Q:

What is the load capacity of a steel I-beam?

A:

Quick Answer

There is not one specific answer to this question. The website efunda.com offers a simple calculator that can give an estimate as to what the capacity of the beam is based on the properties that are input.

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Full Answer

For an easy online beam capacity calculator, go to efunda.com and click on I-beams under the Design Center section. From there, follow the instructions and input the loading data.

A licensed structural engineer should be consulted when determining the capacity of a beam for structural applications. While the calculator mentioned above is a good resource to give an idea of the beam's capacity, it may not take into account all applicable building codes and standards. A structural engineer can properly evaluate the beam based on its orientation (as a beam or column), size, steel grade, length, bracing and the types of loading that the beam would experience (live load, dead load, snow, wind and seismic).

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