Beam Structure: Definition and Types

Understanding the fundamental physics and engineering statics concepts is necessary for beam architecture or dimensioning. A structural engineer is qualified and equipped to assess the loads acting on a beam, gauge the forces and stresses it is subjected to, and make the appropriate decisions regarding the beam’s material, size, and shape. One aspect of the engineering consulting services we provide to our clients is the structural design of beams in new buildings as well as the reconstruction or reinforcement of existing beams in a structure.

Structural engineers must measure the weight supported by the column before choosing an appropriate design. The column design will be influenced by the vertical forces extruding load values, just like with beams. The effects of lateral forces due to earthquakes and wind must be taken into account when determining the column size and dimensions. In modern column building, there are two major materials used:

How Beams Work! (Part 1): Structures 6-1

Why it’s important to understand beam structure

Because these beams are the main means by which the weight of the building is supported, understanding beam structure is crucial in both construction and structural engineering. Beams make sure that there is a stable load path at the building’s foundation so that the roof, ceiling, and floors of the structure are adequately supported by the building’s foundation. To ensure that the structure being built is able to withstand its own force, construction and engineering professionals must be knowledgeable about the type of beam that is best for a structure and how to install beams efficiently.

For instance, larger and heavier beams may be required to effectively support the load if the building is taller. Because smaller structures typically carry a lighter load and don’t require as much support, they need smaller beams. The wrong type of beam can prevent the building from being stable enough to support its own weight, which could be dangerous and shorten the building’s lifespan.

Engineering statics and basic physics knowledge are necessary to understand beams. This knowledge enables construction and engineering professionals to recognize the loads that will affect the beam and efficiently select the required beam’s size, shape, and material.

What is beam structure?

A beam structure, also known as a beam or simply a beam, is a type of structure used in engineering and construction to provide a secure load path that evenly distributes weight across a building’s foundation. These beams support the load by refusing to bend when under pressure from the load. When this force is applied to the axis, beams resist it laterally.

In most circumstances, a slab, beam, column, and foundation are used in the load distribution pattern. To provide more thorough support for the entire structure, the beam is therefore inserted below the foundation and column. The primary purposes of beam structure include:

Several different reinforcements can be used in a beam structure, depending on the type of building being constructed and the beam’s intended use. The most commonly used reinforcements include:

Types of beam structure

The main types of beams used in construction and engineering are as follows: These beams are typically divided into three categories based on length, equilibrium, and cross-section, and they consist of:

Continuous beams

A continuous beam is one that is strengthened by two or more additional supports. These supports are typically vertical in shape and used underneath and between the beams. In comparison to other beam types, continuous beams are thought to be more cost-effective.

Simply supported beams

Beams that have supports at both ends are known as simply supported beams. These are used most frequently in general construction, and the range of structures they can be used with is very broad. A simple support beam is positioned so that the ends can freely rotate on columns or walls and has no moment resistance at the support area.

Fixed beams

A fixed beam is one that has supports fixed at both ends of the beam. This kind of beam is incapable of producing bending moments and cannot move vertically or rotate. In trusses and other similar structures, fixed beams are most frequently used.

Overhanging beams

A beam that is supported twice, typically at one end and in the middle, but does not have a support at the other end, leaving it hanging, is said to be overhanging. This kind of beam hangs over the walls or columns and is unsupported in its overhanging portion. A cantilever beam and a simply supported beam are combined to form an overhanging beam.

Cantilever beam

A cantilever beam has one end that is fixed and the other end that is free-hanging. This kind of beam is typically used when constructing bridge trusses or other similar structures because it can support loads with both bending moment and sheer stress. Usually, the fixed end is fastened to a wall or column. A cantilever beam’s tension zone is at the top of the beam, and its compression zone is at the bottom.

Construction careers that require beam structure knowledge

There are a number of construction jobs that require an understanding of beam structures. These occupations include:

Each of these occupations deals in some way with a building’s structure. Some of these positions call for in-depth familiarity with beam structures, while others only call for a basic grasp of how beams function.

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What are the 3 types of beams?

1. Cantilever beam
  • Simply Supported beam. The term “supported beam” refers to a beam that is either supported or rests freely on supports at both ends.
  • Overhanging Beam. The term “overhanging beam” refers to a beam whose end portion extends beyond the support.
  • Fixed Beam.

What is an example of a beam structure?

Steel beams can be made in a variety of cross-sectional shapes, including square, rectangular, circular, I, T, H, C, and tubular.

What structural type is a beam?

Beam structures with overhanging, fixed, trussed, continuous, and simply supported beams are the most prevalent.

What are structural beams called?

Joists. Joists are a collection of parallel-running beams used to support horizontal constructions such as decks, floors, and ceilings.

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