Long Span Construction: Try Using Cellular and Castellated Beams

 In Castellated Beams, Cellular Beams

When it comes to planning for a long span construction, it is essential to take advantage of building material that is both durable and structurally sound. The longer building materials need to be lighter weight and yet still be able to sustain whatever material might be installed above it. Factories and warehouses are prime examples of long span construction, where a single, large space is required. However, regardless of what the building construction is for, when it comes to long span steel construction, cellular and castellated beams are an excellent choice and can provide any construction the structural integrity and lighter weight that is desirable for such a building.

What is a Castellated or Cellular Beam?

A castellated or cellular beam starts like any other steel beam. The beam is then cut in half horizontally along a specific pattern (in half-circles, or the top half of a hexagon, for example). With the design cut, the bottom half and top half of the beam are then positioned to create a full cut-out design between the upper and lower portions of the beam. This results in a pattern of full circles, hexagons, or rectangular cutouts.

The top and bottom half of the girder are then welded back together to create a singular piece once again.

What are the Benefits of a Castellated or Cellular Beam?

There are several valuable benefits to either one of these beams, which will help not only in the construction of long span beam structures but also in the construction company as well. For starters, the single beam is stretched further because of the cut design, which means fewer beams may be necessary to complete the project (although if only a single beam is stretched from one side of the building to the other, this may not come into play).

The cut pattern into the beam does help spread out the weight of the beam. This is highly desirable when it comes to a long span steel construction, as any improvement in weight distribution can prove especially beneficial. In fact, castellated beams are recommended when they need to span at least 30 feet. Also, because of the design and the ability to spread out the weight of the beam, fewer supports are required. The reduced number of support beams means more floor space for the warehouse or manufacturing facility to take advantage of. It can prove difficult to design manufacturing equipment around a support pillar, so removing such a pillar will make things easier when setting up the interior of the building.

The steel beam’s central spaces, or webs, also have additional uses. The empty space allows utility lines such as electrical, fiber optics, gas, and others to pass directly through the open webs of the beams. If a building were to use traditional steel girders, the utility lines would be forced to move above or below the girder. In turn, this would either reduce the usable space from floor to ceiling or require the construction to increase several inches per floor to accommodate the utility lines. For high-rises, this can add up to dozens of extra feet of construction simply to accommodate the utility lines.

By removing the need to accommodate utility lines running above or below the steel girders, a construction company can save a significant amount of money. Not only can the steel beams be cut to size, but the construction will not need to make the necessary accommodations for the utility lines, which means the horizontal support beams and walls and columns can be shorter. All of this means less material is necessary, which is money right back into the pockets of the construction company, all because cellular or castellated beams were used.

Difference between Cellular and Castellated Beams

The difference between cellular and castellated beams is more visual than anything else. It likely will not make a difference unless you plan on having the beams exposed. For a cellular beam, a circular pattern is cut into the beam. This will give you the circle web look within the beam.

On the other hand, a castellated beam uses a squared or hexagonal pattern. The end result is the same: the steel beam is spaced out, and the web openings are created. It’s just the visual design is different.

If you’re not exactly sure which beam type is right for you, the staff here at C-Beams can assist. In some instances, it might be better to have a hexagonal cut based on what you have running through the web openings. Or, if you plan on having some of the beams exposed, you might want to consult with an interior designer to see if they recommend circular or angled openings. One might compliment the rest of the building while the other might contrast. But, again, this is more of a visual difference than anything else. 

So, when you see someone talking about either a cellular steel beam or a castellated steel beam, just know they are talking about the same concept. Both are beneficial for your long span beam construction project. And, at C-Beams, the steel beams can be customized and cut to your exact specifications to make the build easier.

Help With Your Steel Beam Needs

If you’re in the middle of designing a new warehouse, or you’re simply comparing steel beam prices between manufacturers, C-Beams is here to help. Our expert customer service staff is on hand to answer all of your questions. We’re also able to field you with a price quote as well. So, whatever stage of the construction or planning you’re in, there’s never been a better time to contact our staff at C-Beams than right now.

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