Steel Beams Vs. Laminate

Save

Most buildings are constructed with either wooden or metal studs, but alternatives are available, including laminated beams. Also referred to as glulam, these beams are made of glued laminated timber that can mimic and even exceed the strength and performance of natural lumber.

Strength

  • Laminated beams are stronger and more versatile than other natural wood used in the construction process. On a pound-for-pound basis, Glulam is also stronger than steel, according to the Engineered Wood Association. This strength makes laminated beams a logical choice for various types of projects. The association provides a table in its Engineered Wood Systems publication that indicates which equivalent beams can be substituted for wood and steel counterparts.

Flexibility

  • Laminated beams provide more flexibility as a building material. Their versatility makes them desirable for building projects such as commercial roofing systems, complex arches and bridges. Of course, these types of projects can also be completed with steel, but the weight of steel makes it less than desirable for certain projects. In terms of appearance, laminated beams can be manufactured to meet the needs of the builder to provide visual appeal.

Substitution

  • Laminate beams can be substituted for steel beams in most any type of project. The substitution process involves finding the appropriate size of laminate beam based on the recommendations made by the manufacturer or professional organizations such as the Engineered Wood Association. It might not be possible or practical to substitute laminate for steel in all instances. Final selection of material is also based on other factors such as availability and cost.

Safety

  • Given that the strength of laminate beams compares well with the strength of treated lumber and steel beams, they provide a safe alternative as a building material. Steel beams do, however, have an advantage in their added resistance to heat and fire. Laminate beams do not provide the same resistance.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Post Beam Construction Vs. Steel Construction

    In today's construction of single-family homes or high-rise structures, there are two types of materials used: wood or steel. Residential construction is...

  • Laminated Roofing Vs. Composition Roofing

    Composition shingles and laminate shingles are two of the most common types of shingles found on the roofs of American homes today....

  • Steel Vs. Wood Headers

    A header is a horizontal beam that crosses and supports the ends of joists, studs and rafters. Headers, which are located over...

  • An Alternative to Tie Beams in Roofing

    Conventional rafters form an upside-down "V" that thrusts outward, pushing against a structure's roof. Tie beams or "collar" beams run horizontally between...

  • Strength of Steel Vs. Wood

    Steel has a great reputation for strength. The very word itself often conjures visions of power, longevity and resistance. Yet, the concept...

  • Lightweight Plywood Alternatives

    Plywood consists of thinly cut sheets of wood stacked several layers deep and glued together. The grain on each layer of the...

  • The Advantages of Steel Beams

    Steel is a versatile, popular material used in the construction of everything from skyscrapers to housing. Steel beams are composed mostly of...

  • Specifications for Laminated Beams

    Laminated beams are made of sawn lumber glued together under pressure to form a solid beam. Laminated beams are stronger than solid...

  • Alternative Home Building Techniques

    Somewhere between the green movement and the push to save greenbacks, homes constructed with alternative home-building techniques are becoming increasingly popular. And...

  • Do it Yourself Laminated Beams

    Trees large enough to make traditional solid wood beams have become more rare and expensive. As a result, many construction projects use...

  • DIY Glulam Beams

    Glulam beams have several advantages over their solid wood counterparts. They are less expensive and, when properly constructed, more dimensionally stable. Since...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!