What is a Beams and its Functions?
Beams are the vertical or sloping bearing elements of the structural system that connect columns and support slabs.
When beams support slabs, they work together thus forming a “T” section beam. The level of the slabs compared to the level of the beams results in the formation of rectangular beams, inverted beams or “Z” beams.
Generally, beams are supported by columns (beam to column connection). However, some-times one or both beam ends are supported by another beam (beam to beam connection) and other times only one end is supported by a column or beam while the other end has no support at all. The beam supported only in one end is called cantilever.
The beam to column connection is called direct support and the beam to beam connection is called indirect support.
The most commonly used beam is the one supported by two columns and the most scarcely used is the cantilever beam. Indirect supports should be rarely used and only when there really is no alternative solution.
In tilted roofs, both beams and slabs have cross sections and supports like the ones mentioned above but they are sloped.