4 Steps To Designing The Perfect Steel Beam

14 January 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Many steel companies are increasing their range of services to allow customer companies to create the type of steel items that will be perfect for their projects. One of the most popular types of item that is being customized is that of the steel beam. It is important that the steel beam meet all of a company's requirements before it is purchased, including whether it is in budget, if it's strong enough for the project, and how it looks. Follow these four steps to design the perfect customized steel beam.

1. Choose the Perfect Material

Even though a steel beam will naturally be made out of steel, there are a number of different grades of a steel from which a company can choose. Steel with higher grades will be stronger and more suitable to industrial construction and other heavy duty construction projects. Steel with a lower grade will be cheaper, but not nearly as tough or durable. Taking necessary toughness and budget constraints into account will allow a company to choose the type of steel that is perfect for their needs.

2. Choose the Shape of the Beam

There are several different shapes of steel beams available on the market, including an "I" beam, a "C" beam, a "T" beam, and an "L" beam. The specificity of the machining tools required to make the chosen shape will influence the cost of the beam.

3. Choose the Span of the Beam

Next, a company will need to choose the span of the beam. The span is the length between two supports for the beam. Beams that have short spans are usually stronger and better supported, but also more expensive. Beams that have longer spans will tend to be less expensive.

4. Determine Which Loads Will be Added

There are many different types of loads that a beam will have to support, including dead loads, which will not change and are usually from walls or roofs; live loads, which will change depending on what is placed on top of the beam; and snow loads. Snow loads are the amount of pressure a beam takes based on the amount of snow that is on top of it. This type of load changes frequently. Figuring out the loads will make it easier for the steel company to provide a beam that will be able to handle the loads.

For more information about designing steel beams, contact your local steel services company.