Q:

How do you choose which steel beams to buy online?

A:

Quick Answer

To purchase a carbon steel beam, begin by narrowing down the type and size that you need. Some qualities that change the function of the steel beam include the grade of the steel, the size of the beam and the shape of the cross-section.

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Full Answer

The beam's shape affects its weight, strength and cost. H-beams are some of the most common varieties available, and they have large flanges on the sides of the web, and S-beams feature a curved profile so that it can withstand load weight and bending.

The grade of the metal affects the individual strengths and durability statistics of the final product. Most H-beams are made from ASTM A992, A572 GR 50 and ASTM A992 beams, which are the latest and most advanced industry standard, as of January 2016. Some manufacturers provide different steel specifications, and you should choose the quality of the steel based on the specifications of the project.

Finally, the beam's size determines a large portion of its cost and its ability to withstand different workloads. Most beams have a weight of 50 pounds per foot, and each manufacturer's selling price is based on the weight of the total amount of steel used for the beam itself. Standard beam lengths may range from 20 to 40 feet.

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