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THE "MYSTERY" OF MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM SPANS IN STEEL BEAMS

Updated: Jun 8, 2023


STEEL BEAMS SPANS
BMW MUSEUM MUNICH/COOP HIMMENBLEAU Photo by the author

The advantages of steel as a construction material and the new architectural languages that use this exposed structural material (AESS) make many architecture students and design professionals have a strong interest in its use for academic projects and professionals; however, the little diffusion of its mechanical characteristics and the method of pre-dimensioning of beams and columns mean that -in general- there is a lack of sufficient tools to be able to include it correctly in their design plans, at least in a pre-project stage.




For this reason, MAR ARQUITECTURA wishes - as a first step - to clarify doubts about the spans (distances between columns) suitable for steel I beams, with the aim that they can be placed logically -from the first sketches of the architectural design- in the preliminary plans and architectural projects.



STRUCTURAL STEEL PROFILES


Due to their characteristics, the hot rolled structural profiles type IPE or H are perfectly industrialized from their production to their assembly on site. In Colombia, the structural steel of laminated profiles is rarely used -compared to reinforced concrete- since this profile, for the most part, is not produced nationally, so it is necessary to import it or assemble it by means of weld seams. However, Colombia is the fourth Latin American producer of steel with more than 1.2 million tons (LATINOAMERICAN STEEL ASSOCIATION, 2016), of this figure more than half is long steel such as corrugated rod that is used in steel structures. concrete.

STEEL BEAMS SPANS
ROLLED STEEL PROFILES-I BEAMS / Source the author

  • ADVANTAGES OF STEEL



  1. Quick assembly

  2. Reinforcement later with ease

  3. Smaller sections of beams and columns

  4. They are especially profitable in structures with large spans

  5. Highly recyclable material

  6. Reduction of the overall weight of the structure

  7. Reduction in the cost of foundations

  8. Structures can be assembled and disassembled



STEEL BEAMS SPANS
STEEL STRUCTURE: H COLUMNS + I BEAMS + STEEL DECK Source the author


RECOMMENDED SPANS FOR I-BEAMS IN STEEL



STEEL BEAMS SPAN
STEEL FRAME STRUCTURE

The first step for a correct pre-dimensioning of the steel in framed structures is to check the appropriate spans of its beams and their arrangement in the system: The use of main beams (Girder) is generally recommended in English) with lights between 6 and 12 meters and dimensions of the secondary lights between 7 and 20 meters. See figures 4.1 and 4.2 (BEEDLE, 1994). After having a correct distribution of the columns in plan, the general objective consists of finding the lightest (and most economical) steel profile that meets the requirements of resistance to some efforts such as bending and shear within the tolerable limits of voltage according to the intended uses. (CHING, ONOUYE, & ZUBERBUHLER, 2014) But that is part of the Beam Pre-sizing chapter that involves static calculations that must be dealt with in subsequent consultancies and/or in academic articles


We hope that every day the doubts about steel as a structural material are clarified and that these answers allow students, teachers and professionals of architecture and design to approach more calmly structural answers in their projects.



STEEL BEAMS SPANS
STRUCTURAL DIAGRAM WITH STEEL BEAMS I Source the Author



To know more:




Bibliography:

LATIN AMERICAN STEEL ASSOCIATION. (2016). Latin America in figures.

BEEDLE, L. (1994). Structural Steel design. New York: Ronald Press.

BEER , F., JOHNSTON,Jr, E., & DE WOLF, J. (2007). Mechanics of materials. Mexico City: MacGraw-Hill.

BERNUZZI, C. (2006). Structural ratio in stock. Milan: Polipress.

CHING, F., ONOUYE, B., & ZUBERBUHLER, D. (2014). ILLUSTRATED MANUAL OF STRUCTURES. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.

ENGEL, H. (2006). Structural Systems. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.

MAYER BOAKE, T. (2012). Guide for specifying Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel. Waterloo-Ontario Canada: CISC ICCA.

MEYER, T. (2012). Guide for Specifying Architectural Exposed Structural Steel. Waterloo Ontario, Canada.

MILLAIS, M. (1997). Building structures. Madrid: Celeste.

PARRA GARCÍA, N., PINZÓN LATORRE, A., & VILLAZÓN GODOY, R. (2013). Pre-dimensioning, definition of the load-bearing structure in architecture. Bogotá: UniAndes.

SILVER, P., McLEAN, W., & EVANS, P. (2014). Structural engineering for architects. London: Blume.







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