Why Is an I-Beam Stronger Than a Solid Beam?
Why Is an I-Beam Stronger Than a Solid Beam?
When you consider the physical properties of steel, it’s unsurprising that it is the most-used metal in new construction today. Steel can withstand the elements, bear significant weight loads, and is highly sculptable.
Why does it matter that steel is easy to sculpt? It allows manufacturers to create a variety of steel beam styles and shapes for different construction projects.
On the surface, you might think that a solid steel beam would be the strongest option. The truth is that i-beam strength is greater, particularly when you consider that the same cross-section can bear more weight when sculpted into an “I” shape.
Ready to learn more about i-beam strength and why i-beams outperform solid beams? Read on to find out.
I-Beam Strength Produces Even Weight Distribution
As we mentioned earlier, i-beams get their name due to their “I” shape. The flange is significantly wider than the web, which changes the way in which the entire beam distributes weight.
When weight is applied to the flange, the flange holds that weight evenly from one side to the other, reducing the tension on the web. By the time that tension reaches the neutral axis (the center of the web), the tension is reduced to nothing. Thanks to this even weight distribution created by the i-beam’s “I” shape, it can efficiently bear the weight applied to the flange.
High Load-Bearing Capacity
Imagine an i-beam and a solid beam with the same cross-section. Because an i-beam is rolled into that “I” shape, the i-beam will have more flange surface area than a solid beam. For the same amount of steel used and the same overall weight, you’ll get a higher load-bearing capacity and a high moment of inertia with an i-beam because of its ability to redistribute that weight.
I-beams also have a high load-bearing capacity because they will bend under high stress, rather than buckle. Bending is preferable because a bending beam supports other members, rather than exerting additional tension on them. As a result, i-beams reduce the need for several additional construction supplies and support structures that would otherwise have to make up for the additional tension caused by buckling.
Many structures rely on steel construction, ranging from commercial garages to large buildings to bridges. All of these structures are subject to potential vibration due to:
- human activity, such as walking and jumping
- machinery and equipment during construction and repair
- constant external forces such as traffic on or near the structure and high wind
Steel is a stiff and durable material. It’s easy to assume that an i-beam, due to its comparatively thin web thickness, would be less stiff than a solid beam. However, they are still quite stiff and their ability to absorb weight also makes them the ideal beam for dampening vibration before it reverberates from one beam to another.
Additional Benefits of I-Beams
I-beams aren’t just considered the “universal beam” of steel construction because of their strength. They also offer additional benefits that are hard to beat, especially where money and conservation are concerned. Let’s take a quick look at some of the additional benefits of i-beams.
Each construction project is unique and will require beams of different sizes. I-beams are extremely versatile when it comes to things like the depth of section, flange width, and flange thickness.
The dimensions you choose will determine the weight capacity of your i-beam. For example, an i-beam with a depth of section of 5 inches, a flange width of 3 inches, and a flange thickness of 0.326 inches can bear 10 pounds per foot. By increasing the depth of section to 12 inches, the flange to 5 inches, and the flange thickness to 0.544 inches, that i-beam can now bear 31.8 pounds per square foot.
Steel is considered one of the most environmentally friendly construction materials because it tends to produce less waste, withstand harsh weather conditions, and can reduce energy consumption in the buildings it is used to construct. Plus, steel is easy to recycle thanks to its durability and sculptability, meaning that if a steel building comes down, most of those steel components can be salvaged.
I-beams, in particular, minimize construction waste. As we’ve already mentioned, an i-beam with the same cross-section as a solid beam is going to be larger and capable of bearing more weight. Plus, the bending capacity of an i-beam reduces the need for additional supporting materials.
Metal fabrication refers to all processes of shaping structural steel, including bending and cutting. The process of fabricating i-beams is remarkably fast and simple, making the material efficient and affordable to produce. Construction firms looking to purchase i-beams will reap the benefits of this efficiency and affordability in the form of low costs.
I-beams aren’t just easy to fabricate. They’re also easy to work with, assuming you have the right skills and tools. I-beams get their nickname, “the universal beam,” because experienced engineers and construction workers find that i-beams are suitable for a wide range of construction projects, from metal buildings to metal bridges and beyond.
I-Beam Strength Is Hard to Beat
When you’re preparing for a new construction project, one of the biggest considerations is the type of steel beams you’ll use for structural support. While it may seem intuitive that solid beams provide the most strength, you shouldn’t underestimate i-beam strength. There are also several additional i-beam benefits worth considering.
Now that you know you’re in the market for i-beams, where can you turn? INTSEL Steel East is here to help. We offer a wide variety of products and services for steel construction.
To get started, request a quote. Along with high-quality products and services, we value customer service and transparency. Let us answer any questions you have before making your final decision.
The Difference Between An H-Beam And I-Beam
Are you hearing conflicting advice about whether H-beams or I-beams are more appropriate for a project you’re working on? It happens, and while it’s frustrating to hunt down information you can trust, it’s crucial to be aware of the differences between the two. This way, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your project.
However, the truth can be deceptive when you compare H-beam vs I-beam supports. Honestly, the difficult choice ahead might be what led you to this article in the first place. Fret not, though. By the time you finish this article, you will understand why one type of beam may work better than the other for your construction project.
What Does a Beam Do?
Before jumping into the differences between an I-beam and an H-beam, it’s critical to understand what steel beams are generally used for. A beam is designed to support loads in a building that run perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. That means they run horizontally to the ground. If you’re a fan of home improvement shows, you’ll know that adding wood beams to residential homes became popular in recent years.
A column, on the other hand, supports loads in a building that run parallel to the longitudinal axis. These beams run vertically from the ground and bare the load on top of them. Depending on the structure you build, H-beams or I-beams may present you with better options.
What Is an H-Beam?
What is an H-beam? An h-beam is a steel structure that looks like its name suggests it should look: It’s a steel beam shaped like a capital H. This structural beam made from rolled steel provides an impressive amount of strength when used in commercial building projects.
Most of today’s steel buildings use H-beams. Unlike the alternative, these beams don’t taper off, and their surfaces remain parallel. They are also fabricated, unlike an I-beam. This means that they were not originally a single piece, but they were designed as build-up beams. Their flanges (the horizontal pieces) are welded to the web (the vertical piece) to create the shape of an H-beam. Because of the way they were built, they’re also known as “wide flange beams.”
The advantages of using H-beams include the following:
- Reasonable strength-to-weight ratio
- Optimal area distribution
- Economical section steel that gives better mechanical properties
What Is an I-Beam?
What is an I-beam? An I-beam is also a steel structure that looks like its name suggests: It’s a steel beam with two horizontal planes (flanges) connected by a vertical section (or web). Much like the shape of a capital I, the height of the cross-section will be higher than the width of a flange. You will also notice tapered edges on the flanges with this type of steel beam. This unique look is part of what makes it easy to see the difference between an H-beam and an I-beam. While an H-beam is quite uniform in its shape, an I-beam will be taller than it is wide.
The tapering in an I-beam creates thinner slopes for the upper and lower flanges. You can expect a 1:6 ratio, which means the thin edges point toward the outside. Thicker I-beams exist on the market, but they’re known for having a shortage of torsion resistance. They don’t resist twisting as well as the standard I-beam or the H-beam.
I-beams, unlike H-beams, are made using only one piece of steel rather than welding three pieces together. The way I-beams are made gives them certain advantages over H-beams in some building situations, which we will cover later in this article.
What’s the Difference Between an I-Beam and H-Beam?
Depending on your project, one may weigh you down while the other may buckle under the pressure of the weight they’re supporting. Keep reading to learn about the key differences between the two beam types. This way, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which beam will best suit the needs of your project.
Which One Weighs More?
An H-beam will typically have more weight than an I-beam (as well as greater length), which means that an H-beam can support heavier loads than its counterpart. That’s not always what you’re looking for in a steel beam, however. Different structures won’t call for the use of H-beams because the extra weight on the wall can lead to structural problems. In cases where a beam’s weight is a concern, an I-beam presents a better option due to its lightweight design.
Which One Is Stronger?
An I-beam can be perfect for supporting loads that cause local buckling. Local buckling means that an individual portion cannot support its weight load and as a result, it becomes unstable and poses a threat to the integrity of the project as a whole.
Though I-beams can prevent local buckling, they will not be able to handle the same force as an H-beam due to their lighter design. Overall, the title of “Stronger Beam” goes to H-beams.
An H-beam’s durability comes from its strength-to-weight ratio in the cross-section. This optimized design means that these beam types have more strength against heavier loads. An H-beam can also be easier to weld, and because it has a large surface area in its cross-section, it earns a high strength rating.
What About the Beveling?
H-beams have a bevel where three pieces of steel join and look like one piece of solid metal (when we’re talking about high-quality, expertly-welded beams). I-beams do not have this type of bevel, as they’re made from a single piece of steel. I-beams are not fabricated by riveting sheets or welding. Milling or rolling creates shorter top and bottom flanges on I-beams.
What’s the Span?
H-beams cover spans of up to 330 feet.
I-beams cover spans that range from 33 to 100 feet.
That said, a single H-beam will cover a great distance, while construction teams using I-beams will need to use at least three units to equal the distance an H-beam can cover.
What Does the Web Center Look Like?
An H-beam’s central web has more thickness (usually equal to the length and thickness of the flanges), which means it has a sturdier construction. An I-beam’s central web is taller than the flanges are wide, so it isn’t as thick in the central web. This means that I-beams cannot handle the same amount of force as their counterpart.
What Do the Flanges Look Like?
An H-beam has flanges at the top and bottom that extend further from the web than those of an I-beam. Though an I-beam also has top and bottom flanges, they’re not as wide as an H-beam’s flanges. They’re also shorter than an H-beam’s flanges. Shorter and thinner flanges might not sound desirable in plenty of situations, but again, the unique design of an I-beam gives it certain advantages over an H-beam.
When Should You Use H-Beams?
H-beams find most of their use in residential projects (like homes and apartment units, but they’re also perfect for the following builds:
- Bridges: Beam bridges are simple structures that are supported by H-beams, depending on their load requirements. H-beams enable the weight to be distributed evenly throughout the beam, making them a better choice for the bridge, as the structure can now support more weight without any trouble.
- Platforms: H-beams can be ideal when you’re on a construction site and you’re looking to give the structure greater durability and strength. When you’re considering H-beam vs I-beam, consider your construction requirements. H-beams are more suitable when you’re looking to build solid structures, like platforms.
- Mezzanines: If you’re planning to build various intermediate floors in a building, you need beams that can hold the weight without looking too unsightly. H-beams are perfect for this because they enable even weight distribution and ultimate functionality without ruining the aesthetics of the mezzanine floor from any angle.
- Trailers: Any trailer model requires a solid structure so that it can remain durable throughout the years. Just as beams in a building help support the roof and other physical components, beams in a trailer help ensure its structural integrity long-term.
- Commercial Buildings: When you’re looking to ensure that the commercial building you’re constructing can withstand higher load requirements without any problems, using heavier and sturdier H-beams can be an ideal option. H-beams can ensure that your customers are also satisfied with the quality of the building.
- Skyscrapers: High-rise buildings require innovative and creative ways to be supported while ensuring that they don’t lose their visual charm. When you’re looking to create the ideal skyscraper without various, unsightly supporting structures, using H-beams within the structural foundation can be ideal.
- Industrial Complexes: All industrial processes require handling large volumes and weights almost daily. The key considerations when constructing such buildings are that
1) they don’t fall under excessive weight and
2) that they’re safe for the employees.
H-beams are the ideal support to use for high-load and high-volume areas like industrial complexes.
- Framing for Truck/Trailer Beds: Trucks need to handle a lot of volume and weight while transporting various goods across thousands of miles. Using H-beams to support these frames helps ensure that there are no accidents or adverse incidents that might otherwise occur when using weaker support beams.
Any job that calls for larger load-bearing will involve H-beams. Their broad surfaces make them perfect for connecting building components with high-strength bolts. While it’s difficult to generalize the appropriateness of each beam type, these supports often find their way into large-scale construction projects.
When Should You Use I-Beams?
I-beams give more flexible options for construction projects. You’ll find these beams used in the following ways:
- Bridges: When you’re looking to build an aesthetically-focused bridge that doesn’t need to continuously handle extremely large loads of traffic, I-beams are ideal. The straight and narrow design can also ensure that the aesthetic integrity of the bridge is not compromised.
- Support Beams in Steel Buildings: If you’re planning on putting multiple supporting beams within a steel building, you need to ensure they are evenly distributed. The main difference between I-beams and H-beam is that I-beams are more versatile and can be placed anywhere. This includes narrow steel buildings that are constrained by space limits but still need superior strength.
- Elevators: Elevators are narrow areas that don’t have a ton of space. To ensure that they can handle a specific amount of weight without being compromised, you might want to utilize an I-beam’s support. I-beams can come up to 30 meters, which makes them ideal to use in elevators.
- Support Columns: If you’re trying to maintain aesthetics and structural integrity, getting the versatile I-beams to be the supporting column is ideal. They can be fitted within any space without being too exposed.
- Workplace Platforms: When you’re looking to install platforms into already existing workplaces, I-beams are the way to go. They don’t need much space and cause minimal disruption to the area.
- Factories and Warehouses: Similar to H-beams, I-beams are ideal for high-load and high-volume places, especially areas where the space is too constrained for an H-beam.
- Miscellaneous Civil Projects: Many civil projects utilize I-beams because of their versatility, eco-friendly features, and durability.
- Framing for Truck/Trailer Beds: Many advanced trailer and truck models utilize I-beams instead of H-beams when they’re looking to insert multiple beams without ruining the aesthetic look of the model.
You can find I-beams in steel fabrication as well. For most construction projects, this type of support will be installed as the framework for buildings or trusses. Homeowners also install I-beams in basements to stabilize the basement walls without risking the area’s structural integrity.
The more I-beams used in a project, the fewer support structures are required. As a result, these beams offer tremendous time and money-saving benefits for the right building.
Still Debating About an H-Beam vs I-Beam?
It’s critical to know the differences between I-beam and H-beam supports for any construction project. Now that you’ve gained an education in H-beam vs I-beam 101, where do you go from here?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a new construction project or modifying an existing building: You’re going to want advice, especially if you’re still not sure which beam you should use in your building project. Seek a professional in the industry who can provide sound recommendations that add value to your property. By trusting an expert in the field, you can rest assured that you’re making a choice that will support the integrity of your work.
Did you find this article useful and informative? Do you have more questions about steel products or services? Give us a call at 1-855-446-8735 or request a quote today.
The Benefits Of Ordering Steel Cut To Length
Reports show a 2.2% increase in demand for steel in 2022. Showing just how important this material is and how many people are using it. This growth is only considered to become greater as people are needing steel now more than ever. Many choose steel cut to length for many different reasons.
Cut to length steel is a popular choice and one that people should consider. If you need to purchase steel, this is an option that might be a great fit for what you are needing. Especially if you are ordering a large quantity of steel of various lengths. Keep reading to find out if cut to length steel is the right fit for you.
When you order steel for a specific project, chances are you need to cut it to a certain length. When you do this, you will have steel that goes to waste as it isn’t used. Not only is this wasting resources, it wastes your money. You paid for that steel that you end up cutting off and discarding because you do not need it for your project.
Whether you are a contractor, owner, or DIYer, this is not ideal. You do not want to waste any steel that you are paying for as this can add up fast. This is an issue that could be easily fixed by ordering cut to length steel. Resulting in you only buying the lengths that you need, nothing more, nothing less. This is especially beneficial for those ordering large amounts of steel. Steel cut to length could save you quite a bit of money as well as provide you with exactly what you need.
Less Manual Labor
If you were to order steel that has to be an exact length, you most likely have to cut it. Things like steel coils and steel sheets can be quite difficult to cut yourself. Especially if you have placed a large order of steel that you need. Cutting steel down to length means that you need people to do this labor-intensive work. That could create additional costs to have employees get this job done for you. It can also be dangerous as they will be working with tools that could cut or injure them along the way.
By ordering ctl steel, you can avoid all of this hassle when placing your order. You can buy the steel and have the steel distributor cut it to length for you, reducing the work you have to do. This is one of the best benefits of having steel cut to length for you. And steel distributors like Bushwick Metals even offer this service to the whole eastern half of the United States.
When ordering ctl steel, you also don’t have to own your own steel-cutting tools or equipment. These tools can cost a lot of money and can be difficult to maintain. Not everyone has these items, so getting the steel cut for you will be your best option.
Having your steel cut for you is very efficient and cuts back on the work that you have too do. So when you receive your order, the steel will be ready to go. You don’t have to set aside a week to cut the steel yourself before you can begin the project. You can get right to work as the steel will already be ready to go where it needs to go.
Making this option not only efficient for the work you are doing but convenient too. Reducing your workload and producing a material that is ready to be used. This is ideal for large-scale projects that you may need to get to work on. Or if you are running behind and need to use the steel that you have ordered right away. You don’t have to take into consideration how long you will need to cut the steel yourself. Saving you a great deal of time if you need that steel for a project right then.
When you get your cut to length steel from a steel distributor, you know you are getting quality. You may be able to cut the steel yourself, but will it create a good end result? Things like a blanking line can be difficult and take time to do. And you may not necessarily be qualified to make cuts in steel that are going to be high quality. Steel distributors will have the right kinds of equipment that are made for this job. So you are guaranteed to get a nice cut on your steel products.
Having the right cuts can be very important as many projects require exact measurements. Something that you may not be able to achieve on your own.
What Kinds of Steel Can be Cut to Length?
There are all kinds of steel products that can be cut to length. Many are products that you may need in your various jobs or projects. Steel distributors like Bushwick Metals offer a wide variety of steel products. Most being cut to length steel options that can be very useful and convenient.
Benefits of Having Steel Cut to Length
If you are ordering steel, you probably need specific lengths for your project. Steel cut to length is a great option and can cut down on your workload and provide fantastic results.
Do you need steel products cut to length? Contact us today at Bushwick Metals for all kinds of cut to length steel options.
I Beams | Strength, Dimensions, and Uses
You can’t construct a building without its structural components. These are the parts that all the other decor and furnishings attach themselves to. Without them, the whole project would collapse and cost someone their job. I-beams are one of the fundamental pieces that hold everything together. In fact, they are some of the strongest beams and are capable of bending under high stress instead of buckling. However, I-beam strength depends on a variety of factors such as dimensions and the type of steel used.
Here’s everything you need to know about I-beams and their use in steel construction projects.
Common I-Beam Strength Limits and Uses
As their name implies, I-beams are fabricated in the shape of the capital letter I. They’re made of a single piece of metal or aluminum, with a thin web and tapered flanges. The main difference between an I-beam and something like an H-beam is the shape, which affects how the beam can be used in a construction project.
I-beams are used for spans of 33 to 100 feet. Their unique shape gives them resistance to local buckling, reduces weight, and allows them to withstand direct and tensile loads. However, they aren’t that resistant to bending and cannot handle twisting loads. Some of the ways I-beams are used include making support frames and columns for steel buildings and bridges. As a universal beam, they’re the building blocks in steel frameworks.
Standard steel I-beam sizes range from S24 x 121 all the way down to S3 x 5.7. The former can handle a nominal weight of 121 lb/ft, while the latter can handle up to 5.7 lb/ft. Although I-beams share a similar structure to others like H-piles and wide flange beams, they’re considered the standard. H-pile beams are heavier and have an equal thickness across all sections which provides greater vertical loads. Wide flange beams have wider legs than standard beams, though the web and flange thicknesses may differ.
Factors Affecting I-Beam Strength
Due to their shape, I-beam strength is directly related to their dimensions. These include depth of section, flange size, and web thickness. They also may prove stronger or weaker depending on the type of metal used.
I-beams and other construction steel products are made out of low-carbon steel. They differ from higher-carbon steels in that they have high ductility and are usually alloyed with other metals like chromium and silicon. The beams are then broken down further into different grades with varying metal content.
There are three main grades of structural-steel beams to consider for your next project: A992/A572-50, A588, and A36.
Steel dual certified as A992 and A572-50 is a high-strength and low alloy option. It’s hot-rolled and is the most common steel material used in construction. It boasts a minimum yield of 50 ksi and a minimum tensile strength of 65 ksi.
A588 steel is also high-strength and low-alloy. It’s copper-bearing steel with a minimum yield of 50ksi and minimum tensile strength of 70 ksi. You may use them if you hope to save money and reduce weight.
A36 steel is used more generally in construction. It has a minimum yield of 36 ksi and a minimum tensile strength of 58 ksi. Expect high ductility and affordability.
Depth of Section
The first of the I-beam dimensions to know is depth of section. This refers to the distance between the top and bottom flange. In other words, it’s the entire length or height of the I-beam. On its own, a large depth of section doesn’t increase or lower I-beam strength. However, a larger number may result in a weaker structure if the flange and web don’t also increase.
Flange Width and Thickness
Flange width and thickness refer to the ends of the I-beam. These are the parts of the beam that press up against one another and stabilize the weight. They also provide an area for the weight to distribute across.
The web is the middle part of the I-beam that connects the two flanges. It’s the most important part of the entire structure that takes on the brunt of the weight. If there’s a defect in the web, that could jeopardize the entire beam.
As such, web thickness has a big influence on I-beam strength. However, a thinner flange and a larger depth of section would put more pressure on the web.
Steel I-Beams Pros and Cons
Even though I-beams are used in various structures such as skyscrapers and apartment buildings, they have their own share of pros and cons. After all, there’s a reason that different types of steel beams exist in addition to the I-beam.
The benefits of I-beams include their strength, cost-effectiveness, and durability.
I-beams are specifically designed to distribute weight evenly. In the rare case that it’s overburdened, it bends rather than buckles or breaks. You can find them in various materials such as wood and concrete which have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Cost-wise, I-beams can be scaled to match your budget. Lighter or smaller beams may be used without sacrificing strength or durability. They also allow you to use fewer building materials.
Contractors can also rely on steel I-beams to endure all kinds of stressors and weather conditions. There are certain I-beam standards that ensure your materials follow the rules and regulations set out.
One of the problems to keep in mind when utilizing I-beams is the high maintenance cost. Corrosion can be a problem, so you may have to use special paints to protect them. They’re also bulky and difficult to move around a construction site without the proper equipment.
Get Steel for Your Next Construction Project
Purchasing the right I-beams for your project will depend on their dimensions and the type of steel. Even if you know how to get the best I-beam strength available, it won’t matter if the materials are defective.
Bushwick Metals offers services in warehousing, processing, and distributing metals. We’re the Northeast’s leading wholesale steel distributor, and we can help supply you with what you need to succeed. Contact us if you have any questions or to request a quote.
Which Types Of Steel Beams Should You Order?
Steel is one of the strongest metals on Earth. If you run a construction company, chances are that steel beams are a material that you purchase on a regular basis.
Knowing about the different types of steel beams ensures that your company uses the right material for every job. This guide will break down the different types of steel beams in layman’s terms. That way you can know which kinds work best for you.
Steel Beam Material Composition
There are many different kinds of steel that compose steel beams. Steel can be mixed with different kinds of metals to make a specific kind of steel alloy. The following are some common types available on the market.
This type of steel is the most often used in construction. It is a high strength steel alloy composed of columbium and vanadium. It is very light, corrosion-resistant, and conducive to welding. Its tensile strength is 65 kilo-pounds per square inch.
This type of steel is made using a copper alloy. It is one of the most corrosion-resistant types of steel beams. It is so corrosion resistant that it does not require painting.
It is the best choice when you are looking for a light-weight form of steel that is resistant to corrosion. It has a tensile strength of 70 kpsi, making it stronger than A992/A572-50 steel.
This form of steel is one of the best choices for weldable steel that can also be altered by machinery. This is a less expensive mid-range steel. It stretches well under the application of tensile strength. Its minimum tensile strength is 58 kpsi.
Types of Steel Beams
The shape and design of steel beams are other important factors when deciding which ones work best for your situation. There are also all different kinds of steel beam sizes. The following are some common shapes and designs.
I-beams are also known as the “universal beam”. They look like a capital “I” and are the most common beam found in construction projects. These beams are most often used for structural support and load-bearing purposes.
To determine the exact weight that an I-beam can support, professionals will use a steel beam calculator to conduct analytical measurements.
H-beams are very similar to I-beams but are heavier, thicker, and longer in construction. HP-beams are a specific type of H-beam that stand for H-pile.
These are structural beams that often are driven deep into the ground to support large loads. A common use for H-beams or HP-beams would be building a foundation for a bridge or building.
Junior beams have a fitting name. They are similar to I-beams but are much smaller and lighter. This makes them perfect for size or weight-sensitive projects.
Wide Flange Beam
The “flange” is the horizontal piece of a steel beam. The “web” is the vertical piece. When looking at a cross-section of a steel I-beam, the flange would be the top and bottom parallel lines of the letter “I”. The “web” would be the vertical connecting line.
Wide flange beams also have a fitting name. These are like conventional “I” beams except that they have a wider flange which changes their shape. Another name for wide flange beams is “W-beams”.
T-beams are shaped like a T, hence their name. This means that they don’t have their bottom flange. They are most often used as a load-bearing beam.
Uses For Steel Beams
Chicago’s Willis Tower is the tallest steel structure in the world. This building was formerly known as the Sear’s tower and dominates the Chicago skyline.
This building is a testament to the engineering miracle that is steel. But steel isn’t only used to make the world’s tallest buildings. There are many other more conventional uses for steel beams as well. From bridges to buildings, to foundations, steel beams form the backbone of most engineering projects. They are used to create sewage systems. They also help build ships and docks. They can sometimes be found in certain pieces of heavy machinery.
They have various applications for the military. Also for the aeronautical and marine industries. They are a cornerstone of all infrastructure around the world. They help create super-highways and tunnels. Chances are if you have a major construction project, you will be using steel beams to complete it.
Where Can I Buy Steel Beams?
Your best bet for purchasing steel beams is to contact a professional steel distributor. Only they have the connections and capabilities to deliver you high-quality steel at an affordable rate for an adequate price. If you are looking for steel beams for sale, you may be tempted to type in “steel beams near me” into Google. Rather than sift through all of the results in hopes that one will work for your company, it is better to just find a name you can trust.
Request a quote from a steel beam specialist to ensure that you are getting only the finest quality steel at an affordable price. Let the professionals handle your materials so you can get back to what’s important: running your construction business.
Many professional steel distributors will give you a great deal on bulk orders. The best candidates can also fulfill rush orders last minute, which makes them a viable partner in the ever-changing and time-sensitive construction industry.
Whoever you choose, you want to find someone who has been in the industry for a long time. They also should have a reliable reputation for service and quality. Most importantly, their prices should be competitive so you always get a square deal.
Across the world, iron and steel make up roughly 95% of all metal produced each year. Steel has applications in various industries due to its strength and hardness.
Any owner of a business that uses steel should know the types of steel beams available and which ones to buy.
Different types of steel beams have advantages and disadvantages over others, so ordering the right kind for your project is crucial.
If you’re wondering what steel beam types you should order, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn everything you need to know about ordering steel beams!
Types of Steel Beams: Shapes
The shape in which manufacturers produce steel determines the application it will be best for. Knowing the scope of your project will help you choose from the many types of beam steel available.
Though people often use the terms “I-beam” and “H-beam” interchangeably, they are each a slightly different type of steel beam. These steel sections are also known as universal beams. As the name suggests, an I-beam has a profile shaped like a capital “I.”
If the outer sides of the beam, called flanges, are wider than the middle, the beam is instead an H-beam.
Another key difference between I-beams and H-beams is the shape of the flanges. I-beams typically have flanges that taper to an edge, while H-beams have rectangular flanges.
H-Beams vs I-Beams
Universal beams are best for heavy construction due to the shape’s resistance to bending and shearing. I-beams weigh less due to their tapered shape and narrower flanges, but H-beams can usually bear more weight.
Another advantage H-beams have over I-beams is that the production process is simpler. As a result, H-beams are available in much greater lengths than I-beams.
While H-beams can bear more weight overall, I-beams have greater tensile strength or resistance to tension. Higher tensile strength allows I-beams to bear heavier weight in one spot without bending.
Different Steel Compositions
In addition to choosing the right shape for your steel beams, it’s important to consider the material itself. Most commonly, steel beams come in A572, A588, and A36.
A572 steel is a high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) steel that offers excellent strength for its weight. This steel alloy is a good balance of tensile strength, weldability, and low cost.
A588 is another HSLA steel alloy with even greater tensile strength than A572. In addition to its strength and hardness, A588 steel is manufactured using copper. The inclusion of copper makes A588 extremely corrosion resistant.
A36 is a good grade of steel for lighter jobs where the structure will be painted. Because A36 is a type of mild steel, it is susceptible to rust and bending. However, it is also easier to weld and machine.
Choose the Right Steel Beams
Whatever the project, choosing the best types of steel beams for the job is imperative. We hope you find this guide helpful when shopping for structural steel. Bushwick Metals has over a century of experience manufacturing quality steel sections. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your steel needs!
American Made Wide Flange Beams At Bushwick Metals
More than 100 years ago, in the little town of Bethlehem — Bethlehem, PA, that is — a revolutionary advancement arrived that allowed builders to reach for the sky.
Steel beams had opened up opportunities in building taller years before. But the invention of wide-flange beams at Bethlehem Steel allowed buildings to climb higher than 20 stories, creating the iconic skylines of major cities across the country. Today, those same WF beams form the skeleton of most construction projects. Let’s take a look at what makes this type of beam work so well and how to shop for them for your upcoming project.
What Is a Wide-Flange Beam?
Wide-flange beams revolutionized construction thanks to their ability to hold up large and heavy buildings. They replaced a cobbled-together option that was cost-prohibitive with a single piece that was cheaper to produce.
What Bethlehem Steel did was simple in concept. They took the then-standard I-beam and stretched out the flanges to make a beam that looked more like a sideways H, thus the name wide flange. The change increased the strength of the beam. You’ll typically find them used as horizontal supports because they allow builders to distribute weight evenly. But they can also serve as vertical supports in a combination wall.
Looking at a cross section of a WF beam, the vertical mid-section is the web, and the horizontal end sections are the flanges. The web in the middle withstands shear forces, and the flanges on the end withstand bending. When strengthened by Bethlehem Steel’s seemingly minor change, WF beams made it possible to construct buildings taller than ever before.
Before purchasing WF beams, consider the project you will use them for. Engineers often measure WF beams in four dimensions: flange width, flange thickness, web thickness, and height. Smaller, thinner beams are great for projects where they will only hold lesser amounts of pressure, while larger and thicker sizes can support massive structures such as skyscrapers. It isn’t economical to purchase sizes larger than you need, but you never want a small WF beam supporting more weight than it can handle and causing a safety concern.
WF beams can be used on their own or combined with another material, often concrete, to create a composite. When pairing WF beams with another material, factors often considered are preventing vibrations, shearing or bending failure, tension, deflection, and other failures with the strength of the WF beam.
What Is a WF Beam’s Typical Use?
Wide-flange beams began rolling off the line in 1908 and were first used to build the Gimbel Brothers’ department store in New York City. In construction today, it might be easier to list the times you wouldn’t use a wide-flange beam as they have become the standard for any use that requires a high-strength application.
They can function as columns in commercial buildings and floors in homes. They form structural supports for overpasses and highway ramps and are critical for bridge construction. Outside of buildings, these support beams can perform as retaining walls. These are sometimes temporary to hold back dirt while construction is underway or permanent in sound barriers beside highways or basement walls.
How Wide-Flange Beams Are Made
Wide-flange beams typically use steel thanks to the fact that it is highly customizable, easy to work with, and durable. It’s also the most recycled material in the world by weight. If you’re buying American-made WF beams, they’re likely to contain as much as 95 percent scrap metal.
Once the metal is cleaned up and ready as raw material, the steel is rolled out much like dough by a rolling pin. The rolling creates a rough shape of the beam. It is then fed through a universal mill for fine-tuning, at which time it is rolled horizontally and vertically to refine the “H” shape.
Not An I-Beam
While you might hear terms like I-beam, H-beam, and W-beam used interchangeably, they aren’t quite the same. Wide-flange beams are technically H-beams because of their shape, but a “W” is often used when referring to their sizing.
A wide-flange beam looks more like a sideways “H” than an “I” because of the wider flange. An I-beam has narrower flanges, making it a lighter building material. You can also see a difference in where the web connects to the flanges, as an I-beam meets them at an angle.
Beyond the shape, the beam types differ as well in their construction. An H-beam or wide flange has a thicker center web and can be built up to be any size or height. An I-beam has a thinner centerpiece and is restricted in size by the manufacturer’s equipment. H-beams can span up to 330 feet, while an I-beam’s span ranges 33-100 feet.
Measuring Wide-Flange Beams
In the construction industry, WF beams come in a wide range of sizes, and the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM International) provides standardized guidelines for steel manufacturers globally. Steel manufacturers use the information that ASTM International publishes, including the classification, evaluation, and specification of steel types, to produce standardized WF beams.
- ASTM A36 is mainly for carbon structural steel. It applies to the shapes of structural quality for bolted, riveted, or welded construction of buildings and bridges.
- ASTM A572 Grade 50 is for higher strength, low-alloy Columbium-Vanadium structural steel. It covers riveting, welding, and bolting construction structures at the 50 grade.
- ASTM A588 is applied to higher strength, low-alloy structural steel. It includes specified savings in weight and resistance to atmospheric corrosion.
- ASTM A690 is for the materials and testing standards for high-strength and low alloy of phosphorus steel H-piles and sheet piling of structural quality. It is used in the construction of block walls, excavation, and bulkheads.
- ASTM A709 is applied to carbon and high-strength low-alloy shapes. It is for shapes and bars for bridge projects.
- ASTM A913 Grade 50 is for higher strength, low-alloy steel shapes of structural quality. It covers structural steel shape in grade 50, used for riveting, bolting, and welding construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures, produced by QSI.
- ASTM A913 Grade 65 is the same as ASTM A913 Grade 50, but its grade is grade 65 and not grade 50.
- ASTM A992 is applied to steel structural shapes in building framing. It covers rolled shapes for building bridges, framing, and general structural projects.
Transporting Wide-Flange Beams
Structural steel like wide-flange beams has a few shipping challenges due to size and weight. It’s not like picking something up at Home Depot that you can just toss in the back of your truck.
A longer haul for materials means a higher cost. Most of the time beams will be coming by truck to your job site, so it makes sense to stick close to home in picking a supplier.
Local structural steel supply also can help with the timing of your job. Beams can show up when you need them, which reduces cash outflow for items that then just sit around waiting to be used. There’s also less risk of your beams not showing up when you need them because they don’t have as far to go.
Get American-Made Wide-Flange Beams
Wide-flange beams revolutionized construction with a design still in use today. While the steel comes from all over the world, it’s easy to source your project with beams made in the US. Understanding the structure of the beam ensures you’re getting the appropriate size and strength for a particular project.
If you’re looking for a solid supplier for an upcoming construction project, contact us today or request a quote. We stock three grades of beams in a wide range of sizes and provide next-day delivery to your job site anywhere from Maine to Virginia.
5 Benefits Of I Beams Construction
Have you ever wondered how engineers manage to keep such massive buildings standing? There is one useful building structure that if it were not there, the entire building system might collapse. This structure is known as an I beam.
Since they can sustain a large amount of weight from various directions, I beams are important structural steel components used in civil engineering and building construction for steel-framed projects like floor joints and truss systems. When compared to concrete, I beam construction increases the interior space by more than 5% while lowering the building’s load by 19% to 31% and minimizing the structural internal stress.
So, why are the I beams preferred more compared to the wooden beam framework? Is it because of their strength? Are they cost-effective? Continue reading to find out the answers.
1. The Strength of the I Beam
I beams are often manufactured from an iron-steel alloy, but some are also made of aluminum. The method by which steel is melted has a beneficial impact on its strength.
Steel has a property that enables it to endure large amounts of weight. The I beam’s design is intended to distribute weight evenly to the entire beam. When substantial weight is applied to the beam, the deflection will fall near the center, increasing the stress on the sides. It also bends instead of buckles when subjected to intense pressure, making it stronger than other beams.
Most contractors consider using wooden beams because of the flexibility they provide, as they will allow you to drill holes, hang lights, and attach things without compromising the wood’s structure. Drilling holes in an I beam, on the other hand, reduces its structural strength.
Depending on your requirements, both timber beams and steel beams might be beneficial. However, the I beam is always the strongest.
Other qualities of the I beam are high accuracy, low residual stress, and less expensive welding materials, which save approximately 30% of the cost of steel structure construction.
Cost is crucial in construction projects, and most individuals are looking for ways to reduce construction expenses. You may simply estimate the cost for your project based on the amount of material needed and the building structure.
Considering using I beams in your building project is an important step toward minimizing construction expenses. There are several benefits of using I-beam construction structures in your building projects.
The structure of the building will be sturdy, with minimal components. Building with fewer components will result in cheaper construction costs due to decreased material and shipping expenses.
Because less material will be used in building, the I-beam cost will be low, project completion time will be shortened and as a result, construction costs will be kept to a minimum.
In that case, using the I beam will assure a cheap construction cost. As a result of fewer building materials used, the inside of the structure will be spacious. Also, because of their strength, I beams can span a big area with little support.
3. Design of the I Beam
The designs of the I beams, as well as the materials used in their manufacturing, are the key reasons why they can sustain a lot of weight. A steel I beam is made up of two long planes called flanges and an intermediate part called a web. The cross-section of the web and fridges has an “I” and an “H” appearance due to the shape of the web and flanges.
Depending on their uses, I beams are available in a variety of flange widths and web thicknesses. The axil fiber, which carries the majority of the weight in an I-beam, contains the majority of the material. The shape of the I-beam is critical in increasing resistance to high stress.
The best I beams have a small cross-section area and use less material while maintaining their intended shape. A contractor must consider various aspects when selecting an I-beam, which include:
Certain mass and rigidity are chosen to prevent floor vibration.
An I-beam’s cross-section must be strong enough to withstand yield stress.
The flanges are protected to avoid shear locally, or sideways buckling.
The contractor should select an I-beam with a web thickness that can withstand high stress without buckling or rippling.
To withstand distortion, the contractor should use a thick I-beam.
Steel is extremely durable because it can endure severe weather conditions. It is even regarded as the most long-lasting construction material. Steel I-beams, unlike wood, are not prone to rotting, aging, mildew, or termites.
The most significant challenge that a building might have is wearing as it ages, which is exacerbated by corrosion.
The advantage of using I beams is resistance to corrosion, making them appropriate for use in both outdoor and interior constructions. As steel beams age, they will not be subjected to wrapping, splitting, fracturing, or creeping.
The important factor that ensures the I-beam’s durability is that it must adhere to rules and regulations set throughout its manufacturing process before it is marketed.
I-beam construction eliminates the need for load-bearing walls. Without the need for these support structures, you can design buildings with large spans, walls of windows, or any other design element you choose. Without the restriction of load-bearing walls, you are limited only to your imagination.
I-beams are not just installed in new buildings; they can be used to strengthen, remodel, or enlarge a structure. An I beam in construction is easier to adapt to a new structure since it is easily modifiable. Because of the lower strength, wooden beams are not adjustable.
I-beams are the most cost-effective replacement for a worn-out wooden beam. As a result of trees of the same species having varying grain density, steel I-beams are better compared to wooden beams.
The Choice Is Yours
Using I-beams as part of the construction process opens up many options that are not available with traditional construction.
I-beams allow you to avoid the need for load-bearing walls, which add material and construction time, both of which drive up prices. I-beams allows you to control costs without sacrificing strength or durability, which are the two attributes often compromised when attempting to rein in costs.
Regardless of the project you have in mind, I-beam construction provides uncompromising strength. The production method used to create I-beams leaves you with a sturdy beam that allows for the even distribution of weight. Even in situations where it is undersized for the project, an I-beam will bend, rather than collapse.
Of course, initial building costs are only one part of the cost of a project. With I-beam construction, you can be confident that your building is here to stay. Able to withstand extreme weather conditions, termites, mildew, and other elements that attack buildings over time. Suitable for both outdoor and indoor building projects, I-beams give you freedom and the confidence to build the project as you envision it, without being tied to many of the limitations of traditional construction.
With the understanding of what is an I beam and its uses in I beam construction projects, you may confidently purchase them for any building project. But before you begin, you must consult an expert to ensure that you acquire the correct beams. This will guarantee that you construct a structure that can endure all external stresses without buckling.
If you seek to purchase I beams, allow Bushwick Metals to take care of your bulk I-beam needs for your construction project. Request a quote today and we will provide perfect I beams for your construction on schedule and in a professional way.
Steel Beam Delivery Services: Take Advantage Of Next-Day Delivery
These days, sourcing high-quality steel beams is not easy. Issues with the supply chain have caused so many delivery delays that projects across the country are on hold. In the Northeast, these delays are even worse. Thanks to those famous East Coast winters, a lot of deliveries are halted by issues like snow, ice, and extreme temperatures. Luckily, there is a way to source your steel beams quickly and efficiently. Bushwick Metals offers a super speedy, next-day steel beam delivery service.
This special service is available all across the Northeast in states including New York, Maine, New Jersey, and Connecticut. But, can you source steel beams from Bushwick Metals? And what kinds of orders does the company accept? Read on to learn more about the steel beams that you can order via our next-day delivery service.
What Kinds of Steel Beams Do You Offer?
Bushwick Metals offers three major categories of structural steel beams, each representing one of three steel grades: A992/A572-50, A588, and A36. We stock all three of these products in an impressive number of sizes and profiles. As a result, most projects can source their materials from our stock.
The best part is that we deliver our supplies in a ready-to-use state. This means that you won’t have to make any major adjustments to our product before adding them to your project. This means that you can simply receive your order and be free to weld, bolt, or rivet away! Below, we have included some additional information about our offerings.
This is one of our best-sellers, as it is useful in most construction projects. These beams are very strong, yet relatively easy to weld. While this might sound counterintuitive, it is possible due to the precise materials mixed into the alloy. This grade contains both columbium and vanadium, making it both strong and weldable. Its minimum yield is 50 ksi, while its minimum tensile strength is 65 ksi. This means that you can use it in situations of high corrosive resistance in addition to weight reduction.
If you are looking for something with high corrosion resistance, this is the steel beam for you. The A588 is a steel alloy that includes copper. As you probably know, copper-bearing steel is much less likely to corrode.
In fact, this particular grade has two to four times the corrosion resistance of a copperless carbon steel. As a result, we highly recommend this product to anyone building in an area known for atmospheric corrosion.
The A588 is also considered a high-strength beam. It offers a minimum yield of 50 ksi and a minimum tensile strength of 75 ksi. Like the A99/AA572-50, the A588 can be used in situations of cost savings from weight reduction.
This is our most affordable steel beam, as well as our most weldable one. The A36 is a low-carbon, hot-rolled steel that is also considered a “mild steel.”
It doesn’t have the same strength as the A99/AA572-50 or the A588. Its minimum yield is 36 ksi, while its minimum tensile strength is 58 ksi. This means that the A36 is ideal for general structural applications and bridges. We source this particular product through a special order straight from the mill.
How Are You Able to Guarantee Next-Day Delivery? What About the Supply Chain?
This is one of our most common questions. Because of the current supply chain situation, many customers marvel at how quickly we are able to source and deliver our products. However, Bushwick Metals has a few advantages that help us circumvent many of these challenges.
To begin with, we have one of the most extensive collections of steel beams in the United States. We are constantly sourcing our materials from producers located all across the globe. As a result, our stock is quite full of beams in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. We offer everything from HP Shape beams to l beams and Junior beams. Our stock even includes Wide Flange and H beams. We keep our supplies full so that we can offer you excellent products as soon as you need them.
Does My City Qualify for Next-Day Steel Beam Delivery?
We are a steel distributor located in the Northeast of the United States. Because of this, we only offer our next-day delivery service to people located in this part of the country.
Whether you are based in a major metropolis like Philadelphia or a small town in northern Maine, we have got you covered. Bushwick Metals has a lot of experience delivering our products, even in difficult circumstances. However, if you are located in another region and are interested in placing an order with us, please get in touch. We can give you an idea of whether it is possible to place your shipment and how long it will take to deliver.
Get in Touch With Us Today
Are you tired of waiting weeks, or even months, for your steel beam delivery to arrive? Would you like to do business with a steel distributor who can get your products to you in a timely fashion? If so, you should reach out to us today.
Click here to fill out our contact form. We would be more than happy to answer any of your questions about our next-day delivery service.
Alternatively, you can always ask us for a quote to help you estimate the cost of your next project. Our mission will be to supply you with high-quality steel beams in record time.
Cambering Steel Beams At Bushwick Metals – What Is It And Why Do It?
From the sweep of the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the crazy angles of the HL23 building in New York City, steel’s ability to stay strong while bending has allowed many an architect’s vision to come to reality.
These award-winning buildings use steel to great visual effect, but the metal’s ability to bend plays a critical role in places you can’t see as well.
Cambering steel beams put just enough curve into what would ordinarily be a straight line to improve strength and lower building costs. Understanding what’s involved in cambering allows you to better communicate with your fabricating shop when you order your steel beams.
Let’s look at what’s involved in cambering here at Bushwick Metals and how we do it for our clients.
Cambering involves making a curve on the vertical axis in just a part of the steel beam. This is different from a curve in that it only involves a part of the beam.
Natural camber is the slight out-of-straightness left after the work of rolling the steel and making the beam. Induced camber is the intentional distortion added later in a fabricating shop.
The camber approximates a parabola arch rather than a circle segment, which is the subtle difference between a camber and a curve.
Cambers become part of filler beams, girder beams, and composite floor beams. You should avoid having camber on cantilevered beams, crane beams, crane girders, and other types. In some cases, your steel beam dimensions such as length impact whether or not a camber can be added.
The camber allows a beam to handle the heavy loads set on them as the arched form resists sagging under the weight.
For example, it compensates for load deflection caused by a concrete floor poured on top. While a straight beam would sag down, a cambered beam deflects to a straight line under the weight. This allows the concrete slab to be flat while keeping a consistent thickness.
Camber Process and Methods
Cambering is commonly done at the fabricator’s shop after the beams have been formed. The shop should employ one or more of three methods:
- Roll in a bender
- Ram with a hydraulic cylinder
- Apply heat
Regardless of the chosen method, the process increases the strength of the steel with just a tiny reduction in ductility and toughness. Modern steel production makes the safety of cambering less of a concern.
Once the shop has cambered the beams, they should mark them to ensure proper installation on sight. The cambering should be done in a way that takes advantage of whatever natural camber already exists. If the natural camber of the beam is at least 75 percent of the specified camber, they might not add more.
Hot vs. Cold Cambering
Cold cambering is the more widely used process as it is more economical and easier to do than hot cambering. The beam is mounted in a frame and forced to bend by a jack pushing against the appropriate point.
The capacity of the machine and the amount of camber needed determine the number of times the process would need to be repeated.
Hot cambering is a more time-intensive process that isn’t used as often these days. It requires torches to apply heat to the flange and web of the beam while the camber is introduced from the opposite side of the beam as it cools. It tends to be used now for light, narrow beams and specific types of geometries.
The AISC Code of Standard Practice calls for the camber to be measured at the fabricating shop in unstressed condition to ensure it meets standard tolerances. The shop should verify that the camber met the standards when it was measured at the shop.
Time and temperature can impact the camber once applied, so the induced camber can straighten back out during transport to a job site. This is another good reason to have a fabricating shop local to your job so there is the shortest possible shipping distance.
Why Camber Steel Beams
Modern construction uses a lot of steel; almost half of the global steel production goes into steel beams and pipelines. So it makes sense that if you can reduce the amount of steel you use, you can reduce some construction costs.
Cambering allows you to have smaller beam depths in your construction, which can cut material costs. This also makes it easier to run ductwork, piping, and electrical between floors since the beams take up less space.
That said, there is extra labor involved in cambering your beams, so they do cost more than non-cambered. But your alternatives would involve extra concreted needed due to ponding or columns for shoring up the construction. When you compare that to the cost of cambering, it usually is less than the alternative.
Beyond cost savings, steel buildings benefit from flexibility that makes it possible to create stunning buildings like the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Cambering can improve the aesthetics of a building or project by allowing for fluid lines. The ability to create a curved walkway or arched ceiling adds to the visual appeal of a structure without compromising strength or function.
Cambering Steel Beams to Your Specs
Understanding cambering steel beams can help you with making estimates and working with your supplier to get the right type of beam for your project. Transporting curved beams can be more costly, so sourcing them from a local fabricator can keep your costs down.
Our shop can camber steel beam sizes up to 40” high for your project at multiple locations for better service. Contact us today or request a quote for your project. We can estimate, camber, and deliver to your job site.