Structural steel is the bread and butter of steel fabrication. Designers, architects and engineers choose different sections for their aesthetics and structural qualities – their choices determined by size, weight and profile.
There are multiple types of structural steel used in construction that differ in size, weight and profile.
Parallel Flange Channels
These channelled beams are U-shaped with right-angled corners – a bit like a stick of staples. They come in many different sizes; however, the two sides are always the same length and parallel. They also offer a high strength to weight ratio and have similar uses to angled sections.
Tapered Flange Beams
Taper flange beams are I-shaped sections and are also available in a wide variety of sizes. In construction, these are often used for cross-sections of girders. Though they have quite high resistance ratios, they are not usually recommended when pressure is present along their length as they are not torsion (twisting) resistant.
Universal beams, also known ad I-beams or H-beams, are shaped like their namesake: an ‘I’ when standing upright and a ‘H’ on their side. Universal beams are usually made of structural steel and are used in construction and civil engineering, among other industries.
Universal beams are also widely used for structural steel purposes. They are similar to beams and are often called I-beams or H-beams. However, all three sections are equal in length. As their name suggests, they are mainly used for columns and have fantastic load-bearing capabilities.
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