Design Components Of The Beam Literature Review Sample

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Beam, Design, Real Estate, Building, Load, System, Construction, Stability

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/20


The design for buildings essentially requires preliminary designs, approximate analysis and optimization to provide, strength, stability and human comfort. Beams are regarded as important items in achieving these factors. Beams bound the house skeleton together. The beam system is destined to distribute the load uniformly and provide support. They often manage to achieve uniform load distribution by transmitting the load to the posts, which are strongly supported by the foundation. This paper will clear demonstrate the design components of a beam in building.


A beam can be defined as a structural member that extends horizontally between numbers of supports and has a load that exerts a force at right angles to the beam. The width and depth of the beam should be relatively small compared to its span. People in the past have used beams in construction of various structures since the start of history. Evolutions in design and materials that are used to design them have expanded the use and application of beams in many fields (Huckelbridge, 1997).
Materials such as wood were some of the first to be used in the construction of beams. Wood was mainly ordered depending on the type of tree that it wastaken from. This enabled early constructors to mark them mainly into hard wood and soft wood. Ancient Egyptians and the Romans are known to have applied the knowledge of concrete in their building. This knowledge was however lost during wars. Methods such as the use of cast iron developed mainly during the industrial revolution when it was discovered that the blast furnace could be used to make it (Ryall, 2000).
All beam designs are used for different structural purposes depending on their advantages and disadvantages. There are perhaps many designs, which are used by engineers all over the world in order to solve specific problems. The process of beam designs relies on some fundamental ideas, which are always put into consideration during the design of any beam.

Significance of beam designs

The I-beam and the box beam have revolutionized the construction industry. The I-beam was patented by Alphone Halbou in 1859. There are also other kinds of beams including the simple beam, overhanging beam, cantilever beam, beam fixed at both ends and continuous beams (Waddell, 1958).
Beam design is the first step in the construction of any beam. There are a number of factors that affect the design of beams and these influences their application in different structures. Beam design is based on the material that is to be used to design it, the shape of the beam that is to be constructed, the span of the beam that is required, bracing, the load that will be applied on the beam and the choice of design wither ASD or LRDF.
Beam designs enable the engineer to be able to use the materials available to construct an appropriate beam. Materials such as wood, steel, cast iron and concrete can be used to construct beams. The beam constructed will depend on the type of material that is most available or the most applicable for the specific structures to be constructed. Cast iron is strong when it comes to compression hence it was initially used in the construction of bridges. Steel can be used to construct tall buildings unlike other materials (Sharp, 2004).
Beam design enables engineers to be able to design beams to the shape that they desire. Different structures may require different shape in order to maximize on strength and durability. They also enable engineers to come up with different shapes for aesthetic beauty (Whitney, 1901)
Beam designs are fundamental in calculations that will ensure the structure does not fail due to excess load. Engineers have to make accurate calculations to ensure that the beams can support the weight that is being applied on them. Calculations also have to ensure that there is little or no waste that accrues due to beams that are unnecessarily too strong for a specific load.
The ASD and LRFD cannot be truthfully compared due to their different instructions design. LRFD loads are mostly linked to representative or element0f STRENGTH whereas ASD loads are linked to representative or element of allowable values that are less than the full strength of the member or component. Moreover, to choose the most suitable design for a specific construction beam, the load must be un-factored using the material specific strength and allowable stress necessities (, 2015)
Beams provide adequate safety in a building by distribution the load and ensuring stability. This advantage makes them one of the most important factors to be considered while building. Therefore, it is important that all codes of the framing system are made proportional. The designers and structural engineers need to choose the best beaming system in relation to a given building. The chosen beam design should correlate to the requirements of the building and produce the desired effects. It is also important that, all the fundamental factors that are required in a beaming system are considered for the best results to be achieved. The civil engineers require making accurate calculations and relevant consultations is a necessary subject before the installation of this important part of the building. Researches indicate that, in order to achieve the maximum tensile bending stress, it is advisable that steel reinforcement should be used instead of concrete. As observed in many circumstances, better structural development often results in strong buildings that are able to resist catastrophes.
1.2 Purpose of experiment
The goal of this experiment is to determine the core components that affect the structural stability of a beam. The experiment focuses on the design and components of the beam and tests some of the aspects for stability and endurance (width and depth). For maximum stability of a beam design, all the components of the beam must function in a synchronized way to ensure pressure is distributed as per the requirement and that no excess force acts at a particular point in the beam (United states, dept. of energy, 2004).
Beam designs are significant for stability, endurance and aesthetic beauty of structures. Engineers should always ensure that calculations before construction of beams is as accurate as possible. Discrepancies in calculations have been known to lead to failure and or fracture of beams that cause accidents and loss of lives. In beam design and construction, factors such as the material, the amount of load to be applied and the system of design to be used such as the ASD or LRDF should be put into serious consideration. These are the fundamental aspects of the beam that will determine its stability and resistance to failure. Appropriate beam designs should be chosen depending on the type of structure that is to be constructed (Ching, 1995).
Building structures are subjects to different forms of forces. These include vertical and lateral forces of gravity and wind passing over the roof. Other forces that are often subjected to the beam include; impact load that is subjected by the stockpiled construction materials. The goal of the whole beam system is to achieve equilibrium. Therefore, when developing the beam, a maximum bending strength should be achieved. This characteristic will ensure that, the beam portrays a maximum bending stress. Another important factor that must be included while developing the beam is the provision of the lateral bracing. It is important that, the compression edge is braced against lateral movements. Typically this is achieved by joining framing members or decking. Documentary records indicate that the design of the spacing system requires the designer specification.
It is important that the structural engineer understands all the external and internal forces that are subjected to the building. Using the Newton`s Laws of Motion, it is statistically possible to analyze and achieve the desired form of equilibrium within a building. As indicated by several scholars, structural engineers should be committed to design the beam using the best materials, design and shape that correspond to the building. These are the fundamental aspects of the beam that will determine its stability and resistance to failure of the building. Furthermore, for the maximum stability of the entire system, the load should be equally distributed on the beam. These strong structures will in-turn distributes the force to the post that is supported by the strong foundation.


As observed from the analysis of the beam system, it is important for the architectural designers, structural engineers and contractors to take care of the beam system. The adherence to these principles will ensure that buildings are constructed more safely, so that in an event of any form of hazard impact, people and property are well protected. The safety of the house will not only provide a positive impact to the owner of the house but also provide positive socio-economic impact to the entire society.
2. Reference list, (2015). ASD vs LRFD. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2015].
Ching, Frank. A visual dictionary of architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995. 8-9. Print
Huckelbridge, A., &Esnawi, H. Evaluation of improved shear key designs for multi-beam box girder bridges. Cleveland, Ohio: Case Western Reserve University, Dept. of Civil Engineering. 1997.
Ryal, M.J.; Parke, G.A.R.; Harding, J.E.The Manual of Bridge Engineering(. London: Thomas Telford. p. 98.  2000
Sharp, W. Simulation of integrated beam experiment designs. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 2004
SHUE DESIGN ASSOCIATES, (2011).DESIGNING IN THE WESTERN BUILDING TRADITION. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2015].
United States. Dept. of Energy ;SIMULATION OF INTEGRATED BEAM EXPERIMENT DESIGNS. Washington, D.C. 2004
Waddelln Alexander Low Waddell . Bridge Engineering - Volume 2. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 1958.
Whitney, William Dwight, and Benjamin E. Smith. The Century dictionary and cyclopedia.vol, 1. New York: Century Co., 1901. 487. Print.

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