Choices to make for the new year (and your new construction): Castellated beam or Cellular beam?

 In Castellated Beams, Cellular Beams

​​If you’re currently in the middle of new construction planning, you have almost limitless options to choose from. However, when it comes down to the framing of the building, steel is the way to go if strength and durability are at the top of your needs. And yet even with this decision made, you have additional choices to make. This includes whether you use a castellated beam or cellular steel beams. What is the difference, and which is right for you? Here’s what you need to know when it comes to castellated beams vs. cellular steel beams.

What is a Castellated Beam?

A castellated beam is a kind of girder I-beam that has received a longitudinal cut down its web (the central part of the beam) using a specific pattern. Once the entire cut has been made, the top portion of the cut beam can then be slid over, allowing the cut line to form a hexagonal opening. The beam is then welded back in place to secure these openings.

This way, large sections are not cut out of the beam (which would waste material and take time). It also helps extend the singular beam’s height and length while allowing for an opening that makes it possible to pass utilities through the openings instead of above or below the I-beam.

What is a Cellular Beam?

A cellular beam is a variation of a castellated beam. Both are used similarly, and both have been cut using a set pattern. Both are made using steel I-beams as well.

What is the Difference Between Castellated Beams and Cellular Steel Beams?

Both castellated and cellular beams share several common features. However, the main difference is the cosmetic design of the two-beam styles. A castellated beam has a hexagonal pattern cut-opening with the beam, while a cellular beam has a circular pattern cut into the beam. The pattern can be spaced as closely together or as far apart as necessary, and the size of the circle or hexagonal pattern can be larger or smaller as well.

Cellular beams are an updated version of the more traditional castellated beam. However, regardless of the design and pattern cutout, both designs do improve strength and structural load while cutting out the physical weight of the beam, which can help a structure trim away thousands of pounds. Plus, because wiring and utilities can pass through the openings, floors don’t need as much empty space in between to run the utility connections. Because floors can be lower, it again helps reduce construction weight, all without impacting the strength or building the security of the new construction.

When to Use Castellated or Cellular Steel Beams

There aren’t many differences between a castellated and a cellular beam. Both beams share similar attributes, with the main difference being the style of cut performed within the steel beam.

For some, it’s all about aesthetics. If the beams are to remain exposed following construction, you may want to decide which beam looks the best in your given environment. Do you like the smooth, symmetrical look of a cellular beam? Or, would you rather have the angled, hexagonal cut of a castellated beam?

If you plan on having circular objects pass through the beam, such as with plumbing lines, you might want to utilize a cellular steel beam in that it will look cleaner having one circular item pass through the circular opening. On the other hand, if the cut opening is to be away from regular views, such as you plan on having a traditional ceiling under the exposed steel beams, it won’t matter all that much what beam you go with.

The size of the cut will impact the overall weight of the beam, as a longer, deeper cut allows for the traditional I-beam to be spaced out further, which helps stretch the steel further. This can significantly impact the amount of steel saved throughout a single, multi-level construction job. So, it might all come down to the size of the cut and the amount of money you’re able to save.

The best way to determine this is to contact the service staff at C-Beams. During this conversation, you can go over the cost for each beam type and the potential weight for each. In the end, these will likely be the determining factors of what beam you should decide to go with.

Both castellated beams and cellular beams are similar in design and are forged in an almost identical way. The cellular steel beam is just one of the newer castellated beam designs made available worldwide. Although if you have further questions regarding the makeup of each beam and how you can best utilize the beams for your particular construction job, give the service staff at C-Beams a call or send out an email. All additional information you’re looking for and want to know will be covered. This, at the very least, will give you the best understanding of which beam might be right for your job.

Help With Your Next Construction Is a Phone Call Away

Whether you’ve already made your decision on the right kind of framing material you’re going to use, or you have additional questions, C-Beams is here to assist. Whether you’re building a mix-use property, a new manufacturing warehouse, or you’re considering the utilization of metal framing in residential constructions, picking suitable metal beams is essential. Take the guesswork out of what to pick and let the team here at C-Beams help you with all of your metal beam needs. From placing orders to going over your needs and providing you with knowledgeable insights, help with your next construction is just a phone call away.

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