Skip to content

i-beams and h-piles

June 3, 2009

Hello boys and girls! Have you ever wondered what is the difference between an I-Beam and an H-Pile? I sure have.

I-Beams are made of steel and are used in all kinds of construction projects; their physical properties make them incredibly strong. There are three varieties of I-Beams, and it turns out that H-Piles are one of them. According to the article Anatomy of a Steel I-Beam, H-Piles are…

  • used especially in foundations
  • driven way down into the soil
  • meant to be loaded on their ends
  • square (height and width are equal)

So, now you know!  If you would like to learn more about H-Piles, see a helpful picture, or purchase your very own, here is some additional information.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2009 9:08 pm


  2. PinonCoffee permalink
    June 5, 2009 7:38 pm

    How are you feeling today? Any better?

  3. June 8, 2009 6:39 pm

    Somthing I actually know about and deal with on a day to day basis. The i-beam is actually becoming an antiquated steel shape, and what most people think are i-beams are actually w-shapes. Why? They still look like an “I?” The “w” is for “wide flange.” These beams have wider flanges than the origianl i-beam shapes and are much stronger and more efficient in both weight and bearing capacity. Steel shapes are generally designed for tensile (bending) forces– e.g. beams. The height and width are equal on h-piles because steel is less suited for compressive forces than tensile forces. Concrete is actually much better in compression, but h-piles are often used alongside steel beams for ease of conecting steel members in construction, and to achieve a lighter building reducing the size of foundations. The square shape of the “h-piles” have shallower webs because they do not need as much tensile strength as beams because they are loaded as you said, on their ends, thus you see them used as columns. Wow, thanks for letting me geek out. Who knew I actually learned something working for a structural engineer?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: