Difference Between H beam and I beam (With Table)

Both H-beams and I-beams are structural steel components often utilized by civil engineering experts in the building business. Both of these members may appear similar to a beginner. Flanges refer to the flat foundations of the I and H beams, whereas the web refers to the vertical part. The web resists shear stresses, and the flanges are made to survive the majority of the beam’s bending moment.

H beam vs I beam

The difference between h beam and I beam is that The H-beam is a foundation beam constructed by the rolled steel that is extremely robust. It is formed like the letter “H.” The I beam is molded like the English alphabet letter “I” and is created by two horizontal planes called flanges and one vertical component called the web.

H-Beam is a rolling steel joist (RSJ) and haves 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. They are the ideal material for, bridges, mezzanines, and platforms due to their higher mechanical characteristics and greater strength-to-weight ratio. They also feature broad flanges, which are typical in residential 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. They feature thin flanges, which are generally narrower with tapered ends for improved strength, as opposed to H-beams. As a result, they are capable of sustaining weight under direct pressure. They are utilized in steel-framed structures and other civil constructions due to their great tensile strength.

Comparison Table Between H beam and I beam

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 generally 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 the name from the fact that its cross-section looks like the English alphabet letter H. The flanges of an H-beam are broader than those of an I-beam, although the I-beam has tapered edges.

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. Because the H-beam is typically heftier than I-beam, some people believe it is superior. However, this is subjective, as H-beam is normally heavier.

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. As a result, welding H-beams is easier than welding I-beams. It is also thought to have a high strength ratio due to its larger surface area on the cross-section.

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. The inner parameters of H-beams are kept constant, making them a popular choice for trailer and truck bed building.

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. Although I-beams are lighter than H-beams, they are not always the ideal option.

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. Because an I-beam is manufactured by rolling or milling steel, the volume or extent of the milling gear is typically a limiting factor.

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. Steel I-beams provide unwavering strength and support, ensuring the structural integrity of a building. I-beams are a valuable resource for any builder because of their adaptability and durability.

Beams, often known as “I” beams because of their form, provide excellent load carrying support when employed horizontally or as columns. Because of the I-unique beam’s ability to handle a variety of loads, it is the preferred shape for structural steel construction. I-beams are ideal for one-directional bends which are parallel to the web due to their form. The web resists shear stress, whereas the horizontal flanges resist bending movement.

Main Differences Between H beam and I beam

  1. The H-beam is usually much heftier than the I-beam, it can withstand a greater amount of force. The I-beam may be preferable in structures where mass and force on a wall could pose a structural concern because it is generally lighter.
  2. An H-beam features a thicker central web, making it more durable. Because an I-central beam’s web is generally narrower than an h- beam’s, it can’t withstand as much force.
  3. An H-beam may be constructed at any height or size, implying that it can be constructed up to any height or size. An I-beam can be built up to the extent that the milling equipment used by the manufacturer permits.
  4. H-beams are capable of spans of up to 330 feet. For spans of 33 to 100 feet, an I-beam can be utilized.
  5. I-beams are shorter and narrower than H-beams and feature top and bottom flanges.


While the words H-beam and I-beam are frequently interchanged in the building business, deciding which is better is very personal. Mutually they are the most popular physical steel beams used in commercial and residential building construction as support beams. From the exterior, they are nearly identical, save for the geometry. They are 2 types of structural steel beams that are utilized in many applications. H-beams have an H-shaped cross-section, whereas I-beams have a capital letter I-shaped cross-section.

An I-beam is technically the same as an H-beam, but with somewhat different mechanical qualities such as weight ratio, load-bearing capacity, and tensile strength.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014102960000119X
  2. https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.59.2555
2D vs 3D