Choosing Steel Beams for Your Next Repair and Restoration Project

Structures need support from their surroundings to stand up to different forces and the natural elements. For them to do this, you must install accessories that transfer that weight to the building's support system. That's where steel beams come in handy. They carry the load from the whole structure and act as a bridge that transfers that load to the foundation, soil structure and other support mechanisms. Choosing the right steel beams means that your building enjoys a high degree of support, enabling it to withstand natural and artificial calamities. Is this your first time shopping for steel beams? Read on to learn everything you need to know:

The Universal Beam

Universal beams are a great place to start for anyone who wants to learn about steel beams. They are a popular steel beam comprising a set of flanges held together by one vertical element. The flanges form the horizontal plane, leading to the renowned "I" shape used to define these beams. 

Usually, universal or I-beams are available in several section depths, web thickness, weights and flange widths. Fabricators ensure that you can get anything you need for your project. When buying, ask about the universal beam's deflection. This ensures that you get the right thickness to eliminate deformation when installing the steel beam. 

Hollow Section Beams

Just as the name suggests, hollow section beams have no mass between the sectional panels used to make them. These cross-sectional panels can be rectangular or circular. Both types of hollow section beams are easy to fabricate because the internal sections do not need any reinforcement. This also makes them cheaper than other steel beams in the market. However, there is an opportunity cost for the fabrication speed and low costs. Hollow section beams have little tensile strength, which makes them ideal for light-duty structural tasks. You can use them to reinforce columns, trusses and light-duty beams. 

Composite Steel Beams

When you hear of composite steel beams, the first thing to register in your mind should be a combination of several materials. Often, the blend features steel beams with materials such as concrete to enhance the beam's tensile strength. The combination also comes with shear studs to protect the shaft from shearing as the concrete cures. 

Composite beams feature significantly in projects where concrete and cementitious mixtures are involved because they are robust and reliable. However, they require skilled construction and adequate time to cure for them to offer the support needed by the structure.