All About I-Beams: Types, Uses And Benefits
Posted on: October 15, 2018, by : admin



Many different materials are used in a construction project. All these materials have different types of classifications, uses, benefits and factors to consider when using them. One such important material that forms an integral part of construction projects is I beams. Here we will discuss all there is to know about this product.


What Are I-Beams?

To begin with they are also known as H-beams, W-beam, wide beam, a rolled steel joist and also a universal beam. These beams are made up of two horizontal components i.e. ‘flanges’ which are connected by a vertical component known as the ‘web’. The thickness and strength of these flanges and the web determine the strength of the beam itself.

Type And Factors To Consider When Picking One

All building types including prefab buildings make use of this construction component to make a solid and sound building. These beams are classified into different types on the basis of sizes, section depths, weights, web thickness etc. There are standardized charts which allow builders to access which type/ size/ weight of I-beam to select for a certain kind of weight.

However there are many factors that must be taken into account before a builder/ porta cabin manufacturer settles on a particular size. And these include:

  • Vibrations: The beams need to be of certain stiffness and mass to eliminate any kind of vibrations in the building.
  • Deflection: Another thing to consider when selecting the right beam size is deformation. The beam should be thick enough to withstand the building weight without deforming.
  • Buckling Under Tension: Web thickness and flanges are both required to be in appropriate proportion to avoid any buckling or rippling under the tension.
  • Bending: To avoid buckling, the beams must be accommodating of yield stress by bending under pressure.


Low cost housing
Low cost housing

All builders, developers, manufacturers and even suppliers like container manufacturers  will agree that structural integrity is extremely important. And these beams, irrespective of the material they are made of do the job of providing load baring and structural strength to the building at hand.

They form one of the best support pillars for any structure as they can withstand different types of shear and load stresses. Another important component of a building is the different types of purlins or specifically the c purlins.

These purlins are horizontal running components which are meant to support the roof/ roofing sheets of the building. In fact, some builders also replace purlins with I-beams when it suits their needs and requirements.



Since I beams are such a critical part of various constructions and buildings, they are designed by qualified individuals. They are fabricated keeping in mind the need for reliability, strength and stability when it comes to building/ constructions. The ‘I’ shape of these beams translates in the fact that they are really great for the unidirectional bending pressures that are parallel to the beam’s web.

The name universal beam (UB) comes from the fact that these I beams are very versatile and can be used for many purposes. That is, from providing support in erection of a building, to floor support and even support the roofs (color coated roofing sheet etc.) and more.