What is Wide Flange Beam:Understanding, Advantages, How to Calculate Length and Installation

In the construction industry, steel structures are one of the main choices in building construction, both for single-story and multi-story buildings. Two types of steel structures that are often used are H-Beam (Hot-Rolled Steel Beam) and IWF (I-Beam Wide Flange).

Choosing WF profile steel as the material for building roofs is the most popular choice for buildings with long spans such as meeting buildings, factories, campuses, stadiums. Meanwhile, short-span buildings of up to 12 meters can use light steel construction.

What is a Wide Flange Beam?

Wide Flange Beam is a building frame made from WF steel profile material, namely wide flange steel which has high compressive and tensile strength. This type of WF steel is very good at resisting tension and axial pressure.

The advantage of using WF steel compared to other materials or other steel profiles is that the weight is not too heavy but the density structure is high. Therefore, the WF steel profile type is very suitable for use as building roof material.

The characteristic of WF steel is that it has a complex construction system that can support large load forces both vertically and horizontally when installing the foundation so that it remains safe for the building occupants inside. WF steel is also resistant to temperature and pressure so it is very good for frames.

What are the Benefits of Wide Flange Beams?

Enhanced Weight Distribution

One of the major problems in construction is how your structure can distribute weight efficiently and evenly, as too much in one place would cause the structure to buckle or shatter. This is crucial in ensuring that structures are built to securely withstand any hazards they are anticipated to encounter over their service life while still being functional.

Because of its wider profile, wide flange beams are very effective in distributing weight load across a larger region. This makes it possible for your team to design and construct wider structures capably without running the danger of failing.

Additionally, rolled steel, one of the strongest materials available, is frequently used to make broad flange beams. Because of this, it can support greater and heavier loads without breaking.

Improved Efficiency

The weight and shape of the beam itself is another advantage of adopting broad flange beams. Wide flange beams are more effective than other beam profiles of the same size because they are less in weight.

Additionally, compared to other solutions, they use less metal to manufacture. Wide flange beam fabrication is less expensive and time-consuming. This sort of beam is a highly effective component when combined with their improved weight resistance and distribution.

These beams offer notable cost-efficiency when it comes to the resources utilised to create them. The most popular metals are steel and aluminium because of their affordability, strength, availability, and machinability. Additionally, steel wide flange beams are more capable of withstanding risks like fires while yet preserving structural integrity.

Standard Sizing

A standardised sizing chart for wide flange beams makes it simple for designers, contractors, engineers, and manufacturers to communicate the sizes and weights required for a particular project. By maintaining open lines of communication, the likelihood of sizing problems, which can cause project delays, is reduced.

The sizes created by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International are the foundation of the standard size chart. These standards are frequently adopted by other nations, which facilitates communication with international project partners.

The width of the beam is determined by the length of the flange, while the size, represented by a “W,” is determined by the depth of the web. The unit of weight is pounds per foot. So, if a wide flange beam is marked W12x26 on a metal catalogue, it has a 12-inch web depth and weighs 26 pounds per foot.

Suitable for Many Applications

The term “universal member” refers to this kind of beam because it may be employed in the majority of buildings. It is regarded as a typical material for most structures because of its straightforward form and effectiveness. Additionally, it blends well with both primary and secondary structural elements.

It may fit into a variety of applications thanks to its usefulness, including:

  • Temporary structures – Wide flange beams can be used to make support beams for temporary constructions that hold back the ground while walls, bridges, foundations, and other structures are being built.
  • Structural foundations –They can be utilised as bracing, frames, or platforms to support and stabilise constructions. These can be seen on residences, bridges, structures, parks, and other places.
  • Retention walls –They can be used to build walls such as sound barriers along highways, walls inside a basement, and more by stabilising the surrounding area.

How to Identify Wide Flange Beam Sizes

W-beam steel mills create numerous distinct types of W-beams with various diameters, material alternatives, and reinforcement components to best fulfil the needs of various construction projects that must accommodate a wide variety of weights. The amount of weight that a specific W-beam can support depends heavily on its dimensions. There are four essential characteristics of W-beams to consider:

  • Height: The height of the beam is measured from the top flange’s outer surface to the bottom flange’s outer surface.
  • Flange Width: This measurement determines the flange’s width from left to right in relation to its cross-section. Flanges on W-beams are all the same width.
  • Flange Thickness: This refers to the thickness of the flange measured from top to bottom. Both flanges’ left and right sides ought to be the same thickness.
  • Web Thickness: The term “web” designates the main body or vertical stem of the beam. The thickness of the web from left to right is represented by this measurement.

Wide Flange Beam Installation Process

The process of installing steel profile material as roof is very easy and efficient because the connection can be done by welding or using bolt. The materials prepared include a roof in the form of steel, light steel rafters and light steel battens.

  • First of all, the contractor must ensure that the WF steel frame is free from dirt in the form of rust or dirt that risks causing problems before installation.
  • The steel frame used must not have any bends or twists so that the work must be done neatly
  • Connections between steel elements use electric welding equipment or are bolted using 16 mm bolts, 12 mm gusset plates or gusset plates made from WF 200 x 100 pieces.
  • Between the curtain rods are provided with 12 mm curtain rods and 16 mm diameter handlebar tracks
  • When placing the with ringbalk, a gusset plate with a thickness of 10 mm and a bolt with a diameter of 16 mm must be attached. Anchor elements are installed at each support.
  • Previously welded angle steel parts must be painted using iron paint
  • The final finishing of the WF steel installation process is to be painted twice.




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