What Are the Common Sizes and Spans of Steel Beams?

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Steel beam width and depth dimensions may vary from 4 to 16 inches, and the beams can span between 40 and 65 feet, depending on the needs of the construction site. W and S are two common categories used to distinguish between types of steel beams.

Steel is a versatile and durable construction material that is applicable to all types of construction sites, from commercial and residential buildings to taller skyscrapers and artistic buildings. Steel beams are created by carefully tempering and forging iron with other alloys to establish a reliable chemical profile. Different casting techniques are used to produce different types of steel beams, which feature different advantages when used for either compressive requirements or tension requirements.

Steel beams are often used because they feature a high ratio of strength to weight, which allows steel to hold up more mass without fracturing. The chemical composition of steel also makes it highly resistant to corrosion and rust. Stainless steel is made with steel, chromium and other alloys, which prevents the deterioration of the entire compound, resulting in longer-lived buildings and structural systems. Steel is also more affordable to make and install in buildings when compared to titanium and aluminum varieties of similar structures.