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What are Steel Beams?

July 13, 2017

A steel beam is a structural steel product that is made to support heavy loads. Steel beams come in different sizes and types, hence their different applications in the construction of structures and buildings. The specifications of a structure determine the geometry, size and shape of beams. These beams can be straight or curved.

Types of Steel Beams

Types of steel beams based on support

  • Simply supported beams: These beams are supported at the ends and are free to rotate.
  • Fixed beams: These are supported at the ends but cannot rotate.
  • Over-hanging beams: This kind of beam extends beyond its support on one side.
  • Double over-hanging beams: These extend beyond the supports on both ends.
  • Continuous beam: Extends for two or more supports.
  • Cantilever: Fixed on one end but projecting outwards
  • Trussed beam: This beam is reinforced by a rod or a cable to make a truss.

Types of beams based on geometry

  • Straight beam: As the name suggests, it is straight.
  • Curved beam: This beam is curved in shape.
  • Tapered beam: This beam has a tapered cross section.

Types of beams based on cross sections

  • I-beam: This kind of beam is also known as the Standard American Beam or junior beam. It has an I-cross section.
  • T-beam: As suggested by the name, this beam has a T cross section.
  • Channels: Also known as C beams, these beams have a C cross section.
  • Wide flange beams: These are also known as H beams or W beams. They have flanges that are not tapered and are wider than standard I beams.

Uses of beams

  • They are used in supporting house frames and roof structures.
  • They are used to secure structures from harsh weather conditions.

Advantages of steel beams

  • They cannot be attacked by termites or rodents.
  • No breakages as steel can endure huge amounts of tensile stress.
  • They provide high-standard structural integrity and hence, safety.
  • They can be manufactured in your specific preferences.
  • They are resistant to corrosion and fire.