mechanism that consists of deflecting or avoiding a contact, an emotion or a sensation. If a certain situation causes stress to an individual, the subject can appeal to deflection to flee from this situation and not be forced to face it.
Deflection causes the person to carry out an action that they do not need or that allows them not to do something that they really want to do. Everything to block what he does not want to experience.
Finally, in the field of botany, the notion of deflection is used to refer to the downward inclination of one or more organs. A deflected flower exhibits its crooked stalk.