## Second moment of area (I)

The **second moment of area** is also known as the **moment of inertia** of a shape. It is directly related to the area of material in the cross-section and the displacement of that area from the centroid. Once the centroid is located, the more important structural properties of the shape can be calculated. The axis that determines the centroid is also known as the **neutral axis (N/A)**.

The second moment of area is a measure of the 'efficiency' of a shape to resist bending caused by loading. A beam tends to change its shape when loaded. The second moment of area is a **measure of a shape's resistance to change**.

Certain shapes are better than others at resisting bending as demonstrated in the diagram. Clearly, the orientation of the shape also influences bending.