Sites: GlobalSpec.com | GlobalSpec Electronics | CR4 | Electronics360
Login | Register
The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Previous in Forum: Engineering Drawings   Next in Forum: How to Use Sokkia Total Stations
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







8 comments
Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5

Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

09/10/2009 3:09 AM

Considering the cost and life-span, which is more practical to use today in a house construction a steel or a wood beam?

Register to Reply
Pathfinder Tags: beam
User-tagged by 1 user
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United Kingdom - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Harlow England
Posts: 15339
Good Answers: 546
#1

Re: Beam

09/10/2009 4:15 AM

It depends on local availability of material, skills and labour.
If you live in a remote forrested area then steel would be daft. If you live in a hot dessert near an industrial are then steel is sensible.
Del

__________________
health warning: These posts may contain traces of nut.
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Halcottsville, NY
Posts: 666
Good Answers: 16
#2

Re: Beam

09/10/2009 8:11 AM

Design factors are the major consideration in choosing wood or steel. Modern Glu-Lam beams can be made up to 40' in length or more with a chord depth equal to the load requirements. Wooden truss beams are another option. Again, any chord depth, any length. I have site built such beams as a 60' X 16" X 8" laminated beam and many smaller ones. A deflection curve should be built into them for pre-stressing.

Another option is a flitch beam. These are usually comprised of 2 pieces of 2" X lumber with a 1/4" plate of steel sandwiched in between. I find these very handy for archways where clearance is a factor.

Concrete beams can be site built as well. Steel truss joists are another option.

In all cases, an Architect or Engineer should be consulted.

__________________
De gustibus non est dispudandum.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Panama - Member - New Member Hobbies - CNC - New Member Engineering Fields - Marine Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Retired Engineers / Mentors - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Panama
Posts: 4296
Good Answers: 213
#3

Re: Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

09/11/2009 1:36 AM

One must also consider environmental issues- termites, fungus/rot, thermal expansion in areas with significant temperature differences, rust, etc. While there are options with either material that can mitigate the more significant environmental issues, such measures will generally have a non-significant impact on price. So, first of all, where are you building this house?

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Piney Flats, Tennessee
Posts: 1752
Good Answers: 22
#4

Re: Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

09/11/2009 6:58 AM

Place a order at the salvage yards for steel beams and they will call when some in if you have time you can save some money. I pay the current steel price plus for all the beams we use.

__________________
If you never do anything you never have problems.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1435
Good Answers: 53
#5

Re: Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

09/11/2009 8:12 AM

In my view, it depends on the application. I use steel beams to stiffen floors in wood frame homes that are going to be subjected to heavy loads like machinery, or the addition of masonry floors. On the other hand, codes sometimes require fire proofing of steel beams because they loose strength much faster than wood when they get hot.

Register to Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: La Grande, Oregon U.S.A.
Posts: 379
Good Answers: 14
#6

Re: Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

09/11/2009 12:59 PM

The Brooklyn Bridge sits on wooden caissons The masonry towers were built on top of wooden caissons, which sank into the excavation. The towers are still sitting on the wood.

Old dock pilings are a good illustration of conditions that will preserve wood. The pilings are partly exposed to air, partly underwater and partly in mud. Note where they last and where they deteriorate.

__________________
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft! - Theodore Roosevelt
Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

09/13/2009 11:58 PM

Dear Rico Cabug,

There are new chemically treated soft woods that become "hard woods" from the (usually ) pressure treatment now available . You should check this wherever you may be in the USA.

Beyond this and to complement what other learned friends have written on this thread remember that the city of :

Venise

has most of its buildings built on wooden piles . These are said to be in excess of 700 years old and still as strong as new. What matters most in such case is the absence of air and where timber is not subjected to alternate : wind (air ) or water.

Labor Omnia Vincit.

Register to Reply
Member

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6
#8

Re: Steel Beams vs. Wooden Beams

11/27/2009 3:45 AM

dear mr cabug,

for me steel is the best material because it will last longer..today most roof construction go to steel framing because its easy to install..they turn to concrete floorslab using metal sheet cause its easy to install...well better check with your architects.....

Register to Reply
Register to Reply 8 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); cwarner7_11 (1); dadw5boys (1); Del the cat (1); LG_Dave (1); merperez (1); Tippycanoe (1); welderman (1)

Previous in Forum: Engineering Drawings   Next in Forum: How to Use Sokkia Total Stations
You might be interested in: Ion Beam Guns and Electron Beam Guns, Beams, Joists and Wall Studs, Beam Expanders