Difference Between H beam and I beam

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.

H beam vs I beam

The main 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 vs I beam

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.

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 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 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.

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

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


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
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