Your Short Guide to Steel Beams: What You Need to Know

Structural steel beams are available in various shapes, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. The most common use of steel beams is in the construction of buildings and structures.

Several factors influence the type of structural steel product required for a construction project. That’s why each variety of support beams has its own properties. We will discuss them in detail below: 

The Varieties of Steel Beams

A steel beam is a type of structural support. Steel beams are available in a range of diameters and forms, as demonstrated. The following is standard steel beam jargon:

  • I beams: This variety features flanges (flat surfaces) and webs (vertical support) that look like the uppercase letter ‘I.’ The most common beam types encountered. Steel I beams are comparable to H beams, although H beams are heavier and longer. These have the same web and flange thickness and have a cross-section in the shape of an ‘H.’
  • W beams: They are also known as broad flange beams due to their straight, bigger flanges.
  • T-beams: They have a ‘T’-shaped cross-section with no top flange and simply a vertical web.
  • RSJs: RSJs are rolled steel joists. They serve the same purpose as universal steel beams.
  • Universal steel column: This type is frequently confused with an H beam. They are nearly equal since UC beams are utilized for vertical support rather than horizontal support.
  • Parallel flange channels (PFC): They make up half of an I beam. The inner flanges of the beam’s top and bottom are slanted and protrude on one side.
  • Hollow steel sections (HSS): These are steel tubular profiles known as RHS, CHS, and SHS, in that order.

The Uses of Structural Steel Beams

Steel has great tensile strength, is durable, and is lightweight. That is why it is commonly used in industrial and commercial buildings and other structures that require long-lasting materials. It is considered a superb material necessary to construct a more complicated steel framework. Additionally, steel beams are inexpensive to produce and simple to use.

Moreover, it is used in some house building projects instead of other materials for the same reasons that it is used in commercial and industrial structures. Steel is an excellent choice for property reinforcement due to its durability and ease of use. As such, many steel fabricators are skilled in welding steel beams together to form specialized structural frames. Steel frame buildings are typically the whole framework of a structure and are found to be used for agricultural structures, warehouses, and garages, among other examples.


A fantastic material for small and large constructions, steel is undeniably malleable in both shape and application. It could be used for shelves at home or in offices. At the same time, it could be used for bridges due to its high strength-to-weight ratio. All in all, steel and steel beams assure you that they can withstand heavy loads for a lengthy period of time.

Are you looking for a reliable steel distributor in Birmingham, AL? Since 1985, KGS Steel, Inc. has been a full-service structural steel and carbon steel service center warehouse serving the Southeast. With us, you’ll be guaranteed quality steel products made to withstand the test of time. Contact us today and get a quote!

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