# 7.1: Introduction

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The serviceability requirements limit the maximum deflection that is allowed in a structural element subjected to external loading. Excessive deflection may result in the discomfort of the occupancy of a given structure and can also mar its aesthetics. Most codes and standards provide the maximum allowable deflection for dead loads and superimposed live loads. To ensure that the possible maximum deflection that could occur under a given loading is within acceptable value, the structural component is usually analyzed for deflection, and the determined maximum deflection value is compared with the specified values in the codes and standards of practice.

There are several methods of determining the deflection of a beam or frame. The choice of a particular method is dependent on the nature of the loading and the type of problem being solved. Some of the methods used in this chapter include the method of double integration, the method of singularity function, the moment-area method, the unit-load method, the virtual work method, and the energy methods.