The shape of a steel I-beam strongly resembles a capital “I” in cross section, which explains the name. The steel I-beam has a strong central core capped with flanges on either side.
I-beams, also known as H-beams, W-beams (for "wide flange"), rolled steel joist (RSJ). The horizontal elements of the "I" are flanges, while the vertical element is the web. By far the most common structural material is steel due to its strength to weight ratio.
Steel is one of the most common materials used to make I-beams, since it can withstand very heavy loads in flexure meaning bending. Usually a beam carries vertical gravitational force but is also capable of carrying horizontal loads generally in the case of an earthquake.
The most commonly found steel beam is the I beam or the wide flanged beam also known by the name of universal beam or stouter sections as the universal column. Such beams are commonly used in the construction works
The most commonly found types of steel beams are varied and they are mentioned below:
1. I beams
2. Wide flange beams
3. HP shape beams
4. Special shape non-standard beams
5. H beams
6. Junior beams
In today’s modern construction the beams are generally made up of materials like:
3. Reinforced concrete
For More details about Designation and terminology of Beams Click Beams