Why Are I Beams Used in Steel Construction

May 02, 2019 | 0 comments
Steel Construction

In structural steel, there are many prevalent construction materials. If you look at the image above, we are pretty sure that you must have noticed these beams in the structures around you. You might have noticed these beams in the bridges or during construction while walking around. These beams are called “I beam” because of the cross-section shape that looks like the letter ‘I’. So why do construction experts prefer using these I beams during various projects? Here are some of the reasons how I beam benefit during steel construction.

Distributes Weight Evenly

As we all know now that I beam is known for its reasonable cross-sectional shape. An I beam is designed in a way to handle a uniform load across the beam. When there is a weight on the beam, the maximum deflection will fall on the centre of the beam. This increases the tension on the sides of the beam. Let’s look at the image to understand how it works:

Steel Construction

When the weight is applied on the flange, the weight is distributed evenly on it, causing less tension to pass through the web. By the time the weight reaches the centre of the web (neutral axis), the weight is reduced to zero due to the distribution of the weight. Therefore, due to the shape of I beam, it can bear the load of weight put on its flange.

Comes in Various Dimensions

I beams are universal beams and used globally for most steel construction project. It comes in a variety of weights, section depths, web thickness, flange widths, and other specifications for different purposes. Depending on the structure of the I beam, it is used for different purposes.

For instance, when you build a bridge with a rectangular cross-section, you might build it for the vehicles to move around. Due to various factors like gravity or the weight of the vehicles moving on the bridge, a large amount of weight is pushed down. As a result of the weight, the bridge can deform due to a lot of stress and might even break. Therefore, to resist the bending, I beams are used to support the structure due to its design.

Bears Higher Loads

The design of an I beam makes it capable of bending under high stress instead of buckling. As the beam receives the load, the force is transmitted perpendicularly, thus supporting other members of the beams. I beams are mostly made of steel, therefore ensuring structural integrity with relentless strength and support. I beam strength is less formidable in the transverse direction and also adept at carrying torsion. Steel has properties that allow withstanding hefty loads of the structures. The strength of the steel and the shape of the beam both can reduce the need to include numerous support structures, saving time and money and making the structure more stable.

Has a High Moment of Inertia

The section at the centre of the beam, or the neutral axis, does not resist bending due to the uniform distribution of the weight across the beam. Due to the distance between the flange and the axis, I beams have a high moment of inertia. The larger the moment of inertia, the lesser the beam will bend to resist the bending moments. I beams can be rolled, welded, extruded, and riveted as well because of this property.

Helps in Fabrication

Metal fabrication involves the cutting, bending, and shaping of structural steel. I beams are very versatile and can be used in any steel construction projects. I beam steel fabrication is fast, efficient, and affordable to fulfil the orders and meet the demands of the project. With the right amount of knowledge, experience, hard work, and the use of specialised tools, it is easier to use I beam during custom welding processes and metal fabrication for all types of construction.

Reduces, Reuses, and Recycles

The production of I beams means minimum waste during construction. There are green practices in different countries making I beam affordable. Almost half of the world’s steel is produced in electric plants to generate no CO2 emissions. Steel products can be recycled over and over again without compromising on their strength. Since I beams are mostly made of steel, they can be recycled and reused in many ways and also reduce costs. Recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power about millions of households for a year.

Prevents Vibration

One of the major challenges while constructing a building is to create a structure with less floor vibration. Floor vibrations in the steel buildings can be created with a variety of direct and indirect sources of vibration. But the three main categories can be:

Human activity (jumping, walking, and running)

Machinery and equipment

External force (traffic on street or underground, or wind)

Since I beams are stiffer and bear higher loads, they are used to reduce the vibration of the floor by supporting the structure. With steel I beam, the vibration is damped quickly before it can travel very far.

I beams are an efficient option for steel construction. You may also refer to other types of beams available in the market. Depending on your construction requirement, we recommend you to choose the right type of steel beam and construct a flawless structure.

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