• Exploring Types of Beam Supports: A Comprehensive Guide

    May 9, 2024 | By Kenza TMT Steel Bars

    If you are anyone related to construction, or needs something built, beams are something you might have heard of more than once. There are many types of beams you may see around that come in different shapes and sizes based on what they are used for. Here is a small insight into some types of beams and what they are used for

    What are Beams?

    Beams are fundamental structural elements used in construction to support loads like the weight of buildings etc. Their main function is to resist bending. The beams you see mostly are long and narrow. They transfer loads from one point to another like from the roof to the wall or from the floor to the foundation. Since beams play a crucial role in distributing the weight of the load, you might require beams to mainly ensure stability and safety.

    What are the different types of beams?

    Looking into beams, you will see that there are various types and materials. Manufacturers make them to be designed for specific applications and load requirements based on specific requirements that users need. Below you will read how beams are categorized and the different types of beams

    Based on Construction Materials

    1. Reinforced Concrete Beams

    They are used a lot in the construction industry. Reinforced concrete beams are made by embedding steel bars – also called rebars, within concrete to increase their tensile strength. They are this popular because they are very strong, versatile, and durable. Reinforced concrete beams are used so much because they can withstand heavy loads and are used extensively in buildings, bridges, etc. 

    2. Steel Beams

    Steel beams are of two types I beams and H- beams whose names are based on how they look. Looking at H beams and I beams, you may see that they look almost the same and are often used in similar situations, there are subtle differences between the two.  H beams have a rectangular cross-section with a thicker center web, while I beams have a triangular cross-section with tapered edges. They have a comparatively thinner center web. H beams are generally considered stronger than I beams.

    3. Timber Beams

    Timber beams – like the name suggests are made of wood, not like the usual beams you usually see. Which is why they are commonly used in smaller structures like residential construction. They are easy to handle, less costly and are  aesthetically pleasing. They are usually used in cases where moderate loads are expected like in flooring, roofing, and framing.

    4. Composite Beams

    Timber beams as the name suggests are made of wood and are commonly used in smaller structures like residential construction. They look good, are easy to handle, and less costly. They are usually used in cases where moderate loads are expected like in flooring, roofing, and framing.

    Based on Cross-Section Shapes

    1. Rectangular Beam

    Just as it is named, rectangular beams are simple with cross sections shaped like a rectangle. Construction professionals find it quite easy to work with which is why they are used widely in several construction projects. Rectangular beams are the perfect choice in cases where the load is uniformly distributed along the length of the beam.

    2. T-section Beam

    T-section beams have a cross-section that resembles the letter “T”.  They are used to provide enhanced resistance to bending and bending and torsional forces and are often used in floor and roof systems that require additional strength. Like bridges and industrial buildings.

    3. L-section Beam

    L-sections, rightly named, have cross-sections that resemble the letter “L”. They are used in cases that require transferring loads from the structure above to supports that are below. They are usually used as lintels or support beams in open walls in residential and commercial construction.

    Based on Geometry

    1. Straight Beam

    Straight beams are the most common type of beam that is used in the field of construction. They are linear and used for spanning distances between supports in straight lines. Straight beams are used in floor construction, roofs, bridges, and other structures.

    2. Curved Beam

    Curved beams are curved in geometry and are mainly used in structures that require constructions with aesthetic appeals or where customized designs are necessary. They are usually used in aesthetic architectural applications like arches, domes, and curved roofs.

    3. Tapered Beam

    Unlike most other beams, tapered beams are used in structures where the load distribution is not uniform throughout like aircraft wings. Tapered beams have varying cross-section dimensions along their length and are designed to support different loads at different points.

    Based on Method of Construction

    1. Cast In-situ Concrete Beam

    Cast in-situ concrete beams are those that are constructed on-site.  In such cases, concrete is poured into formwork and allowed to be set. There is a certain flexibility that this method offers in design. It also allows for the customization of beam dimensions and reinforcement.

    2. Precast Concrete Beam

    Precast concrete beams are those that are manufactured off-site. They are made in controlled conditions and then transported to the construction site for installation. The main advantage of these types of beams is that they ensure that the beams are of consistent quality and allow for faster construction.

    3. Prestressed Concrete Beam

    Prestressed concrete beams are pre-compressed to increase the tensile strength.  As a result, they have increased strength and durability and are perfect for long-span heavy-load applications such as bridges and parking structures.

    To sum it up

    TMT bar manufacturers also manufacture different types of beams including Cantilever beams and other support beams. It is easy to choose the perfect type of beams if you know the uniqueness and applications of each.


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