What Is Beam? 8 Different Types – Support – Material

What is Beam?

Beam is a horizontal structural member used to carry the vertical load, shear forces, and bending moments. It is the main part of building structures. It mostly uses in the construction of frame structure buildings, bridges, trusses, and other structures which carry the vertical load.

The main function of a structural beam is to resist a load of the applied forces by bending to a particular angle. There are various types of beams used in construction. Beams are classified on the basis of some vital aspects such that how much support they give shapes, length, and materials.

Types Based on Support

  1. Simply supported beam
  2. Cantilever beam
  3. Overhanging beam
  4. Fixed beams
  5. Continuous beam


1. Simply Supported Beam:

A simply supported beam is supported at both ends. This type of beam is placed in a way that it has pinned support at one end and roller support on the other end. This support allows to the horizontal movement of the beam. This type of beam goes through both shear stress and bending moment. This is also named a freely supported beam. It makes it very good at dealing with resisting vertical forces.


2. Cantilever beam

Cantilever beams a structure member of which one end is fixed and the other is free. This is one of the well-known types of beam used in framed structure buildings, bridges, and other structures. This beam carries load over the span which undergoes both shear stress and bending moment. It’s a rigid structural component that is strongly attached to a vertical surface.Cantilever-beam

3. Overhanging beam

If the end part of a beam is extended beyond the support, such beam is known as the overhanging beam.
The overhanging beam is the combination of simply supported beam and a cantilever beam. This beam is supported by roller support in between two ends. This type of beam has properties of cantilever and simply supported beam.


4. Fixed beam

A beam whose both ends are fixed or built-in walls is called a fixed beam. It does not allow vertical movement and turning of the beam. It is only under shear stress and no moment produces in these beams. It is also known as a built-in beam.Continuous-beam-2

5. Continuous beam

If the beam is supported by more than two supports, it is called a continuous beam. This beam is similar to a simply supported beam except more than two support are used on it. One end of it is supported by hinged support and another one is roller support. One or more supports are used in between these beams. This type of beam is mostly used in bridges.

Types Based On Materials

1. Steel Beam

Beams made of steel are one of the best types of beams used in construction. They are strong and capable of managing heavy loads. Steel beams are used in steel structures such as warehouses, towers, commercial structures, and also trusses. They are really rigid in their cross-sectional area and can support high loads without sagging. A steel beam does not easily get rusted. This makes it an ideal choice for construction.


2. Reinforced Concrete Beam

Reinforced Concrete Beam contains plain cement concrete and steel reinforcement. A reinforced concrete beam can manage strong forces and too many loads. These are the best types of beams used in construction and made with common materials. You can see this type of beam in many residential and mostly commercial buildings.


3. Timber Beam

A timber beam can not be as hard as steel and concrete structural beams. After the demand for the R.C.C building increased, usage of timber beams has been decreased. The timber beam is not much durable. This sort of beam can utilize in residential units.