# Steel Beam Terminologies | Shear Force | Lateral Forces | Columns & Beams | Dead Load & Live Load

## Steel Beam Terminologies

Dead load refers to the weight of a structure or structure that is supported by its foundation but doesn’t contribute to live load (such as furniture).

This load does not always pass through the floor, but is transferred from the ground to the walls in contact with it. It can be the weight of people and their loads above a support point

### Span:

Span refers to the distance between two supports that is supported by a bridge structure

### Moments:

Moment refers to the measure of the turning force applied to the beam or column. It is measured in square meters (square centimeters)

### Shear:

The shear refers to the force of turning that seeks to overturn a beam or a column when it is placed under compression load, which produces two opposite forces in two different planes or directions, and each force has its own effect on the structure. Both these forces include their own weight and the amount of force due to compression.

### Deflection:

The deflection refers to the tendency of a beam or column to move away from its original position or position due to the application of load.

It is measured in millimeters (centimeter) or inches (millimeters) for a structure used in civil engineering with regard to the reference point on the structure.

### Bending Moment:

The bending moment refers to the measure of force due to the application of load on the beam or column in its longitudinal direction.

The actual bending moment is measured according to the distance from the center of gravity of a beam or that which comes from an imaginary line perpendicular to one face and passing through it.

Its units are in force times distance because it is measured in newtons (kilograms) × meters or pounds (pounds) × feet.

### Shear Force:

The shear force refers to the tendency of an object to turn away from the real axis of a beam or that which is parallel to it.

This is due to the impact of pressure and subtracts from the overall load on the beam or column. It is measured in kilonewtons (pounds) × meters or newtons (pounds) × feet.

Vertical load refers to the normal load that is applied in a vertical direction. It could be the Force of gravity pushing downward against the top of a beam

### Torsion:

Torsion refers to the force that is applied to a beam or column in the manner of twisting of a screw. This force is always perpendicular to the beam or column and has no effect on compression or tension as it is only concerned with turning.

### Under-reinforced:

This refers to the state where there is less ductility of steel in a structure, especially when compared to other structures, due to the steel reinforcement being placed at a smaller distance from each other than that required by Code requirements.

### Over-reinforced:

This refers to the state where the structure has more ductility of steel than necessary for a particular structure, which reduces the ability of it to withstand compression forces.

### Under-designed:

This refers to the state where the structure is surrounded by less steel than should be used for a particular purpose than that required by code provisions, which would cause it not to collapse in case of excessive load.

### Transverse Beam:

A transverse beam refers to a beam which is found in the transverse direction of any system.

It is Beam that runs perpendicular to another beam or column

### Longitudinal:

The longitudinal refers to the direction perpendicular to the axis of a beam or column, which is also known as the direct load direction, and it measures along length of a column or beam in line with its axis.

It may be described in terms of the direction that it runs from one end to another, such as axial or sideways.

### Compression Member:

A compression member refers to a type of structural element that supports loads by contracting or being compressed. It is usually a column or beam designed to carry loads in compression only.

It is a beam, column, or post that is subjected to compression

### Tension Member:

A tension member refers to the type of structural element that supports loads by expanding its material through outward stress that is opposite to the compression members, which are compressive elements. It usually takes the form of a column or beam designed to carry loads in tension only.

A beam, column, or post that is subjected to tension

### Cantilever Beam:

It is a beam supported at one end only and acted upon by loads at both ends

### End Support:

An end support refers to the method of support that is used for a beam or column, which does not require another beam or column to support it at an intermediate point.

It is usually used near the ends of beams and columns.

### Intermediate Support:

An intermediate support refers to the method of supporting a beam or column that does not need another structural member to provide additional support besides its end supports, and it may be required between end supports as well.

### End-anchored:

An end-anchored beam is a type of beam that has its ends connected at an intermediate point with another member (usually another column) or a plate of steel, which prevents the span from spreading out.

The end-anchored beam is usually designed by undergoing calculations to determine how it will behave under varying loads.

### Continuous beam:

A continuous beam is a beam that is made of a single length of material. It does not have any holes or gaps in it to place other members.

### Jointed beam:

A jointed beam is a type of structural element that has metal plates, channels, or holes through it to connect two ends together, and it usually covers both their sides.

### Beams:

It is the name of a structural element that is made of two or more connected segments. It usually has one or both ends connected to another member (usually another beam or column) with the above-mentioned members in between it.

### Column:

A column is a structural element that have one end and whole through which the structure’s load is applied, and it has support at its other end. The column takes forces by having compression along its length and tension at its ends.

### Compression:

Compression refers to the action where a material is subjected to a force that squeezes it together, which causes it to become shorter in length but thicker in width and also causes the material to resist this change in volume. It may also be referred to as squeezing or crushing.

### Tension:

Tension refers to the action where a material is subjected to a force that pulls it apart, which causes it to become longer in length but thinner in width and also causes the material to resist this change in volume. It may also be referred to as pulling or stretching.

### Torsion:

Torsion refers to the action where a material is subjected to a twisting force, which results in it being turned about its own axis and usually lengthening its shape or causing it to resist this change.

### Stiffener:

A stiffener refers to an element, which is placed between two beams or columns in order to support the loads and it does not require another element to prevent the beam or column from spreading apart.

Also known as a stirrup; structural member used in a beam to provide support and stiffness

### Bracing

It is the method of supporting a beam or column in a manner, which prevents its collapse, by placing the beam or column between two or more other members that are connected to each other and to the beam or column.

A brace is a structural element used to prevent beams from spreading apart due to loads. It bridges and ties together two beams that are connected with one another with end supports at both ends.

### Waffle Slab:

It is a type of sub-structure used in reinforced concrete construction that consists of a series of waffles which are designed to provide an elastic support.

It is built with a gridwork system at regular intervals that resembles u-shaped ribs, which are closely spaced and connected together.

This system is used to support the slab where it may be subjected to compression forces.

### Beam Angle:

It is the plane formed by the intersection of two perpendicular planes (called base and top plates). The direction in which the beam angle is measured is also referred to as the beam’s axis direction.

### Cantilevered Beam:

It is a beam that rests on one end only and has its other end supported externally by other structural elements such as columns, and it may have intermediate supports in between the two supports.

### Concrete Girder:

Its is a beams made of concrete that is used in construction and it is either slabs with transverse reinforcement, simply supported beams, or continuous beams.

### Reinforced Beam:

It is a beam that has its principal axis in compression and has steel reinforcing bars running across its length for more strength. Also known as a reinforced concrete beam.

### Unreinforced Beam:

It is a beam that has its principal axis is in tension and it does not have any steel reinforcing bars within it. Also known as an unreinforced concrete beam.

### Laminated Beam:

It is composed of sections of structural elements such as columns, beams, and other members which are joined together in an arrangement that resembles a beam.

It usually has a proper system of support to transfer the load from one section to another.

### Pile:

It is a vertical structural member that is used for carrying large loads. It acts as a continuous beam in compression and has its end supported on the soil.

### Raft Foundation:

It is a type of structural foundation that consists of a raft slab, which extends beyond the edges of the footing and has its ends supported upon piles or anchors.

### Raft Slab:

A raft slab is a type of slab that is built with beams, columns, and other structural elements to distribute the load from one part to another in a continuous manner in order to provide support for it.

### R.C Slab:

It is the name of a structural element that is made of reinforced concrete alone to serve as a floor or roof.

It provides sufficient strength and it can be laid directly upon the ground or other slabs without the need for any supporting beams or other elements.

### Reinforcement:

It is a metal bar that is used to reinforce concrete that has been constructed for giving extra strength or stiffness to the concrete.

### Rib:

A rib is a structural member, which consists of two or more panels that are connected together by joining one end on one panel with the other end on another panel.

It acts as horizontal beams in compression and transverse reinforcement in tension.

The vertical distance between the panels can be fixed or adjustable in order to accommodate various structures.

### Support:

Support refers to the action where a material is subjected to a force that holds it in place, which means to hold from above or below or to prevent movement.

### Sway Brace:

It is a type of brace, which prevents the beams from swaying. Also known as sway control brace, sway control tie, or truss brace.

It refers to the action where a vertical load is distributed on the beams through the use of columns and girder. It is also known as vertical distribution of weight.

### Tension:

Tension refers to the action where a material is subjected to a force that pulls it apart, which causes it to become longer in length but thinner in width and also causes the material to resist this change in volume. It may also be referred to as pulling or stretching.

### Girder :

A girder is a structural element used in construction to support loads and it has a rather large cross-sectional dimension.

### Thrust:

It is the action where a material is subjected to a force that pulls it downwards or outwards, which causes it to become longer in length but thinner in width and also causes the material to resist this change in volume. It may also be referred to as pushing, throwing or downward force.

### Bridge piers:

It is a structural element, which consists of two or more anchorages in the form of columns that are connected together by horizontal beams at their tops and bottoms.

### Structure:

A structure is a combination of different components that are used to resist forces and provide support for the load. Also known as a building frame.

### Abutment:

It is a part of bridge, which connects the supports on either bank with the deck of the bridge.

### Footing:

It is a structure or part of structure that is located in the low part of foundation that acts as a base to support the floor slab.

It is a foundation element that is placed into soil for supporting structures and it may be made up of piles, concrete blocks or some other material.

### Deck:

It is used to support the superstructure and it is deck of bridge that extends above the abutment and it connects two supports with each other with beams.

### Slab:

A slab is a structural element that is used as a floor or roof, which can be laid directly on the ground without any support from other elements.

### Beam:

It is referred to as structural element with its length and width greater than its thickness and which acts in tension or compression.

### Column:

A column is a vertical structural member used to carry loads in construction and it may be made up of concrete, steel, or stone.

### Anchor:

An anchor is a component in construction, which is made up of material to support the floor or roof. It may be placed alone or in groups to support the entire structure.

### Brace:

Brace refers to a structural element which resists movement and it may also be used to stiffen a structure, for example when wind, earthquake or other causes try to move the structures from its position. Also known as a support.

### Chord:

Chord is a structural element, which is part of beam, cable or other structure that connects two joints.

### Column – Beam:

It refers to the name of a beam which has been placed above the column and the two components are arranged to form an L-shaped beam.

This arrangement can increase the distance between two columns and also reduce the load borne by each column individually.

### In Situ:

It refers to the method where concrete or other material is placed directly into a prepared hole.

### Lateral:

It refers to the force that acts away and parallel to the direction of bending, which is otherwise called lateral force.

### Lateral Force:

It refers to the force that acts towards the sides of a structure and it results from wind, earthquake or other causes and it causes edgewise thrusts in buildings.

### Level:

It refers to a horizontal surface plane that has been built upon an elevation and it may be used to determine the vertical height.

It can also be used to determine the number of materials needed for constructing a structure.

Load refers to the action where a force called load acts on a stationary or moving object or structural member causing it to deform or change its shape.

### Lobby:

It is the area in front of a door in a building that is used for movement.

Load path refers to the route along which load travels from its source to its point of application or where it may be resisted.

### Pier:

It refers to a vertical structure which extends deeper into the ground such that it can accommodate loads from above and also be connected with the foundation. It may be made up of concrete or steel.

### Pitch:

Pitch refers to the angle of slope at which the roof or floor is inclined and it is measured in degrees from horizontal planes.

### Push:

The term is used to describe the action where a load or force pushes against another load or force causing it to move towards the direction of movement.

### Trusses:

It refers to the structural element where two members are connected at their ends forming a triangle, which is used to resist forces, for example wind, earthquake or other causes.

### Rigid Frame:

This is a type of structure where each column is loaded at all points and also supports the beam above it and may be made up of concrete or steel.

The term refers to a structure which is loaded at its point of application such that the member does not move relative to every other member.

### Railing:

It refers to a barrier or railings, for example it can be used along walkways to prevent accidents.

### Reinforced Concrete:

It refers to concrete that is reinforced by steel bars, mesh or other members to increase its strength and it is commonly used on buildings, bridges and more.

### Reinforcement:

It is an element used in construction that makes the material more rigid or stronger and it may be used to prevent buckling and to increase its load bearing capacity.

### Stirrups:

It is a structural element used to support beams, steel vertical ribs and form concrete blocks.

### Surface Construction:

It refers to the construction where only the surface of the concrete is finished such that it can be easily finished by adding decorative features or paint.

### Support:

It refers to the structure which is used to support others and it may be made up of steel, wood, concrete etc.

### Top Chord:

The horizontal member at the top of a truss or beam

### Bottom Chord:

The horizontal member at the bottom of a truss or beam

## Steel Beam FAQs

### 1. What is a beam?

Beam is the term used to describe an horizontal structural member, which is usually metal or wood.

### 2. What are columns?

It refers to the vertical structural members.

### 3. What are members of a beam?

The beams are made up of various types of elements which may be horizontal or inclined, and they are connected to each other and the supporting columns also known as column members.

### 4. What is the difference between beam and column?

Beam is the name of the horizontal structural member which is used to support a building weight on or above it while column is the vertical structural member which is used to support lateral forces on or below it.

### 5. What is the difference between column and column base ?

Column refers to the vertical structural member, while column base refers to structure at the bottom of a column which may be made up of concrete or another material to support a column from below and it prevents the load from moving through that area.

### 6. What are beams’ spans?

A beam has a span, which is the distance between two opposite points from which the load connects to and also known as center line.

### 7. How is a beam deflected?

A beam is the part of a structure which is used to support weight. It is usually made up of steel or concrete and it can move up and down to accommodate wind loads or it can deflect sideways due to ground movement.

A beam will deflect if the load applied to it is greater than the load it can carry.

### 8. What are the building materials used in beams?

Beams are made of different materials such as steel and concrete as well as timber.

### 9. Why are beams used in construction?

Beams are used in construction for various reasons such as to support buildings, bridges, tanks, railings etc.

### 10. What are column-beam systems?

Column-beam system refers to the structure of a building where columns are located at each corner of the structure and beams are used to connect them by spanning across and transferring loads between them and also transferring vertical loads on columns or distributing them.

#### Related Posts

Select currency
KES Kenyan shilling
error: Content is protected !!

0