All about the I Beams in Construction

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I Beam, or H Beam, is one of the core elements of modern construction across the world. They are also called universal beams as they are used widely even after the invention of many other variants of beams, including W Beams, Concrete beams, etc.

Let’s explore a bit more about I Beams and the role they played in the construction industry throughout the years.

but before that, as usual for the uninitiated,

What are Beams in Construction?

Beams are an element in construction that is used to carry axial loads like a floor or roof.

Traditionally wood/timber was used as beams, and since the modern age, wrought iron, steel, and other metals, such as concrete, etc., are being used nowadays. Structural Steel was used in 1890 to construct Rand Mcnally Building.

What are the different types of Beams?

There are many different types of beams, such as Fixed, Trussed, Overhanging, Double overhanging, Simply supported, Cantilever, Spring supported, etc.

What is an I Beam?

I Beam is the most widely used structural steel beam used in modern construction. They are also called universal beams and are known or can be categorized into H, W Beams, etc.

It is also known as the most functional beam in the construction industry as its capacity to handle extensive loads and adaptability are amazing.

Who invented I Beam?

Alphonse Halbou holds the patent for I beams devised from wrought iron in 1849, and Henry Grey invented the rolling technique that improved the I beams.

Design of an I Beam

An I Beam is a long piece of structural steel with two horizontal planes called flanges connected by a steel part in the middle, thus sideways, it looks like a single long piece of steel, and straightways (in the cross section), it resembles the letter “I” or “H.”

This special design saves the beam from breaking into two but rather bending. This simple design is also a very cost efficient way of crafting steel.

What are the different categories of I Beams?

There are certain metallic or steel beams that can be categorized under I beams as they have a similar structure.

H Beams: H beams can be considered a subcategory of I Beam as they seem very similar to I Beams. They are also called bearing piles and have identical thickness all over compared to I beams and with broader legs.

W Beams: W beams are yet another beam that is widely used as an I beam. The thickness of W beams is not uniform, and in the cross section, they resemble W. W beams are majorly used as guardrails on roadways. These are also called thrie beams.

Which are the different types of metals and materials used for making I beams?

Different types of materials, alloys, and metals are used in the construction of I Beams now; thus, there is steel I beam, stainless steel I beam, galvanized I beam, concrete I beam, fiberglass I beam, carbon fiber I beam, plywood I beam and the old school wrought iron I beam. However, the most widely used ones are structural steel.

What are the benefits of using an I Beam?

I beam has many benefits, including its extensive load bearing capacity, angular momentum, reusable material (steel), and dampening vibrations, and are available in a multitude of sizes.

So, guys, this was a brief overview of I Beams in the construction industry. Do share your thoughts

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