What is Steel Lintel and How to Choose the Right Type for Your Needs?

December 15, 2021

Steel lintels are used to support the weight of masonry above the opening. It is available in numerous shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.

The article is aimed at helping you while selecting steel lintel for brick. It will help you understand what they are, how to choose the right type for your needs, and why steel may be a better option than concrete or wooden lintels.

What is a Steel Lintel?

Steel lintels are horizontal structural members that span the opening of a window or door. Lintels are typically made from steel, but they can also be made from other materials such as wood or reinforced concrete.

According to statistics, the global crude steel production in 2020 was around 1.86 billion metric tons.

How to Choose the Right Type of Steel Lintel?

The first step in choosing the right type of steel lintel is to determine the weight of the masonry that will be supported.

It can be done by calculating the weight of the masonry unit multiplied by the number of units in the span.

Once you have determined the weight of the masonry, you need to choose the thickness of lintel that will support it. Here are a few factors that matter in this decision:

Steel Lintel Thickness

The thickness of steel lintels is an essential consideration in choosing between the different types.

Steel lintels are available in thicknesses from 12 mm to 100 mm. Thicker lintels will be able to cost more than thinner ones, and so it's always a good idea to go for the thinnest lintels that will meet your needs.

For example, in the case of a steel door opening, you can get away with a thinner lintel than you would for a wider window opening.

Steel Lintel Strength

The strength of a steel lintel is another critical consideration in choosing between different types since it affects the maximum weight that the lintel can support. The strength of a steel lintel is measured in terms of its bending moment capacity.

It is the maximum weight that the lintel can safely bear without deforming or breaking. The higher the bending moment capacity, the stronger the lintel and the heavier its support load.

Steel Lintel Size

Steel lintels are available in standard dimensions such as 800 mm, 1000 mm, and 1200 mm. Most steel door openings will require a smaller 800 mm or 1000 mm lintel since the weight above them isn't usually that heavy.

It means that if you need to support a heavy load over a window, you can opt for a 1200 mm lintel, which will offer better support.

Though the lintels are available in a range of standard sizes, they can also be custom-made to fit the specific dimensions of your opening. It's vital to get the right size lintel for the job to ensure that it is strong enough and does not overhang the opening.

Steel Lintel Price

Steel lintels are available at a wide range of prices, depending on the thickness and strength of the lintel. The thinnest and weakest lintels will be the cheapest, while the thicker and stronger ones will be more expensive.

Steel lintels are not the cheapest building materials, but they are significantly cheaper than reinforced concrete lintels and much more robust than wooden ones.

Steel lintels are solid, much stronger than wooden or concrete lintels. You can choose customized options while selecting steel lintel for brick.


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