Types of Columns

Types of Columns Used in Construction

The Column is a vertical member which transmits loads of a structure from beam and slab to the foundation. There are different Types of Columns used in building construction. The effective depth of a column exceeds three times its least lateral dimension. Usually, the column carries axial loads in compression. Columns are very important components of a structure. Failure of the column results in the collapse of the structure.

Generally, columns carry axial loads and therefore are designed for compression. Other loads like snow load, wind load, or other horizontal forces or thrusts can cause bending in the columns. Columns then need to be designed for axial load and bending.

Columns are typically constructed from materials like stone, brick, block, concrete, steel, etc. which have good compressive strength.

Commonly, columns also carry bending moments about one or both of the cross-section axis. In this study, different types of columns used in building or in construction work will be discussed.

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Why We Provide Columns in Structures?

  • Columns carry axial loads and therefore are designed for compression forces.
  • Other loads like snow load, wind load, or other horizontal forces can cause bending in the structure, to prevent the failure or settlement of structure columns are provided.
  • We shall build up a small size structure by random rubble masonry at a certain height but the multi-story building cannot be constructed by random rubble masonry because the structure is capable to transmit the heavy load to the base of the foundation.
  • The column is generally designed to distribute the compressive axial load & additional forces like snow, wind to the foundation evenly and it could be sustained the structure even in the earthquake or in any other forces.

Types of Column in Used in Construction:

There are different types of columns used in construction industries. The types of columns can be classified depending upon several conditions, which are

  1. Based on the Shape
  2. Based on the Type of Reinforcement
  3. Based on the Type of Loading
  4. Based on Slenderness Ratio
  5. Based on Construction Materials

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1. Based on the Shape:

Followings are types of columns based on shape:

1. Square or Rectangular Column:

They are commonly used in the construction of buildings and heavy structures. It is much effortless to construct and cast rectangular or square columns than circular ones because of the ease of shuttering and to support it from collapsing due to pressure while the concrete is still in flowable form. The square or rectangular ones are better and cheapest in cost.

 types of columns
Square or Rectangular Column

2. Circular Column:

Circular columns are mostly used in piling and elevation of the buildings for aesthetic purposes. In a circular column, more than 4 longitudinal steel bars are used as a reinforcement bar and its bending resistance is generally higher than the square or rectangular column. Other than buildings, circular columns are mostly used as bridge pillars due to good resistance against deflection.

 types of columns
Circular Column

3. L and T shaped Column:

Generally, the L-shaped column is utilized in the corners of the boundary wall and has similar characteristics of a rectangular or square column. The T-shaped column is utilized based on the design requirements of a structure. It is widely used in the construction of bridges.

 types of columns
T-Shaped & L-Shaped Columns

2. Based on the Type of Reinforcement:

Followings are types of columns based on shape:

1. Tied Column:

This type of column is usually constructed from reinforced concrete. Longitudinal reinforcements are confined within closely spaced tie reinforcement. If ties are spaced too far apart, the column will experience shear failure and barreling in between ties. It is estimated that 95% of all columns in buildings are tied columns.

 types of columns
Tied Column

2. Spiral Column:

When spiral columns are reinforced with closely and uniformly spaced spiral reinforcement, they are also known as spiral columns. Mostly the spiral columns are providing to support in the transverse direction and prevent the column from barreling. Spirally reinforced columns generally consist of 6 bars as longitudinal reinforcement.

 types of columns
Spiral Column

3. Composite Column:

These types of columns consist of structural steel or cast iron column enclosed with concrete, reinforced with longitudinal as well as spiral reinforcement. Composite columns are widely used in truss structures to avoid the corrosion of steel. This type of column has more adequate strength with fairly small cross-section, in addition, to exhibit good fire performance.

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3. Based on the Type of Loading:

Followings are types of columns based on loading:

1. Axially Loaded Column:

If vertical axial loads act on the center of gravity of the cross-section of the column, then it is termed as an axially loaded column. The axially loaded column is rare in construction since coinciding vertical loads on the center of gravity of the column section is not practical. The Interior column of multi-story buildings with symmetrical loads from floor slabs from all sides is an example of this type of column.

 types of columns
Axially Loaded Column

2. Uniaxial Eccentrically Loaded Column:

The axis of vertical loads doesn’t cross with C.G. (center of gravity) of a cross-section of the column, but rather act eccentrically either on the X or Y axis of the column cross-section, then it is called a uniaxial eccentrically loaded column. A column with this loading system used in the case of columns rigidly connected beam from one side only such as edge columns.

 types of columns
Uniaxial Eccentrically Loaded Column

3. Biaxial Eccentrically Loaded Column:

When vertical loads on the column do not coincide with the center of gravity of the column cross-section and do not act on wither axis (X and Y axis), then the column is called a biaxial eccentrically loaded column. Columns with biaxial loading are mostly used in corner columns with beams rigidly connected at right angles at the top of columns. These types of columns are used in special types of construction.

 types of columns
Biaxial Eccentrically Loaded Column

 4. Based on Slenderness Ratio:

Followings are types of columns based on slenderness ratio:

1. Short Column:

If the ratio of the effective length of the column to the least lateral dimension is less than 12, the column is called the short column. A short column fails by crushing of the concrete (pure compression failure).

2. Long Column:

If the ratio of the effective length of the column to the least lateral dimension exceeds 12, it is called a long column. A long column fails by bending or buckling. Long columns are weaker compare to short columns of the same cross-sectional area and not generally preferred.


5. Based on Construction Materials

Followings are types of columns based on slenderness ratio:

1. Reinforced Concrete Column:

 types of columns
Reinforced Concrete Column

The types of columns in which is reinforced with steel are known as reinforced concrete column. This type of column majorly used in building construction. Concrete is strong in compression and weak in tension. Therefore, steel reinforcement is provided to increase its tension capacity.

2. Steel Column:

The column which is made from steel is known as steel column. There are huge trends in steel structure construction in the world. The steel structure is comparatively more flexible, strong, and durable than concrete structure. There are different types of steel columns like the T section steel column which is most commonly used in steel structure.

3. Timber Column:

Types of columns which is made from timber are known as timber column. Timber columns are popular in the previous century. Timber is mostly seen in the old building because at that time it is only construction materials that are easily available. The timer is a strong and durable construction material if it is given proper treatment. Timber is seasoning is done to remove the moisture from wood which provides it strength and reduces weight.

4. Brick Column:

Brick masonry types of columns are generally used in the load-bearing structures. It plays a vital role in supporting and increasing the stability of the masonry structure. Sometimes, the construction of brick masonry columns over the concrete column increases its aesthetic appearance. Brick masonry column may have different cross-sections like round, rectangle or square, or elliptical.

5. Block Column:

Block types of columns are constructed from AAC block or cement concrete block. The Block column is structural weight is less compared to a concrete column.

6. Stone Column:

The types of columns in which are made by using stones and rubble are known as the stone column. There are most used to increase the aesthetic appearance of the house.


FAQs:

Q.1 What are columns used for in construction?

The column is used for structural reinforcement and to distribute the compressive axial load & additional forces like snow, wind to the foundation evenly and it could be sustained the structure even in the earthquake or in any other forces.

Q.2 What are Rectangular Columns called?

Square or Rectangular Column:
They are commonly used in the construction of buildings and heavy structures. It is much effortless to construct and cast rectangular or square columns than circular ones. The square or rectangular ones are better and cheapest in cost.

Q.3 What is Column Pedestal?

The underlying structure designed to carry the compression load from the supporting element i.e column has termed as Column Pedestal. It has the function to further pass the load to the footing.


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