Request a Quote

Message / Order details:

Tel. 416.751.5033
Fax. 416.751.0074
Since 1950


Structural Steel 101: Understanding I-Beams

August 19, 2021

One of the most common products in structural steel production is I-beams. Its specific design and structure makes highly capable of handling the heaviest loads. Hence, engineers extensively use these beams in their construction projects, particularly for forming columns.


In today’s blog, we will be going into detail about the specifics of I-beams and what makes them so popular in structural steel engineering:


Structural steel I-beams are made of two horizontal planes or flanges that are linked through the web or the vertical element of the beam. The formed cross-section of the flanges and the web resembles the letter “I”, hence the name. It is worth noting that though most of these beams are made from structural steel, some of them are also made from aluminum. However, the beams needed in making bridges, building frames, and other building structures are usually made from high-strength, low-alloy and carbon structural steel.


Structural steel construction beams come in a variety of weights, depths, flange widths, web thicknesses, and other dimensions for different applications. When ordering these beams, you have to classify them by their material and dimensions. You will need to take into account several factors to get the right beams for your application. These include the following.


  • Deflection: this refers to the specific thickness of the beam to prevent or minimize deformation.
  • Vibration: in order to avoid this, you also have to pick the right mass and stiffness of the beam.
  • Tension: this particular specification refers to the web thickness. A sufficient thickness is required for your applications to ensure the beam will not buckle or ripple when put under tension.
  • Bend: this involves determining the right strength of the beam’s cross-section so that it can handle yield stress.


These are just some of the factors that have to be considered so that the beams you select will be capable of handling the loads they are to be exposed to. When it comes to structural steel engineering, you need to work with trusted steel manufacturers like Scarboro Steel Works for the best results. Contact us today to learn more about our services.