Steel Beam

A steel beam is an essential component of construction material, like a steel rod that is designed to provide structural support to any infrastructure.

There are usually various types and sizes of steel beams. And each sort of beam has its applications in the construction of structures and buildings. The design and architecture of a building determine which geometry, size, and shape of beams will be required. However, these beams can be straight or curved.

Steel Beams

What are Steel beams?

Any steady and skeletal thing that traverses over some space and is intended to uplift some load is named a ‘steel beam’. The beams add structural strength to the concrete buildings. They bear the burden of a heavy load of bricks upon them. For a more detailed introduction of steel beams, you can look out in What are steel beams?
Their design is specifically made in such a way that they can resist the compression of heavy load upon them. The most commonly used design of steel beam is I-beam. This was invented by Halbou, but an English engineer named Henry Grey tweaked it and perfected it.

The extreme force of heavy material is usually applied along the axis of the beams. The beams then transmit this pressure of load to their ends. At the ends, this load is supported by the columns of bricks or other concrete columns that include foundations and walls as well.

Underlying steel beams are iconic to contemporary engineering. In addition to the fact that they look incredible, yet steel’s solidarity makes it effective and timeless material.
The quality standards of such steel beams cannot be compromised anywhere in the world. The factors like shape, size, composition, and storage particles are of huge value in its making.

The commonly used types of steel beams include the I-beam, L-beam, and T-beam. All of these are available in regular, tapered, and semi-tapered. The manufacturing process of these shapes usually involves hot or cold rolling. However, some others are made by welding plates, which can be flat or bent.

Multiple types of structural steel beams are used in the construction of a single structure. Structural material, has many different forms, such as concrete, wood, clay, and mortar, etc. If the building will be built like a skyscraper, then steel beams are considered the best choice.

Conneting Steel beams

Most mechanical and business structures are developed with either primary steel beams or supported cement. During the plan interaction, it is the work of the specialists and engineers to recognize which of the two (or a mix of the two) will be most suitable for that specific building structure.

Numerous things should be viewed when settling on what development material will be utilized. These components incorporate accessibility, weight, resistance to fire, strength, maintainability, and constructability.

Mainly steel beams and other underlying steel items are normally covered with paints of high quality. These are used to ensure the steel surface against ecological risks like the breeze, downpour, and different kinds of outrageous climate. This is because troublesome natural conditions will in general contrarily affect structures around the world. Coatings, for example, epoxy and urethane are generally accessible and famously used to battle off the desolates of climate.

a steel beam is perhaps the most adaptable and flexible structure material on earth. Architects have used it to achieve incomprehensible building ideas such as building gigantic skyscrapers and broad bridges that have stayed for many years.

History of steel beams

Steel beams have a long history as explained in History of Steel beams yet you can get a glimpse of it here. From 1730 to 1830, the era had been the era of great invention, such as the construction of mass transit railway systems. These inventions usually involved three forms of ferrous metal. These metals were Wrought Iron, Cast Iron, and Steel.

Among these, wrought iron was the most commonly used metal by blacksmiths in the making of gates, railings, and door furniture, etc. At the beginning of 1837, Cast Iron became a commercially used metal to replace wood for items such as plows and textile machines but could not support structural needs. Steel was at this time was far more expensive to be used as a structural material.

Meanwhile, the experts in the construction field knew the benefits of steel for structural purposes. wrought iron remained a commercially used metal for construction purposes, because of its abundant availability and affordability. Henry Cort developed a puddling process, in which the molten iron was stirred to remove the impurities. This led to further usage of wrought iron, such as in ships hulls and then bridges.
Henry Bessemer was the father of modern steelmaking in 1856 who announced a detail of the process, which would eventually produce steel at more cost-effective rates and in larger quantities. Bessemer’s invention reduced the price of steel from 70 pounds to 10 pounds per ton.

Portrait of Henry Bessemer

After that Charles William Siemens invented the Open Hearth Furnace for steelmaking. Both the methods were readily accepted in the field of construction, and within a matter of twenty years steel had supplanted wrought iron as the main structural material. Eiffel Tower was the last structure built by wrought-iron beams in 1889.
In 20th Century America became the largest producer of steel annually and promoted exports of hot-rolled sections, i.e. Carnegie Beams, rolled by the Grey process. These were to become known as wide flanged beams (W) in the USA and universal beams (UB) in Britain, Australia, and South Africa.

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire ruined the structures of the city, whose buildings, were mostly made from timber. After this, fire-resistant materials were chosen as the building material such as cast-iron columns and wrought-iron beams for internal structural support.

Chicago then became overcrowded that forced the architects to think about Skyscraper buildings. Such buildings required stronger beams for the support of dozens of upper stories in them. The Home Insurance Building was built in 1885 and was 10 stories high. It was designed by William Le Baron Jenny; who introduced a steel skeletal frame in it.

The success of this building promoted more skyscrapers in Chicago and then New York. The trend fostered the growth of steel beam production, at a large scale during the 20th century.

Historically, beams were composed of timber, but later on, mass-scale production of steel replaced it. Steel beams offered greater strength and fire resistance to the buildings.

What are the Types of Steel beams?

Very few know about the various sorts and employments of steel beams. These are incredibly critical and essential for the development of any structure or construction, like bridges, and so on. They arrive in a wide scope of sizes and shapes as described in what are Types of steel beams? Contingent upon a few distinct variables, the right ones for your application will be useful for your development purposes.

Each extraordinary steel beam offers some remarkable properties that guarantee you get precisely the degree of help you need for your sort of development. The arrangement of steel shaft relies upon the calculation and how they are upheld. They can be both bent and straight, nonetheless, the most well-known ones utilized are straight beams.

To get a glimpse of the maximum capacity of structural steel, one should comprehend its different shapes, sizes, and its likely installments. Here is an outline of the numerous forms of structural steel.
Multiple Types of Beams

S-Shaped or American Standard Beam

The American standard beam is mostly known as an S pillar. This contains a rolled section with two parallel flanges, all connected by a web. The flanges are considerably narrow. The assignment of the beam offers the manufacturer data about every unit’s width and weight. For instance, S10x50 addresses a beam that is 10 inches down and weighs 50 pounds for every foot.

L-Shaped or Angled beam

Angled beam has an L shape, along with two legs that meet up at a 90-degree point. This beam comes in equivalent or inequivalent leg sizes.
An inconsistent leg L beam may have one leg of 2x2x0.5 and one leg of 6x3x0.5, for instance. L pillars are commonly utilized in floor frameworks due to the decrease in depth.

H-Shaped or Bearing Pile

These beams help at the point when developers can’t discover a construction on a shallow establishment, so they utilize bearing piles to plan a profound foundational framework. Bearing piles are H-molded to successfully move loads through the pile to the tip. Bearing piles are suitable in thick soils that offer the most resistance at the tip. A single beam can support over 1,000 tons of weight.

C-Shaped or Channel

The Structural C channels are also known as C beams and they have a C-shaped cross-section. They possess top and bottom flanges, which are connected by the web. These are affordable and cost-effective products that can help in the development of short- to medium-span structures. Channel beams were initially designed for bridges, but are successful and productive for the production of marine piers and other structural applications.

Hollow Steel Section (HSS)

HSS is a metal-based structure of a beam that is hollow from within and possesses a tubular cross-section. Its shapes can be square, rectangular, circular, or elliptical. The rounded HSS structures have radiuses that are about twice the thickness of the wall. The most common application of HSS structures is in welded steel frames in which they experience weight from different directions.


An I Beam, also called H beam. It is a universal beam that has two horizontal elements, namely the flanges and has a vertical element as the web. The web can bear the heavy load. Whereas, the horizontal flanges tolerate the bending movements of a force applied upon them.
This kind of beam is the most effective one in providing extra strength to the standing structure of the building. Therefore, it is widely used in the construction industry, in a variety of sizes.

Tee Beam

The tee beam has a T-shaped cross-section and has the ability to bear the heavy load. It has a ■■■■■■ at the top of it, that is connected to the web below.
These beams can hold a lot of burden upon them but they lag when compared with I-beams. Tee beams can take up large loads but don’t have the bottom ■■■■■■ like that of the I Beam. This gives it an inability in some applications.

Custom Shapes

The present designers are not restricted to utilizing just the most widely recognized shapes. Custom metal creation makes the way for a range of extraordinary primary steel shapes for this task. Using best-in-class apparatuses and strategies, for example, water stream, laser, and plasma cutting, metal fabricators can shape steel into many shapes for explicit necessities. On the off chance that you can dream it, chances are an accomplished metal fabricator can make it.

• Steel beams come in different sizes and shapes and therefore have different applications. Engineers use different kinds of beams for different purposes.

How are the steel beams installed?

The typical layout for the installation of beams is ‘fixed one’. In a fixed Installation, the beam is fixed at both of its ends and offers resistance to the rotating force applied to it. However, there are other installations of beams as well. Some of these details are down below: -

In a Simply supported model where both the ends of the beams are supported with some supporting base. But they can rotate freely.

  • In an Overhanging model in which they are overhanging their supports at one or both ends.
  • In a Continuous model in which beams extend over more than two supports.
  • In a Cantilevered model in which beams are supported only at one end.
  • In a Double over-hanging model, these extend beyond the supports on both ends.
  • In a Continuous beam model, beams encompass two or more supports.
  • As Cantilever, beams are fixed on one end but projecting outwards.
  • The Trussed beam is reinforced by a rod or a cable to make a truss.

Steel beams have multiple installation models, which are used as per the design of the building project.

Design of Steel beams.

Civil engineers learn to design beams according to satisfactory standards in their academic and professional careers. The steel beams may seem very simple in appearance but they require a detailed and intense method in their design phase.

Basic structure of steel beams

But designing is not as complicated as you may think. These essential 6 Steps must be followed to design most steel beams:

1. Material

This step demands that the designer must choose the grade of the steel while designing a particular shape of the beam. I-Beam is generally the most popular one in construction projects, and it has W Shape. This is made from Grade A992 steel

2. Shape

There are wide-ranging types of steel shapes and here you have to select one from your design perspective. Though I-shape beams are most commonly used yet even they have a lot of types. For instance, if you choose a W6X15. It is 6″ tall and weighs 15 lbs.

3. Span

The span is the distance between the endpoints or support points of the beam. A beam is regularly a solitary range upheld at both ends. In any case, that is not generally the situation. Beams can be upheld anyplace along their length or they can be cantilever past their end upholds.

4. Bracing

Bracing cannot be avoided at all as it is the most important factor in determining the capacity of a beam. Bracing is an inconceivably significant, yet frequently disregarded part of the beam’s design plan. At the point when a part is twisted, compression and tension powers are invoked. For a basic range beam, the upper area of the beam will be in compression. It is these pressure powers that can make a pillar clasped out-of-plane.

5. Load

Now it is time to decide about the load your beam is going to bear. The load is determined by load type and load case.

6. Design

The designer has to choose the method of beam design in this phase. US uses two common methods of beam design such as ASD and LRFD, either of the two has to be chosen.

To design a steel beam, it is necessary to undertake all of the essential steps which can help maintain the standard quality of the beam.

Why are Steel beams so Important?

The production of steel beams as a structural material and its specialist manufacturing industry has assumed a significant role in the development of the industrialized world. Also, it has assisted with making our advanced lifestyle as explained in why are steel beams so important? Without underlying steel, the structure of the rail routes, the structure of scaffolds, the opening up of mines, the development of processing plants for the assembling of merchandise, and the creation and transmission of energy couldn’t have ever advanced to the point we are at today.

Uses of beams

These are structural components that are by and large used to oppose sidelong loads. Anyway, more often than not we envision beams as an even component yet any piece of a construction which is stacked horizontally or opposite to its axis can be considered as a beam. For instance, Columns are by and large planned as pressure part yet on the off chance is that there is the probability of sidelong burden application in the future, it ought to likewise be planned as a beam.

This structure is extremely helpful in taking on twisting burdens. Anyway, the beam’s cross-section and its direction are likewise exceptionally helpful in deciding the tolerable burden. For instance, I-segment is effective in opposing unidirectional bowing however assuming the direction is changed to H-segment, it isn’t pretty much as productive as I-segment.

There are numerous different shapes like box area is utilized in bridge development and pre-focused on solid constructions, round and hollow cylinders are utilized in rooftop supports as they are effective in opposing bowing burdens toward any path, L-segment and T-segment and C-segment are for the most part utilized in private structures and lofts.

The entire thought of utilizing the beam segment is to make the structure firm.

A 'beam" is a norm, unbending, load-bearing component utilized in foundational layout work. They have innumerable applications, going from easy to complex. Specialists utilize the bar idea in the mechanical examination.

Without steel beams for underlying bridges, structures and houses would handily fall. These profound, planted foundational components make up the establishment of each development project.

Benefits of Steel beams

Here are some essential benefits of steel beams:-

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Each development project on the planet uses steel beams as an essential development segment. Steel is an extremely regular mineral which makes it simple for development organizations to get to a stockpile of steel parts anyplace on the planet. When the engineering configuration or design of the structure is settled, the steel parts are requested immediately.

2. The Foundational capacity

The primary trustworthiness of any structure would be undermined without steel beams. structural steel material is helpful in all building foundations. It is a typical material used for the foundations of each building today. It is pushed into deep soils underground to maintain the integrity of the building.

3. Transportation Ease

Steel is weighty. However, it has become a standard payload that can be moved across distances with ■■■■■■■■ vehicles or automobiles. Moreover, experienced fabricators can ■■■■■ them as a matter, of course, utilizing qualified and affirmed welding procedures that ensure steadiness and steadfastness.

4. Sustainability

Interest in eco-accommodating structures and properties is on the ascent. Steel turns into the most available and supportable material for any development project. Steel can be recycled, which makes destruction extends a monstrous wellspring of reused material for new development projects everywhere in the world.

5. Rust-resistance:

Metals do not get rusted as easily as wood. Especially, the synthetic arrangement of steel beams permits them to oppose rust and consumption. Therefore, individuals can profit more from structures worked with steel. But they do rust over time.

6. Strength

The motivation behind why steel beam is a preferable decision with regards to development work is that it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is solid to such an extent that it can endure higher pressure than wood or stone.

Steel beams have a lot of advantages as they have revolutionized the engineering methodology. These are durable because termites or rodents cannot ■■■■■■■ them. They protect the structure from breaking and are also fire resistant.

Disadvantages of Steel Beams

Steel is an amalgam of iron. This makes it vulnerable to erosion. This issue can be addressed somewhat by using efficient engineering practices.

It causes high maintenance costs as it must be painted to make its consumption safe. There are broad insulating costs required as steel isn’t flame resistant. In high temperatures, steel loses its properties.
Clasping is an issue with steel structures. As the length of the steel section expands the odds of clasping likewise increments.
Steel has a high extension rate with evolving temperatures. This can be inconvenient to the general construction. Here are some of its disadvantages: -

Steel Beam: Disadvantages

• Risk of fire:

a steel beam cannot resist fire like a concrete beam. Structures having steel beams are at more risk from fires.

• Maintenance cost:

All together for a steel beam to oppose consumption and rust, standard upkeep against rust covering could be required. This is the thing that makes these kinds of beams marginally more costly to keep up.

Steel beams are by and large more costly than cement and wood beams. While steel beams cost more per lineal foot than wood beams, they additionally regularly require more work costs since welders are required for establishment.

• Rusting:

Steel beams can hold dampness and build up the humidity in construction, while wood beams can ingest it. This can prompt potential issues including rusting. Wood, interestingly, will not rust yet can prompt potential termite issues.

• Weight:

Steel beams are a lot weightier than wood beams and are consequently ■■■■■■ to handle during work. The significant burden of steel makes the beams more testing to move than wood beams.

• Steel beams can be useful on one hand but have a lot of disadvantages in long term. These disadvantages include rusting, cost overhead, and other accidental risks.


Steel beams are the most popular construction-based component that helps in adding strength to construction projects. A steel beam is an exceptionally flexible material that can be formed into any shape. Primary steel beams are shaped or created into long constructions called underlying steel beams. These bars are steady structural things that range a region and are intended to help uplift the weight as explained in this article. Underlying steel beams and channels are the structural blocks for different primary steel frameworks. A wide assortment of beams, channels, angles, and so forth are accessible in different shapes, sizes, and purposes. Contingent upon the presence of underlying steel beams, they are named I-beams, H-beams, C-beams, HSS, and so forth. Steel beams have multiple pros and cons. They have an enormous number of applications in construction projects.


Here I answered some frequently asked questions which may help you get a clear understanding of steel beams.

1. What are steel beams used for?

Steel beams have significant uses in the primary steel development industry. They are frequently utilized as basic help brackets or the fundamental system in structures. Steel I beam guarantee a design’s strength and backing.

2. What are the different types of steel beams?

• Universal beam.
• Trussed beam.
• Hip beam.
• Composite beam.
• Open web beam.
• Lattice beam.
• Beam bridge.
• Chilled beam.

3. How far can steel I beam span?

The span that an I-beam has the ability to offer is approximately 75 meters (or around 246 feet) in length.

4. How much does a 24-foot steel beam cost?

A 24-foot steel I-beam can cost from $145 – $430 while H-beam can cost around $265 – $385.

5. How is the steel beam made?

I beam are for the most part made in rolling operations where the rectangular stock is steadily distorted until the last shape is accomplished.
Different states of beams will follow a similar cycle, except if expulsion is discovered to be more productive. I’m certain at times they are cast or cut from sheet or plate however casting would not yield a role as solid of a bar.

6. What are the different applications of H and I steel beams?

H-beams are used for platforms, ship and dock building, and bridges. I- beams are used for lightweight applications such as commercial buildings, etc.

7. Which Is Stronger, An H-Beam Or An I-Beam?

In case you’re worried about an I-beam’s capacity to convey your load, you might need to consider changing to an H-beam. H-bar upholds frequently have a thicker steel web, which means they’re more fit for conveying huge burdens. H-beams are additionally inherent in a way that conveys load all the more equitably with regards to twist, yet are less impervious to pull and direct pressing factor.
More often than not, utilizing H-beam will eliminate development time and expenses. They likewise can take more power than I-beam can. In any case, I-beam is frequently better if you need to have lightweight primary work and on the off chance that you need protection from the pull. If you don’t know which pillar would be better for your venture, asking a primary designer can help.

Read More

What are Steel beams?

What are Types of Steel beams?

Why are Steel beams so Important?

History of Steel beams

The I-beam, also called the H-beam, wide beam, W-beam, universal beam (UB), and rolled steel joist, is the shape of choice for structural steel builds. The design and structure of the I beam makes it uniquely capable of handling a variety of loads. Engineers use I beams widely in construction, forming columns and beams of many different lengths, sizes, and specifications. Understanding the I beam is a basic necessity for the modern civil engineer or construction work. The I beam consists of two horizontal planes, known as flanges, connected by one vertical component, or the web. The shape of the flanges and the web create an “I” or an “H” cross-section. Most I beams use structural steel, but some are made from aluminum. Infra-metal constructions, such as carbon structural steel and high-strength low-alloy structural steel, have different applications – such as building framing, bridges, and general structural purposes. I beams come in a variety of weights, section depths, ■■■■■■ widths, web thicknesses, and other specifications for different purposes. When ordering I beams, buyers classify them by their material and dimensions. For example, an 11x20 I beam would have an 11-inch depth and a weight of 20 pounds per foot. Builders choose specific sizes of I beams according to the needs of the particular building. A builder has to take many factors into account, such as:

  1. Deflection. The builder will choose a thickness to minimize deformation of the beam.
  2. Vibration. A certain mass and stiffness are selected to prevent vibrations in the building.
  3. Bend. The strength of the I beam’s cross-section should accommodate yield stress.
  4. Buckling. The flanges are chosen to prevent buckling locally, sideways, or torsionally.
  5. Tension. The builder chooses an I beam with a web thickness that won’t fail, buckle, or ripple under tension.
    The design of the I beam makes it capable of bending under high stress instead of buckling. To achieve this, most of the material in the I beam is located in the regions along the axial fibers – the location that experiences the most stress. Ideal beams have minimal cross-section area, requiring the least amount of material possible while still achieving the desired shape. I beams have a variety of important uses in the structural steel construction industry. They are often used as critical support trusses, or the main framework, in buildings. Steel I beams ensure a structure’s integrity with relentless strength and support. The immense power of I beams reduces the need to include numerous support structures, saving time and money, as well as making the structure more stable. The versatility and dependability of I beams make them a coveted resource to every builder. I beams are the choice shape for structural steel builds because of their high functionality. The shape of I beams makes them excellent for unidirectional bending parallel to the web. The horizontal flanges resist the bending movement, while the web resists the shear stress. They can take various types of loads and shear stresses without buckling. They are also cost effective, since the “I” shape is an economic design that doesn’t use excess steel. With a wide variety of I beam types, there is a shape and weight for virtually any requirement. The versatile functionality of the I beam is what gives it the alternate name universal beam, or UB. When you need I beams for any type of building application, look to steel beam fabrication for fast, efficient, and affordable order fulfillment. Steel beam fabrication takes a lot of experience, knowledge, hard work, and specialized tools to be successful. Don’t trust just any company with your I beams. I-beams are commonly made of structural steel but may also be formed from aluminium or other materials. A common type of I-beam is the rolled steel joist (RSJ)—sometimes incorrectly rendered as reinforced steel joist . British and European standards also specify Universal Beams (UBs) and Universal Columns (UCs). These sections have parallel flanges, as opposed to the varying thickness of RSJ flanges which are seldom now rolled in the UK. Parallel flanges are easier to connect to and do away with the need for tapering washers. UCs have equal or near-equal width and depth and are more suited to being oriented vertically to carry axial load such as columns in multi-storey construction, while UBs are significantly deeper than they are wide are more suited to carrying bending load such as beam elements in floors. A beam under bending sees high stresses along the axial fibers that are farthest from the neutral axis. To prevent failure, most of the material in the beam must be located in these regions. Comparatively little material is needed in the area close to the neutral axis. This observation is the basis of the I-beam cross-section; the neutral axis runs along the center of the web which can be relatively thin and most of the material can be concentrated in the flanges. The ideal beam is the one with the least cross-sectional area (and hence requiring the least material) needed to achieve a given section modulus. Since the section modulus depends on the value of the moment of inertia, an efficient beam must have most of its material located as far from the neutral axis as possible. The farther a given amount of material is from the neutral axis, the larger is the section modulus and hence a larger bending moment can be resisted. When designing a symmetric I-beam to resist stresses due to bending the usual starting point is the required section modulus. If the allowable stress is {\displaystyle \sigma {\mathrm {max} }}\sigma _{{{\mathrm {max}}}} and the maximum expected bending moment is {\displaystyle M{\mathrm {max} }}M_{{{\mathrm {max}}}}, then the required section modulus is given by[3]

{\displaystyle S={\cfrac {M_{\mathrm {max} }}{\sigma _{\mathrm {max} }}}={\cfrac {I}{c}}}S={\cfrac {M_{{{\mathrm {max}}}}}{\sigma _{{{\mathrm {max}}}}}}={\cfrac {I}{c}}

where {\displaystyle I}I is the moment of inertia of the beam cross-section and {\displaystyle c}c is the distance of the top of the beam from the neutral axis (see beam theory for more details).

For a beam of cross-sectional area {\displaystyle a}a and height {\displaystyle h}h, the ideal cross-section would have half the area at a distance {\displaystyle h/2}h/2 above the cross-section and the other half at a distance {\displaystyle h/2}h/2 below the cross-section.[3] For this cross-section

{\displaystyle I={\cfrac {ah^{2}}{4}}~;~~S=0.5ah}I={\cfrac {ah^{2}}{4}}~;~~S=0.5ah
However, these ideal conditions can never be achieved because material is needed in the web for physical reasons, including to resist buckling. For wide-■■■■■■ beams, the section modulus is approximately which is superior to that achieved by rectangular beams and circular beams.