When it comes to the two standard beams used in construction jobs you’ll have your choice between an I-Beam and a wide flange beam. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses is important to be able to make the right decision for getting the right beam for the job you need done. This article will go over the differences between the two beams and help you understand the pros and cons of each.

Wide Flange Beam

The first thing you’ll need to know is that a wide flange is typically somewhat lighter than the I-Beam and so it’ll be less able to handle force when pressure is applied to it, but this also means that in areas where weight support is important, as certain sections of walls, it is a good idea to use the lighter beam to make sure the wall can handle the weight of the building materials being used. Wide flange beams can be used for longer spans and can be effectively used for distances up to 330 feet while an I-Beam generally should only be used for distances between 33 and 100 feet. Wide flange beams can be made to different tolerances and shapes based on what the project requires while the I-Beam is pretty much molded to be a universal construction site staple. So while you might be able to get a wide flange set up exactly the way your project wants it to be made, you’ll never question what you’re getting when you use an I-Beam.


Wide flange beams being lighter than I-Beams make them a better choice for a construction project that will require lots of materials and travel. Having an international project means moving tons of steel across thousands of miles. You want to be able to load planes and trucks with as much material as possible and having wide flange beams as your core building component will make things a lot easier for you in the long run.


I-Beams are useful because of their universal shape and size makes it easy to know exactly what you are getting when you use them to make a building. The shape of the I-Beam makes it capable of handling bending from every direction while the webbing on the inside of the I-Beam makes it capable of handling the shear stress that comes from supporting a building. Most major construction projects in the United States have used I-Beams to build the skeletons of the building. If you’re not sure exactly which option is best for your project you can read more at www.nucorskyline.com/globalnav/products/structural-sections, or consult a professional construction team to go over your plans and see exactly what you’re trying to make. A building project is a serious investment of time, money, and energy and you want to make sure that everything that goes into the project is done right from the very start. Knowing that you have experienced, skilled professionals looking over your shoulder will give you peace of mind that you’re making the right decision on which building material to use to handle your project.


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Sarah Anna


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