Structural steel is versatile and flexible. Engineers use it to do things people otherwise thought impossible. From expansive bridges to skyscrapers, this steel will remain useful in the days to come.
To wrap one’s head around how important the steel is, one must know the potential uses and the possible ways in which it can fold. One of the most common uses is in the making of steel beam products. Steel beams are crucial to any construction project.
They meet various requirements during construction including structural and design support. The beams are divided according to their geometric properties, and each of them offers different features. They include:
The I-Beam and L-Beam
I-beams are mostly used in applications with tapered flanges. The I-shaped beam can come in two styles. The parallel flange can have a wide surface, or the other option can have a slope in the inner surface of the rim.
The second option is typically called ‘S-beam.’ In the S-beam, the flanges will be joined by a web to form a narrow beam. The beam will be designated in such a way that values tell the builder where they can use the beam.
The L-beam, on the other hand, is shaped like an L. Two legs come together to form a 90-degree angle. These beams are also commonly referred to as angle beams, and they come in unequal and equal leg sizes. L-beams mostly serve floor systems because they have low structural depths.
The W and H beam
W-beams resemble I-beams, but they have wide flanges. The vertical flange in the beam makes it ideal for use in residential constructions.
The H-beam is a heavier version of the I-beam. It looks like the letter ‘H’ in the capital, but the flanges are long. Most people use the term as an interchangeable option for the I-beam. However, H-beams have webs and often, a consistent thickness along their length.
H-beams are perfect for use in structures that have shallow foundations. They help in designing a more in-depth foundation system for the structures. The shape improves the effectiveness of load transfer from the pile.
H-beams will work well if the building is located in dense soil. The tip offers the most resistance such that one beam can bear over 1,000 tons.
Channels, Tees, and Pipes
Channels are C-shaped beams. They have bottom and top flanges connected by a web. These beams are a cost-effective option for someone constructing a structure meant to last for a short service life. Originally, C-beams were used in bridges, but now they are popular in marine applications that support light loads.
Pipes are essential for increasing the stability and strength of a structure. They are cylindrical and tend to be hollow. Engineers use these pipes in gas, water and oil industry projects alongside tees.
As the name suggests, tees are T-shaped. They can withstand high loads, but one needs to solve the issue of stability.
Thanks to technology, engineers have a wide choice of beams. They may even go out of the discussed types to make others. Techniques using water jets, plasma cutting, and lasers make it possible to fabricate custom beam shapes.