When it comes to constructing large buildings, there is one type of installation that is a must-have, or the entire structure will not stand. This installation is known as an I-beam. Hidden away behind walls, these structural steel beams in melbourne work hard to ensure everything stands, supporting the load that the building is putting on them. If you are curious to know more about I-beams, you are in the right place. 


In this article, we will share more about the I-beam—how it is designed and where it is used.



As the name implies, the I-beam looks like the letter “I” as a cross-section. They are made using two long planes known as the “flange,” with a middle section that holds the two together called the “web.” These beams are generally made out of steel, although they are also made out of other types of alloys, such as aluminum alloys and low-alloy steel. Similarly, different materials exist for various purposes. For instance, carbon steel is used in structural frameworks thanks to their strength and hardness, while an aluminum I-beam is used in applications where lighter weight is needed.


Likewise, these I-beams come in different thicknesses, widths, and lengths depending on their application. They are also classified depending on these differences, along with the material type. For example, a 10×20 beam stands for an I-beam that is ten inches in depth and can handle twenty pounds per foot. These dimensions will vary, once again, depending on their application, which is generally specified by the building contractors.



While an I-beam comes in different thicknesses and lengths, they all affect these four factors: deflection, bending, buckling, and vibration.


First, this structure must be thick enough to reduce and eliminate deflection, which is the beam’s vertical displacement. Second, the body of the beam should be strong enough to fight the bend. Third, the flanges should be considered to ensure that the I-beam does not buckle. Finally, the I-beam must be stiff and heavy enough to reduce any instances of vibrating action.


When the weight is applied on the flange, the weight is distributed evenly on it, causing less tension to pass through the web. By the time the weight reaches the centre of the web (neutral axis), the weight is reduced to zero due to the distribution of the weight. Therefore, due to the shape of the I beam, it can bear the load of weight put on its flange.


Comes in Various Dimensions

I beams are universal beams and used globally for most steel construction project. It comes in a variety of weights, section depths, web thickness, flange widths, and other specifications for different purposes. Depending on the structure of the I beam, it is used for different purposes.


Bears Higher Loads

The design of an I beam makes it capable of bending under high stress instead of buckling. As the beam receives the load, the force is transmitted perpendicularly, thus supporting other members of the beams.


Has a High Moment of Inertia

The section at the centre of the beam, or the neutral axis, does not resist bending due to the uniform distribution of the weight across the beam. Due to the distance between the flange and the axis, I beams have a high moment of inertia.


Helps in Fabrication

Metal fabrication involves the cutting, bending, and shaping of structural steel. I beams are very versatile and can be used in any steel construction projects. I beam steel fabrication is fast, efficient, and affordable to fulfil the orders and meet the demands of the project. 


Reduces, Reuses, and Recycles

The production of I beams means minimum waste during construction. There are green practices in different countries making I-beam affordable. Almost half of the world’s steel is produced in electric plants to generate no CO2 emissions. Steel products can be recycled over and over again without compromising on their strength. 


Prevents Vibration

One of the major challenges while constructing a building is to create a structure with less floor vibration. Floor vibrations in the steel buildings can be created with a variety of direct and indirect sources of vibration. But the three main categories can be:


  1.  Human activity (jumping, walking, and running)


  1.  Machinery and equipment


  1.  External force (traffic on street or underground, or wind)


Since I beams are stiffer and bear higher loads, they are used to reduce the vibration of the floor by supporting the structure. With steel I beam, the vibration is damped quickly before it can travel very far.


Where I Beams Are Used?

I beams are intensively used in different applications of the steel construction area. Frames and vital support elements are where generally these beams are used. A strong and supportive structure is ensured with the usage of steel I beams. The usage of these beams can be economically beneficial since they reduce the necessity to use too many support components. Versatile and dependable nature makes them indispensable for every contractor and engineer.


I  beams are frequently used in constructions because they are simply functional. The unidirectional bending behavior of them is one of their best unique properties. Web component is responsible for withstanding shear stresses while flanges put resistance against bending. They are capable of meeting a variety of loads with no buckling. Since I shape does not require the usage of excessive steel, they can be considered cost-effective. There always exists a suitable type of I beam for every construction purpose. Applicability of these beams for all construction scenarios gives its famous name “universal beam” for a good reason.