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Top 5 Reasons To Use I-Beams In Construction

I-beams have a variety of important uses in the structural steel construction industry. They are often used as critical support trusses, or the main framework, in buildings.
Understanding the I-beam is a basic necessity for the modern civil engineer or construction worker. Engineers use I-beams widely in construction, forming columns and beams of many different lengths, sizes, and specifications.


What is I-beam

An I-beam is made by rolling or milling steel which means the I-beam is often limited by the capacity or size of the milling equipment, it comes in a variety of weights, section depths, flange widths, web thicknesses, and other specifications.
The steel I-beams ensure a structure’s integrity with relentless strength and support, it has immense power to reduce the need to include numerous support structures, saving time and money, as well as making the structure more stable.

Top 5 Reasons To Use I-Beams In Construction

Reasons 1#: Design

On the surface, steel I-beams seem like a no-brainer when needing to support a large amount of weight because they are made of metal. But, I-beams with the way they are constructed, are the reason they can withstand large amounts of weight along with the material they are made of. I-beams are comprised of two horizontal flat surfaces called flanges connected by a horizontal component called a web. The flanges and webs of I-beams vary in thickness and width as the sizes are dependent upon the application. The shape of I-beams is ultimately designed to reduce and resist shear stress as the flanges act as a preventative to bending movement. Not only are I-beams designed to resist bending and shear stress, but also vibration, yielding, and reflection due to their shape.

Reasons 2#: Strength

One of the main reasons people enjoy installing wooden beams is the versatility it provides. You can drill holes, mount objects, and hang lighting without sacrificing any of the integrity of the wood. However, with steel beams you cannot do so as puncturing the beam in any way will reduce its structural strength. Dependent on your needs, wood beams and steel beams will be your options – but I-Beams will always be stronger.

Reasons 3#: Durable

For steel I-beams, you’re taking out a lot of guessing work of how long the material will last. In comparison to wood, where wood is subject to aging, rotting, mold, and warping, I-beams are resistant to such decay. I-beams will not falter in the way of cracking or splitting as they age. Also, one of the main reasons the durability of I-beams is superior to that of wood is that with the creation of each I-beam there are rules and regulations each must meet prior to being sold. This is much better than relying on nature as wood does as there is many more variables to their creation.

Reasons 4#: Cost-Effective

When it comes to any construction project, you want to stay at or below budget. How do you do that? Buying the exact amount of material you need or buying bigger sizes in lieu of smaller sizes if possible. That’s not the only way, however. You can also be budget-conscious by targeting to accomplish a project faster than expected if you have less material to install.

That said, I-beams’ strength comes to the forefront as construction sites can rely on less of the material with the increased amount of weight it can sustain. You will not only be able to buy fewer steel beams in comparison to wooden beams, but you will also be able to save on the overall cost of materials and shipping/freight as there will be fewer of them. Also, as you will be installing less material, there will be more free space for interiors if that is a concern.

Reasons 5#: Adaptable

I-beams do not have to be only for new projects. They are great for stabilizing a structure in need. Whether the building you’re working on needs additional support or modifications to exist support, I-beams serve as the optimal replacement for old wooden beams. As further renovation projects continue in the future, the use of I-beams will be commonplace due to their strength and adaptability.

I Beam Size And Weight Chart

I-beam size charts for some common structural sections are provided below:

– H –
– B –
– d –
UB 127 x 76 x 1312776416.513
UB 152 x 89 x 16152.488.74.520.316
UB 178 x 102 x 19177.8101.24.824.319
UB 203 x 102 x 23203.2101.85.429.423.1
UB 203 x 133 x 25203.2133.25.73225.1
UB 203 x 133 x 30206.8133.96.438.230
UB 254 x 102 x 22254101.65.72822
UB 254 x 102 x 25257.2101.963225.2
UB 254 x 102 x 28260.4102.26.336.128.3
UB 254 x 146 x 31251.4146.1639.731.1
UB 254 x 146 x 37256146.46.347.237
UB 254 x 146 x 43259.6147.37.254.843
UB 305 x 102 x 25305.1101.65.831.624.8
UB 305 x 102 x 28308.7101.8635.928.2
UB 305 x 102 x 33312.7102.46.641.832.8
UB 305 x 127 x 37304.4123.47.147.237
UB 305 x 127 x 42307.2124.3853.441.9
UB 305 x 127 x 48311125.3961.248.1
UB 305 x 165 x 40303.4165651.340.3
UB 305 x 165 x 46306.6165.76.758.846.1
UB 305 x 165 x 54310.4166.97.968.854
UB 356 x 127 x 33349125.4642.133.1
UB 356 x 127 x 39353.41266.649.839.1
UB 356 x 171 x 45351.4171.1757.345
UB 356 x 171 x 51355171.57.464.951
UB 356 x 171 x 57358172.28.172.657
UB 356 x 171 x 67363.4173.29.185.567.1
UB 406 x 140 x 39398141.86.449.739
UB 406 x 140 x 46403.2142.26.858.646
UB 406 x 178 x 54402.6177.77.76954.1
UB 406 x 178 x 60406.4177.97.976.560.1
UB 406 x 178 x 67409.4178.88.885.567.1
UB 406 x 178 x 74412.8179.59.594.574.2
UB 457 x 152 x 52449.8152.47.666.652.3
UB 457 x 152 x 60454.6152.
UB 457 x 152 x 67458153.8985.667.2
UB 457 x 152 x 74462154.49.694.574.2
UB 457 x 152 x 82465.8155.310.5104.582.1
UB 457 x 191 x 67453.4189.98.585.567.1
UB 457 x 191 x 74457190.4994.674.3
UB 457 x 191 x 82460191.39.9104.582
UB 457 x 191 x 89463.4191.910.5113.889.3
UB 457 x 191 x 98467.2192.811.4125.398.3


  1. I-beams provide great load-bearing support when used horizontally or standing as columns.
  2. I-beams are the choice shape for structural steel builds because the I-beam makes it uniquely capable of handling a variety of loads.
  3. The shape of I-beams makes them excellent for unidirectional bending parallel to the web. The horizontal flanges resist the bending movement, while the web resists the shear stress.

So the versatility and dependability of I-beams make them a coveted resource to every builder.

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