A Beam is an inevitable horizontal or sloping structural element to resist the load of the structure. Different types of beams have used in construction based on the design criteria.

Must Read:- Different types of column

Function of Beam

The main function of the beam is designed to resist the external or internal load such as wall, slab and floors of the building and distribute the load to the foundation through the column. The horizontal beam carries an only transverse load and the sloping beams carry both transverse and axial load.

The cross-sectional dimensions are generally designed based on the requirements and the width is fixed depends upon the wall thickness. The depth of the beam will be designed to resist the deflections within the safe permissible limits. 

Read:- Types of Load

The main difference between Beam and column is as above said the beam resist the transverse load and the column transfer the compression load to the foundation.

Types of Beam in Construction

According to the design criteria, different types of beam used to construct a structure which has listed below.

  • Simply Supported beam
  • Fixed Beam
  • Cantilever beam
  • L Beam
  • Overhanging beam
  • Continuous Beam
  • Composite Beam
  • Lintel Beam

Simply supported Beam

It is the simplest beam type in structure. It contains one end roller support and another end contains pinned support. So the simple beam contains support at both ends but it is free to rotate.

simply supported beam

Fixed Beam

The beam has supported at both ends and it resists the rotation. Both ends of the beam resits on either wall or column.

fixed beam

Cantilever Beam

The cantilever beam is fixed at one end and the other end is free from the support.

The cantilever beams are generally used to support the canopy or sunshade of a larger span of the building. Cantilever beams are designed for the maximum moments & shear forces developed at the support section which is normally a reinforced concrete column.

cantilever beam

L Beam

The edge beams which are cast monolithically with slabs on one side of the rib only are designated as L- beams.  The torsional & hogging bending moments are maximum at the support sections.

L Beam

Overhanging beam

It is another types of beam When the beam end extends beyond the support is called overhanging beam and if both ends of the beam extend beyond the support is called double overhanging beam.

overhanging beam

Continuous Beam

The continuous beams are commonly used in multi-storey buildings of several bays in perpendicular direction.

This type of beam has more than two supports. The one end of the beam is fixed and the other one will continue. 

continuous beam

 Composite beam

A horizontal structural element, with a combination of Steel Section & concrete, is called an Encased or Composite beam. The composite beam mostly provided for Truss structure to avoid the steel corroded by the chemical attack.

Lintel Beam

It is another types of  beam, the lintel beam basically provided for openings like window or door. 

RCC lintel

Must Read: Standard size of lintel


Satheesh is a Civil Engineer who has more than 9+ Years of experience in residential construction. He is the author, editor and partner at Civil Planets

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