A bracket is an architectural element: a structural or decorative member. It can be made of wood, stone, plaster, slotted shelf brackets metal, or other mediums. It projects from a wall, usually to carry weight and sometimes to “strengthen an angle”. A corbel and console are types of brackets.
In mechanical engineering a bracket is any intermediate component for fixing one part to another, usually larger, part. What makes a bracket a bracket is that it is intermediate between the two and fixes the one to the other. This shelf bracket is effectively the same as the architectural bracket: a vertical arm mounted on the wall, and a horizontal arm projecting outwards for another element to be attached on top of it or below it.
To enable the outstretched arm to support a greater weight, a bracket will often have a third arm running diagonally between the horizontal and vertical arms, or indeed the bracket may be a solid triangle. Common examples that are often not really L-shaped at all but attach a smaller component to a larger and are still called brackets are the components that attach a bicycle lamp to a bicycle, and the rings that attach pipes to walls. Brackets can support many architectural items, including a wall, balcony, parapets, eaves, the spring of an arch, beams, pergola roof, window box, or a shelf.
The term is also used to describe a shelf designed to hold a statue. In adjustable shelving systems, the bracket may be in two parts, with the load-bearing horizontal support fitting into a wall-mounted slotted vertical metal strip.
Brackets also are an element in the systems used to mount modern facade cladding systems onto the outside of contemporary buildings, as well as interior panels. Brackets are used in traditional timber framing including the support of a jettied floor which can be carved. Brackets are often in the form of architectural sculptures with reliefs of objects and scrolls.
Depending on their material, decorated ones can be carved, cast, or molded. They can be of cast stone or resin-foam materials with faux finishes for use on new buildings in historic revival styles of architecture. Some brackets and corbels are only ornamental, and serve no actual supporting purpose.
Definition of Bracket by Merriam-Webster”. Archived from the original on 23 February 2005.