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Different Types of Steel Beams and their Uses

Steel is widely renowned for delivering structure and strength, unlike any other construction material. Steel outlasts and outperforms wood and concrete in terms of strength and durability. Steel is the most widely used construction material, and people choose it because of its multiple benefits.

Steel structures are commonly constructed utilising a variety of frames, including clearspan, modular, and single slope. Steel has surpassed wood as the most common building material in recent years, owing to its ease and speed of construction, as well as a number of other advantages.

When it comes to construction, steel allows us to design structures unlike any other material. Steel outperforms all other materials in terms of strength and durability. Because of its numerous advantages, structural steel has unquestionably become the favoured choice for building. Steel construction necessitates a variety of structural frames. Steel construction also takes substantially less time, making it the most popular method of structural construction.

With this in mind, we’ll go over some of the different steel varieties and the advantages they can provide in this blog. Continue reading to find out more about this adaptable and timeless construction material.

Structural Steel

To begin, it’s important to comprehend what structural steel is and how it’s produced. This type of steel is utilized to make structural steel shapes since it is formed from a precise cross-section. At the same time, it adheres to strict mechanical and chemical composition specifications.

Structural Steel Shapes:

L-beam, Z-beam, HSS-beam, structural channel (C-beam, cross-section), L-beam (angle), rail profile, bar, rod, plate, T-beam, and a web steel open joist are all examples of structural steel shapes.

Standard structural steel differs by country and has different standards. European I-beams, for example, are Euronorm 19-57, but structural steel in the United States is available in carbon, low alloy, corrosion-resistant high strength low alloy, quenched and tempered alloy steel, and so on.

Because structural steel is adaptable, strong, and long-lasting, it’s no surprise that it can be shaped into practically any shape depending on the construction project at hand; it can also be built very immediately as it arrives on the job site. Although structural steel is fire resistant by nature, fire safety measures should be implemented if heated to the extent that it begins to lose its durability and strength.

When it comes to structural steel, corrosion must be avoided, although towering buildings made with structural steel have been proven to withstand a variety of adversities.

Steel building is becoming increasingly popular over the world, with every region benefiting from it over time.

Steel, whether structural, carbon, or rebar, has been used to build many of the world’s most beautiful structures, like The Empire State Building and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. More importantly, steel construction is more environmentally friendly than other types of construction, and as a result, it is given higher priority.

Steel has proven to be advantageous while considering the rate of magnificent buildings. Steel is becoming more widely used in the construction sector, and there is little question that it will eventually take over the whole construction area.

Types of Steel Beams

We’ll look at different types of steel beams and how they’re used in buildings.

Flange Channels with Parallel Flanges

These channelled beams have a U-shaped design with right-angled corners, comparable to a staple. They are available in various sizes, but the two sides are always the same length and parallel to each other. They also have a high strength-to-weight ratio and can be used the same way that angled sections can.

Tapered Flange Beams 

Taper flange beams are available in an I-shaped design and a wide range of diameters. These are frequently used as girder cross-sections in construction. They have a high resistance ratio, but they are not torsion (twisting) resistant; hence they are not advised when pressure is exerted along the length.

Universal Beam

Universal beams, often called I-beams or H-beams, have a ‘I’ shape while standing upright and a ‘H’ shape when viewed from the side. Universal beams are typically built of structural steel and are utilised in various industries, including construction and civil engineering.

Universal Column

Universal beams are also commonly employed in the construction industry. They’re similar to beams and are sometimes called I-beams or H-beams, but all three parts are the same length. They are primarily used for columns, as their name implies, and have excellent load-bearing capacities.

Angled Section

Equal or unequal angled structural steel sections are available. Both will be right-angled, although unequal sections will be L-shaped due to differing sized axes. This segment is substantially stronger (up to 20% stronger) and has a higher strength-to-weight ratio. Residential construction, infrastructure, mining, and transportation all require angled portions. They are also available in a variety of lengths and sizes.

Circular Hollow Sections

Hollow in a circle Tapered flange beams have a lower torsion resistance than sections, which are hollow tubular cross-sections with a higher torsion resistance. The density of the walls is consistent around the circle, making these beams ideal for multi-axis loading procedures.

Rectangular Hollow Sections

These structural steels are similar to circular hollow sections, but their cross-sections are rectangular. They are widely used in a variety of mechanical and structural steel applications. Their flat surfaces make them ideal for metal manufacturing and joining.

Square Hollow Sections

These are employed in smaller applications like columns or posts, just like their hollow section counterparts (except with square cross-sections). However, they are not appropriate for beams because their forms are naturally difficult to bolt into various shapes. They’re also referred to as ‘box sections.

Flat Sections

Because they must be linked to another section, they are arguably the most versatile steel section. They can be joined to another part as a strengthening tool in some instances. They’re also referred to as ‘plates’ (for example, checker plates).

We at Gilchrist steel offer steel and stainless steel fabrications and a variety of other structural steel supplies.


Do you need a wide choice of high-quality structural steel and aluminium items for a commercial or residential building project? Gilchrist steel is here to assist you. We are the top structural steel fabricators in Glasgow, providing a wide range of structural steel and aluminium products. Both locally and nationally at prices that appeal to everyone.


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