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What Are Structural Steel Beams?

June 08, 2016

What Are Structural Steel Beams?  

Structural steel beams offer superior durability over other materials. Steel is the backbone to a long lasting structure. The primary function of building structures is to support the roof, floors, and walls. There are two sub-structures that can be identified in a building structure and this includes vertical and horizontal elements. Vertical elements pertain to columns, walls, and lift cores. Horizontal elements include the floor and roof, supported by slabs, trusses, space frames, and more importantly by structural steel beams.

Why use structural steel?

Steel has become a predominant material in building construction because of its desirable physical properties that include strength, uniformity, versatility, and ease of use. When the material is put to use in the form of structural steel beams, it can withstand extensive deformation without failure under high tensile stresses. In commercial construction applications, steel is used in the implementation of environmentally friendly practices. This is due to the fact that structural steel beams can be recycled relatively easily, with minimal processing required.

What are beams used for?

Beams are a common term in engineering design. Beams span horizontally between supports and function to carry loads. Since the construction industry is challenged to use strong and stable materials for beams, structural steel became a popular material with the significant advantage of cost effectiveness. Structural steel beams can resist great stresses without fracture compared to beams made from wood or concrete. Stress resistance is very important for populated areas prone to earthquakes, strong winds, or extreme weather.

What other advantages does steel bring to the table?

Structural steel undergoes special coating processes in order to resist corrosion, rust, and fire. A big advantage of structural steel beams is their superior durability and fire resistance. If structural steel is used for beams, it will not be damaged by termites nor would it be subjected to corrosion. In residential structures, structural steel beams are typically used to support large amounts of weight and building extensions. Because of steel’s load bearing properties, it becomes resistant to leveraging forces.