Modern steel has become a top choice among building materials, delivering the highest level of strength, cost-effectiveness, and recyclability. The versatility of this product is one of the biggest reasons behind its widespread success, bending and conforming to deliver unique shapes for everything from skyscrapers to go-karts. If you are in need of structural steel fabrication for your project needs, it’s important to find a team with the experience and equipment needed to implement a wide range of shapes to deliver the best outcomes for building design. There are numerous steel fabrication companies across the country, each offering their own balance of cost and quality. Sanilac Steel has been in the business if steel structure design, fabrication, and erection since 1967. Our experienced structural steel fabricators help Michigan projects to reach completion on time and on budget in the safest way possible.

We work hard to be your comprehensive source for structural steel services, adapting to your needs as the project goes on to deliver the highest level of quality. Our team can fabricate a wide range of shapes to meet certain load demands, which is why today’s blog post will look more into the design options and common shapes used. If you’re in need of a steel fabrication team for your upcoming project, be sure to contact us for a quick and accurate quote!

The American Standard

Known as an S-beam, the American standard features a section of rolled steel that has two flanges, one on each side. As the name gives away, this “S” shape is a versatile piece that can be used in a wide range of construction applications. This beam provides a high level of resistance to various factors and is relatively narrow compared to other styles that hold a similar shape.

Bearing Piles

One problem found in steel design when it comes to establishing a shallow foundation that can support the structure above it. Also known as H-piles, this H-shaped beam holds a similar shape but with uniform thickness to equally distribute weight. In most applications, H-piles are utilized when surface soils are not cohesive enough to be used for heavy structures. These beams can be inserted vertically fo create a deep foundation with superior load support, with one H-pile being able to hold up to more than 1,000 tons of weight! These H-shaped beams are in normal use for deep foundations both on land and in the water.

Fit to a Tee

A T-shaped beam, also referred to as a tee beam, is a commonly used shape in load-bearing applications, providing strength and resistance for structures of all types. The top of the T is your flange, with the web taking the vertical side. This shape is commonly used across the country, in some cases, more than the S-beam! Remember that T-beams are missing the other flange found in I beams, resulting in certain design limitations.

Making the Angle

Angle beams, also referred to as L-shaped, consist of two legs that are joined at a 90-degree angle. This is most commonly used in flooring applications where dimensional limitations come into play. It helps to remember that an L-beam is actually just a T-beam with the flange removed on one side. The dimensions of your L-beam can vary to meet design specifications. As always, our structural steel fabricators are here to offer precise results that are sure to meet your demands.It’s important to remember that the shear center is not the cross-section in this application, placing L-beams at a higher risk for torsion or bending.

Channeling Stability

C-shaped beams consist of two flanges along the top and bottom with a web connecting them along the side. Originally, this design was created for use in bridges, but due to certain limitations from torsion and unequal load distribution, C-beams are now used in a wide range of structures that are small or medium in size, offering cost-effective results. They are often used in conjunction with another flat surface to maximize surface contact. Some steel contractors have been known to place two of these beams back-to-back to create an impromptu I beam. Our steel structure design experts can work with you to create the strongest and most cost-effective solutions for your project.

There are many aspects of building a structure that need to be considered to ensure the best outcome for the life of that structure. To match many of these design variations, structural steel fabrication has evolved to introduce a wide range of shapes to deliver the best fit for unique design demands. Next time, we’ll continue to discuss this topic by looking at a few heavy-hitting beam shapes. If you’re looking for structural steel fabricators for your Michigan project, Sanilac Steel is here to help! We’ll work hard to deliver safe, honest results to create an optimal outcome. Contact us today to learn more!