How to measure steel beams

Written by cameron easey
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How to measure steel beams
Steel beams are typicfally referred to as I-beams. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When installing a steel beam for a structure you need to measure the weight load. This will need to be done so the structure is not overloaded by the weight of the beam. To measure weight load you will require measurements that are taken of the beam. You are then able to mathematically calculate the weight of the beam. However, you first need to know the weight density of steel, which is 222kg. per cubic foot.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Steel I-beam
  • Tape measure
  • Calculator

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length of the steel I-beam with the tape measure. Make a note of the length, in inches, on a piece of paper.

  2. 2

    Measure the width and thickness of the top and bottom sections of the beam, in inches, and make a note on a piece of paper. Do this from one the end of the I-beam.

  3. 3

    Measure the height and width of the centre or middle section of the beam, in inches. Make a note on a piece of paper.

  4. 4

    Multiply the height of the centre section by the length. Multiply this result by the length of the beam to determine the volume of the centre section in cubic inches.

  5. 5

    Multiply the width and the thickness of the top section. Multiply this result by the length of the beam to determine the volume of the top section in cubic inches. Repeat this step for the bottom section.

  6. 6

    Add the cubic inch results for the centre, bottom and top sections to determine the total volume of the I-beam in cubic inches.

  7. 7

    Divide the total volume of the I-beam by 1,728 to convert cubic inches to cubic feet.

  8. 8

    Multiply the weight density of the I-beam by the volume to to calculate the weight of the I-beam.

Tips and warnings

  • The typical type of steel beam is referred to as an I-beam.

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