Guide to Design of Built-up Beams





Design Procedure of the Built-up Beams design

In my earlier articles, we discussed in detail about the “Theory of Built-up Beams“. In this article, we will move a step ahead and understand the concept of the design of Built-up beams.

Here are the simple steps that are to be followed for the design of Built-up Beams.

Step one

The effective span and load required to be carried by the built-up beam are known.

Maximum bending moment and shear force in built-up beams are calculated.

Step two

Value of yield stress (fy) for structural steel is to be assumed.

The permissible bending stress (sigma bc) is calculated.

Step three

The required section modulus (Z) for the given beam section is calculated.

Step four

From the steel table, a trial section for a beam is adopted having the modulus of section (Z) about 25% to 50% in excess of that requirement. The geometrical proportion of beam sections are noted.

Step five

When the depth of the beam is noted, then the usually the practice is to select from ISI handbook No.1 (Steel tables).

The strongest Rolled steel beam that will allow for necessary thickness of power plates at top and bottom.

Step six

The area of power plate required is found out by trial and error method are by;

I = Ibeam + 2(Ap)(h/2)(h/2)

For finding the area, divide the whole equation by h/2.

Step seven

Width of cover plate and thickness are decided with the restriction of outstands.

Step Eight

Check for bending stress/Actual bending compressive stress

(sigma bc)calculated = (maximum bending moment/Gross MI) x Distance of extreme fibre in compression from Neutral Axis

= (M/Ixx)x y1

Actual bending tension stress
sigma bt, cal = (sigma bc)cal x (gross area of tension flange/Net area of tension flange)
= Value should not exceed the permissible bending stress (sigma bc) or (sigma bt) = 0/66fy

Step nine

Check for shear and Deflection



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  1. #1 by Ayush Nath Gupta on May 13, 2011 - 8:49 pm

    The design procedure never looked so easy!
    Thank you so much for discussing these articles online!

    I do have few doubts though related to the area of cover plates….
    How do I know if the dimensions of the cover plates are right?
    For eg: WB 450 @.7904 kN/m and one 400mm x 16mm plate is to be provided on each flange.(This is the answer)
    Why can’t I use some other dimensions for the cover plate like 430mm x 15mm?

  2. #2 by subir biswas on April 22, 2012 - 4:28 am

    i want to make chiller foudation size 50x50cms lenght 10meters.10tons, what sise rod i will used top and bottom,plz advice
    thanks heaps

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