Forms of structural steel of Melbourne have long been standardized by AISI.  In discussing beams, tees, and channels, reference is made to flanges and webs. The flange is identified as the flat portion which, in the case of a beam, would normally be situated at the top and the bottom of the beam. The web connects the two flanges, and in normal construction is oriented vertically to give the beam its high resistance to bending. Angles are identified by their leg lengths, which may be equal or unequal.


ASTM A36 steel, with a yield strength of 36,000 psi, is the most common material for structural steel shapes although other materials are available for special circumstances including low-alloy, high-strength, and stainless steels. Steel members are connected to one another through the use of bolted or riveted plates which attach to the beam webs or they may be welded directly to each other. AISC specifies for both framed-beam and heavy framed-beam connections the appropriate number of rows of bolts or rivets based on several standard-diameter fasteners.


A distinction is recognized between “bar-size” and “structural-size” shapes. Bar size is used to describe any shape whose major sectional dimension is under 3 inches.


This article briefly discusses some of the popular steel shapes as well as the settings in which these shapes excel.


Over the past decade, we have watched the construction and engineering industries progress immensely. From different techniques to new methods of creating the amazing buildings that you see on a daily basis, you will be pleased with the variety of structural steel shapes available.


Today we are going to cover the different types of structural steel shapes that exist. Each steel shape has its unique structure in addition to ways that they are utilized.

Here are some of the structural steel shape:


American Standard Beam (S-Shaped)

Generally known as an S beam, the American standard beam has a rolled section with two parallel flanges, all connected by a web. The flanges on S-shaped beams are relatively narrow. The designation of the beam gives the builder information about each unit’s width and weight. For example, S12x50 represents a beam that’s 12 inches deep and weighs 50 pounds per foot.


Angle (L-Shaped)

Angle beams take an L shape, with two legs that come together at a 90-degree angle. Angle beams come in equal or unequal leg sizes. An unequal leg L beam may have one leg of 2x2x0.5 and one leg of 6x3x0.5, for example. L beams are typically used in floor systems because of the reduced structural depth.


Bearing Pile (H-Shaped)

When builders can’t find a structure on a shallow foundation, they use bearing piles to design a deep foundation system. Bearing piles are H-shaped to effectively transfer loads through the pile to the tip. Bearing piles work best in dense soils that offer most resistance at the tip. Individual piles can bear more than 1,000 tons of weight.


Channel (C-Shaped)

Structural C channels, or C beams, have a C-shaped cross section. Channels have top and bottom flanges, with a web connecting them. C-shaped beams are cost-effective solutions for short- to medium-span structures. Channel beams were originally designed for bridges, but are popular for use in marine piers and other building applications.


Hollow Steel Section (HSS)

HSS is a metal profile that has a hollow, tubular cross section. HSS units can be square, rectangular, circular, or elliptical. HSS structures are rounded, with radiuses that are about twice the thickness of the wall. Engineers commonly use HSS sections in welded steel frames for which units experience loading in different directions.



I-Beams (also known as H-Beams) are known as universal beams because they have two horizontal elements. The flanges in addition to the vertical elements allow for perfect bending capabilities when necessary.



Basic structural steel pipes are utilized a lot in construction work. Typically pipes are used for gas, oil, and water projects. As these pipes are hollow with cylindrical tubes, they are best for the latter projects than other beams for this specific use.



The tee beam (also referred to as T-beam) is best utilized as a load-bearing beam. It has a T-shaped cross section, which allows for large loads to be carried appropriately.


Custom Shapes

Today’s engineers are not limited to using only the most common shapes. Custom metal fabrication opens the doors to a variety of special structural steel shapes for any type of project. Using state-of-the-art tools and techniques, such as water jet, laser, and plasma cutting, metal fabricators can sculpt steel into myriad shapes for specific needs