An A-frame is a basic structure designed to bear a load in a lightweight economical manner. The simplest form of an A-frame is two similarly sized beams, arranged in a 45-degree or less angle, attached at the top. These materials are often wooden or steel beams attached at the top by rope, welding, gluing, or riveting.
Because they have only two "legs", A-frames are usually set up in rows so that they can have good stability. A saw horse is a good example of this structure. More complex structures will have a crossmember connecting the two materials in the middle to prevent the legs from bowing outwards under load, giving the structure the appearance of the capital letter A.
Other structures that use A-frames
- A-frame house
- A-frame contour measuring spirit level
- A frame camping tent
- A-frame complex, a motif in chemistry
- Folding ladder
- Double wishbone suspension (cars)
- Some suspension bridges
- Some swing bridges
- At the stern of ships for fishing or research
- The main building of Florida's Disney's Contemporary Resort, in which the Walt Disney World monorail has a station
- Some Wienerschnitzel and Whataburger restaurants use the A-frame
- The London Eye is supported by only one A-frame on one side.
- Some beam engines use an A-frame
- Media related to A-frame beam engines at Wikimedia Commons
- "A-frame" Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009