H beam vs I beam: Difference and Comparison

Both H-beams and I-beams are structural steel components utilized by civil engineering experts in the building business. Both of these members may appear similar to a beginner.

Key Takeaways

  1. H-beams have wider flanges than I-beams, creating a stronger and more stable structure.
  2. Due to their tapered flanges, I-beams weigh less and are more cost-effective than H-beams.
  3. H-beams are used in construction projects requiring heavy loads, while I-beams are suitable for general and smaller-scale projects.

H beam vs I beam

H-beams, also known as wide flange beams, have a horizontal element called a flange, which is connected to a vertical element called a web. The flange is wider than the web, which provides extra strength and stability. I-beams, also known as steel joists, have a similar shape to H-beams but have a thinner, taller web. The flanges are located at the top and bottom of the beam.

H beam vs I beam

H-Beam is a rolling steel joist (RSJ) and has a cross-section in the shape of the capital letter H, as the name indicates. It is a popular and frequently utilized structural steel component in both residential and commercial construction projects.

I-Beam is an I-shaped structural component that has a cross-section in the shape of the English alphabet letter “I,” as the name of the beam suggests.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonH beamI beam
DescriptionThe web of an H-beam is much thicker, making it stronger.Because an I-central beam’s web is narrower.
BevelThe flanges and web of an H-beam feature a bevel, which is the part where 3 fragments of metallic sheet and appear to be 1 fragment of metal in the end.
I-beams aren’t created by riveting sheets or welding metal together; instead, they’re milled or rolled from a solo fragment of metal.
FlangesThe bottom and top flanges on H-beams protrude farther.Tapered flanges on I-beams provide greater strength and load-carrying capacity under direct pressure.
Cross SectionAn H-cross beam’s section can withstand direct load and tensile stress, as well as twisting, due to its broad cross-section.An I-cross beam’s section can withstand direct and tensile loads, but it cannot resist twisting due to its small cross-section.
ApplicationH-beams are perfect for mezzanines, bridges, platforms, and other residential construction projects.I-beams are used to support trolley tracks, hoists, and elevators, as well as bridges and structures.

What is H beam?

The H-beam is a rolled steel structural beam. It has a tremendous amount of strength. It gets its name from the fact that its cross-section looks like the English alphabet letter H.

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The flange is the breadth, and the Web is the height. The flange-to-web ratio is the main variance between H-beams and I-beams.

H-beams are a cost-effective piece of steel with a better cross-section zone of distribution and a good strength-to-weight ratio, which means they may deliver greater strength per unit of weight.

H-beams are suitable for mezzanines, platforms, bridges, and other popular residential and commercial building structures because they have thicker walls and flanges. In residential construction, wide flanges are frequently employed.

h beam

What is I beam?

An H-beam does not have tapering edges, but an I-beam does. It resembles a capital I. The height of an I-cross beam’s section is preferable to the breadth of its flange.

The width of the central web is the most crucial since it is this that bears the brunt of the weight, which is why many structures choose an H-beam over an I-beam.

In the structural steel construction business, -beams are used for many purposes. They are frequently employed in structures as crucial support trusses or the primary framework.

Beams, known as “I” beams because of their form, provide excellent load-carrying support when employed horizontally or as columns.

i beam

Main Differences Between H beam and I beam

  1. H-beams are capable of spans of up to 330 feet. For spans of 33 to 100 feet, an I-beam can be utilized.
  2. I-beams are shorter and narrower than H-beams and feature top and bottom flanges.
Difference Between H beam and I beam
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014102960000119X
  2. https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.59.2555

Last Updated : 13 August, 2023

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16 thoughts on “H beam vs I beam: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Thank you for a very informative article about h-beams and i-beams, I learned a lot of important differences between the two types of structural steel components.


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