types of beam

25 Types of Beam Used In Construction

What Is A Beam?

A beam is a structural element that is used to support load or weight, such as the weight of a floor or roof. Beams are typically horizontal and are designed to resist bending and other types of structural stress.

Beams can be made of a variety of materials, including steel, wood, concrete, and composite materials. The type of material used to make a beam will depend on a variety of factors, including the load it needs to support, the size and shape of the structure it will be a part of, and aesthetic considerations.

Beams are an essential component of many types of construction projects, from residential buildings to large industrial structures. They are designed to transfer the weight of the structure and its contents to the foundation and are an important part of ensuring the structural integrity and safety of a building.

A Beam is a horizontal structural element that runs horizontally to withstand vertical load coming off the building frame.

The beam takes the load & distributes it to ends and transfers it to columns, walls, and posts on both sides of the beam. it only withstands laterally applied loads on the axis of the beam.

Read More: What is a Grade Beam & Its Construction Method


25 Different Types of Beams In Construction

The following are different types of beams used in construction,

A. Based on Construction Material

1. Timber Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Timber Beam Frame Structure

The timber beam is generally used in the wooden roof truss construction. They are used in combination with columns and posts which support beams in the wooden frame structure.

The timber beam runs horizontally between two posts on both sides of the wooden truss.

They are also used to support floor slabs in old houses made of timber materials. Timber is a strong and durable building material if proper treatment and care are taken.

But, With the introduction of advanced construction materials like concrete, their application is now limited.

2. Steel Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Steel Beam

Steel Beams are manufactured from molten steel poured into molds and rolled out in a variety of shapes like Beams. Steel beams are strong, durable, and high-strength material compares to other construction materials. Steel beams are used in different types of construction like buildings, workshops, steel roof trusses, bridges, ropeways, etc.

3. Reinforced Concrete Beam

Reinforced concrete beams are an important structural element of a building that is designed to carry transverse external loads. 

This loadable causes bending moment, shear forces, and in some cases torsion across their length.

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
RCC Beam

As we know that concrete is strong in compression and very weak in tension. Therefore, to counteract and balance these defects Steel reinforcement is used to take up tensile stresses in reinforced concrete beams.

The RCC beam is generally designed to support the loads from slabs, other beams, walls, and columns and transfer the loads to the columns supporting them.

Read More: Structural Components of Building & Their Standard Dimensions

4. Composite Beam

It is a structural component that is made by using two different materials joined together to act as a unit.

An example in building construction, there is steel and concrete composite beam used. This concrete slab is attached with a steel wide flange.

B. Based on Loads & Supports

5. Simply Supported Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
  • A simply supported beam is one of the important and simple types of beam. As its name suggests, it is supported on both ends, at one end it is pinned and at the other is either pinned or rollers are used.
  • This beam is generally experienced in both bending and shearing and sometimes translational moments only when the roller end is used.
  • According to the type such as UDL (uniformly distributed load), UVL (uniformly varying load), concentrated load, etc., beam bending and shearing will liable to vary.

6. Fixed Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

These are the types of beams in which both ends are fixed and the rotational movement is restrained. Also, The type of Beam which has no freedom to rotate at ends is a Fixed Beam.

The End Connections of beams are provided with reinforcements to restrict the end rotation or tilting.

In reality, all high-rise buildings are made of fixed beams but the only way of fixing them looks different.

The 110 stories of the high world trade center building can be considered a fixed beam. This may not be seen clearly due to the presence of intermediate columns and beams.

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7. Overhanging Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

The overhanging beam is one like a simply supported beam, but it’s one end overhand or extended from support to some distance.

Generally, every end of the beam is supported by the column. In the case of an overhanging beam, one end of a beam is supported by a column and the other end is overhung without support.

Overhanging beams generally used to make shades or balconies, can vary from 40–120 cm in common residential buildings.

8. Double Overhanging Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

As its name suggests it is a double overhanging portion on both ends of the beam. In short, These types of Beams will have an overhang portion at both the support.

There is roller support and rotational moment on both ends of the beam

9. Continuous Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

A Beam that has more than two or more support is called a continuous beam. It is like a simply supported beam.

A beam is called a continuous beam when it is simply supported at both ends with intermediate support too.

These types of beams have more than one span.  A continuous beam is most commonly used in bridge construction. A beam of this type has more than two supports along its length.  

Advantages

  • It has lesser maximum deflection than a simply supported beam.
  • With a continuous beam, we can use span or distance as compared to simply supported beams.
  • It has a lesser maximum positive bending moment than a simply supported beam.

10. Cantilever Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

A cantilever beam can be defined as a beam that is fixed at one and free at the other end. In other words, Beam is fixed at one end and the other end is extended beyond to hang free in the air.

In these types of beams, the load coming on it transfers to the support where it can manage the moment of force and shear stress. 

The cantilever beam’s free end is the ability to move when the load is applied but no rotation or translation will occur at the end fixed end (end in the concrete).

It is mostly used in car parking areas, construction of bridges, towers, etc.

Read More: 14 Types of Bricks and Their Advantages

11. Trussed Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Trussed Beam

When the beam is reinforced with a truss, it is called a trussed beam. These types of beams are used mostly for making workshop sheds, and warehouse sheds, where there is a need for a long span and open space.

C. Based on the Shape Of Cross Section

12. Rectangular Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

The rectangular beam is those which have a cross-section rectangular shape. These types of beams generally experience tension at the bottom and compression at the top.

Therefore, more reinforcement is provided at the bottom beam compared to the top portion of the beam. 

Rectangular beams are the most common types of beams used in building construction from small-house construction to high-rise building construction.

13.  I – Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
I – Beam
  • I – Beam is a simple means beam has shaped like the alphabet “I”.  Also, it is a structural member in the shape of an “I”, meaning a central web with a crossbar at the top and bottom.
  • I – Beam may be made of steel, concrete, or fiberglass. I Beam is generally used in the construction of manufacturing plants, multi-story buildings, etc.

14. T – Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
T – Beam

The beam has a cross-sectional shape like “T” which is called a T-Beam. This beam is generally cast monolithically with the slab.

As a result, the slab acts as a part integral part of the beam and bends in the longitudinal direction of the beam. The slab portion is called a flange for T- the beam. The beam portion below the flange is called the web.

T-beam allows us to select a larger span compared to the rectangular span because the deflection of the beam is greatly reduced.

Read More: Standard Height Of Window From Floor Level

15. C – Beam

It is a beam that has a channel section that means “C” section.

16. L – Beam

L – The beam which is provided at the corner or around the perimeter of the slab is called L-Beam.

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
L – Beam

Also, we can define the end beams which have slabs only on one side called L-beam. Generally, these beams are cast monolithically with the slab and hence act as L-beam but not simple rectangular beams.

These types of beams are generally found at the corners of buildings on which the roof/slab is not projected out of the beam, corners around the staircase, lift openings, etc.

D. Based on Equilibrium Conditions

17. Statically Determinate Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

If the forces applied on the beam can be resolved or found out by applying static equilibrium equations, then it is called a statically determinate beam.

Also, we can say that in a statically determinate beam numbers of unknown forces are equal to the number of equations.

Statically determinate structures are most commonly used in bridges, mainly due to the fact that temperature changes can induce large stresses in the bridge.

18. Statically Indeterminate Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use

If the forces applied on the beam can be resolved or found out by applying static equilibrium equations, then it is called a statically indeterminate beam.

In types of a beam, if the number of unknowns exceeds the number of equations, then the structure is statically indeterminate.

When we provide more support to structure than required for static stability, it makes structure indeterminate.

Advantages

  • Stresses produced in indeterminate are generally lower than the determinate structure.
  • The deflection of the beam is less compared to a determinate beam due to greater stiffness.
  • A statically indeterminate beam has the capacity to redistribute the loads. In case any part or support structure fails, the entire structure will not necessarily collapse, and the loads will be redistributed to the adjacent portions of the structure.

E. Based on Geometry

19. Straight Beam

Straight beams are those which have a straight profile along the length. Most of the buildings are made with a straight beam.

20. Curved Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Curved Beam

A beam that has a curved shape or profile is called a curved beam. It is generally used in the case of circular or curved-shaped building construction.

21. Tapered Beam

It is a type of beam with a tapered shape.

F. Based on Construction Methods

22. Cast In-situ Concrete Beam

These are the beam which is cast on-site and cured. For the casting of the beam, formwork is fixed in a definite size, and the fresh concrete is poured into the forms, the compaction is done with the help of various vibratory equipment.

23. Precast Concrete Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Precast Concrete Beam

Precast beams are those which are cast or manufactured in a plant and away from the structure in a very controlled environment, and ideal conditions are provided for castings to ensure the maximum strength of the beam.

They are cast at plants and cured in a very controlled manner with a high-quality check. These precast beams are then transported to construction to use. 

24. Pre-stressed Concrete Beam

As its name suggests they are prestressed before casting the beam. Concrete beam formwork is set up with tension wire in it and hydraulic jacks are used to give pretension before casting.

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Pre-stressed Concrete Beam

Just before concreting in the beam, the tension wire is stressed as per the requirement with help of a hydraulic jack. After that concrete is poured into it and cured. This casted beam is called a prestressed concrete beam.

As we know that concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension. There is a constant affords to reduce the tension force on the concrete members.

Therefore, the concrete beam is prestressed so that it will remain under compression more than in tension.

25. Lintel Beam

25 Different Types of Beams in Construction & Their Use
Lintel Beam

Lintel beams are generally provided on the top of the door, window, and ventilation frame. It has main function is to restrict the load that can act on the door and window frame.

It distributes the load from the upper part to the sidewall on which it is supported. The lintel beam is one of the essential components of the beam.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a variety of beam types used in construction, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Steel beams are strong and durable, while wood beams are commonly used in residential construction.

Concrete beams are useful in the construction of large structures like bridges and highways, while composite beams are made of a combination of materials for added strength.

Box beams, laminated beams, I-beams, T-beams, parallel chord trusses, and glue laminated timber beams all have their unique applications in the construction industry.

Choosing the right type of beam for a specific project will depend on factors such as load-bearing requirements, durability, cost, and aesthetic considerations.

Understanding the characteristics and applications of these different beam types is important for architects, engineers, and builders to ensure the safe and effective construction of structures of all sizes and purposes.

FAQs:

What Is A Beam?

A Beam is a horizontal structural element that runs horizontally to withstand vertical load coming off the building frame. The beam takes the load & distributes it to ends and transfers it to columns, walls, and posts on both sides of the beam. it only withstands laterally applied loads on the axis of the beam.

What are the types of Beams?

1. Timber Beam
2. Steel Beam
3. Reinforced Concrete Beam
4. Composite Beam
5. Simply Supported Beam

What do you mean by Statically Determinate Beam?

If the forces applied on the beam can be resolved or found out by applying static equilibrium equations, then it is called a statically indeterminate beam.

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