Calculate H Beam & I Beam Weight (FREE Chart & Calculator)

Do you ever feel confused about how to calculate the weight of H-beams and I-beams? Are you struggling to find the right beam for your construction project? We’ve got just the solution you need!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide designed to help you understand everything you need to know about H-beams and I-beams. We’ve got handy definitions, interesting facts, and real-life applications of these super-strong steel beams. But that’s not all! We’ve also got a special tool that can help you calculate the weight of these beams in a snap. We’ve created two separate calculators just for you – one for H-beam weight and another for I-beam weight​.

We’ll also guide you through the key differences between H-beams and I-beams. Whether it’s about weight distribution, load-bearing capacity, cost, or manufacturing considerations, we’ve got it all covered. This will make it easier for you to choose the right beam for your project, whether it’s for building construction, bridge construction, or crane and hoist systems​.

And guess what? We’ve got a size and weight chart for both H-beams and I-beams that you can check out with just one click! This chart will make your task even simpler and more convenient​3​.

So why wait? Dive in now to find all the answers to your beam-related questions and make your construction planning a breeze!

Please refer to the following article for additional calculations on various metal weights.

If you want to check the size and weight chart for H beam as well as I beam steel, you can click the link below:

Now, let’s dive into it.

H Beam: Definition, Properties, and Applications

Definition and general characteristics

H Beams, also known as H sections or universal columns, are named after their H-shaped cross-section, with parallel flanges and a perpendicular web. They are widely used in construction and manufacturing industries due to their excellent load-bearing capacity and resistance to bending.

Key weight properties

  1. Flange width and thickness: H Beams have wider flanges compared to I Beams, resulting in increased weight and load-bearing capacity.
  2. Web height and thickness: H Beams have a higher web height, contributing to their overall weight and structural integrity.

Applications in structural engineering

  1. Building construction: H Beams are commonly used as load-bearing columns in multi-story buildings, providing stability and support.
  2. Bridges: H Beams are also utilized in bridge construction, where their strength and stiffness are critical for maintaining structural integrity.
  3. Platforms and walkways: H Beams are often employed in the construction of platforms and walkways, offering durability and support.

I Beam: Definition, Properties, and Applications

Definition and general characteristics

I Beams, also known as I sections or universal beams, are characterized by their I-shaped cross-section, with flanges that are narrower than those of H Beams. They are lighter in weight and have a lower bending resistance, making them suitable for specific applications.

Key weight properties

  1. Flange width and thickness: I Beams have narrower flanges compared to H Beams, reducing their weight and bending resistance.
  2. Web height and thickness: I Beams also have a lower web height, contributing to their lighter weight.

Applications in structural engineering

  1. Building construction: I Beams are used as horizontal supports in building construction, offering load distribution and reduced weight.
  2. Bridges: I Beams can be used in bridge construction, particularly for smaller or temporary structures that require lighter components.
  3. Crane and hoist systems: I Beams are commonly found in crane and hoist systems, providing lightweight and efficient support.

Key Differences Between H Beams and I Beams

A. Weight distribution: H Beams have a more evenly distributed weight, while I Beams have a concentrated weight in the center, resulting in different load-bearing capacities.

B. Load-bearing capacity: H Beams generally have a higher load-bearing capacity due to their larger flanges and web height.

C. Cost and manufacturing considerations: H Beams are more expensive to manufacture and transport due to their increased weight and dimensions.

D. Ease of fabrication and installation: I Beams are easier to fabricate and install due to their lighter weight and simpler design.

Related reading: H-beam vs I-beam Steel: 14 Differences Explained

H Beam Weight Calculator


To convert h-beam sizes from millimeters to inches, use our millimeters to inches calculator.

I Beam Weight Calculator


If you need to find I-beam sizes in inches, you can use our millimeters to inches calculator for accurate conversion results.

If you’re looking for a quicker and more convenient solution to determining the weight of H-beams and I-beams, you can use the H-beam weight chart and I-beam weight chart provided.

These charts allow you to easily check the weight of various-sized H-beams and I-beams, eliminating the need for repetitive calculations using a calculator.

What Is I Beam?

I-beam Steel

An I-beam, also referred to as a Universal Beam or steel beam, is a type of structural steel with a distinctive ‘I’ shaped cross-section.

I-beams are further categorized into two groups: regular I-beams and lightweight I-beams.

What Is H Beam?

H-beam Steel

The H-beam is an improved version of the I-beam and got its name from its H-shaped cross-section. It is a cost-effective and efficient type of structural steel, with a higher strength-to-weight ratio and optimized cross-sectional area distribution.

The components of the H-beam are arranged at right angles, giving it superior resistance to bending, making it more cost-effective, easier to construct, and lighter in weight in all directions.

H-beams are commonly used in high-rise buildings, workshops, and other structures that require high load capacity and stable cross-sections.

Additionally, they are widely used in ships, bridges, lifting and transportation equipment, brackets, equipment foundations, and foundation piles.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between H Beams and I Beams

A. Structural requirements and design considerations: The choice between H Beams and I Beams depends on the specific requirements of the project, such as load-bearing capacity, span, and structural stability.

B. Material selection and availability: The availability of suitable materials and their costs can also influence the choice between H Beams and I Beams.

C. Budget constraints: Cost considerations should be taken into account when choosing between H Beams and I Beams, as H Beams are generally more expensive due to their larger dimensions and increased weight.

D. Environmental factors and corrosion resistance: The environmental conditions of the project site, such as exposure to corrosive substances or extreme temperatures, can impact the choice of beam type.

How Do I Determine the Load-Bearing Capacity of an I-Beam?

For example:

How much can I-beam #25 bear when the span is 4m and the load is evenly distributed?


For #25 I-beam, W = 401.4cm3, [σ]=210N/mm2, overall stability coefficient φb=0.93

Bending moment formula M = QL2/8
Strength formula σ = M/W

According to the formula:

Overall stability requirement: 42.1 * 0.93 = 39.2kn/m

Partial factor requirement (safety factor): 39.2 / 1.4 = 28kN/m

Safe use: 28kN/m

The calculation mentioned does not consider the weight of the I-beam or any checks for deflection.

H Beam Load Capacity Calculation

I believe you still want to know the weight capacity of a steel beam and how to calculate it?

See also:

Alternatively, you may be interested in determining the proper size of an H-beam for your construction project.

To assist you, we have supplied you with a robust beam load capacity calculator and a load capacity chart, as shown in the screenshot below.

beam load capacity calculator
H Beam Load Capacity

And it’s in an Excel format, which can automatically perform the calculation once you have entered the necessary information.

You can download the tool by clicking the link below. Don’t forget to enable the macro function in Excel to ensure proper functioning.


  1. What is the main difference between H Beams and I Beams?

The main difference between H Beams and I Beams lies in their shape and weight properties. H Beams have a larger flange width and web height, resulting in a higher load-bearing capacity, while I Beams have narrower flanges and a lower web height, making them lighter in weight.

  1. When should I choose an H Beam over an I Beam?

H Beams should be chosen over I Beams when the project requires a higher load-bearing capacity, greater structural stability, or when the beams are exposed to significant bending forces. Examples include multi-story building construction, large bridge construction, and heavy-duty platforms.

  1. When should I choose an I Beam over an H Beam?

I Beams should be chosen over H Beams when weight reduction, ease of fabrication, and cost efficiency are critical factors. Applications include smaller bridges, crane and hoist systems, and situations where the beams primarily serve as horizontal supports in building construction.

  1. Can H Beams and I Beams be used together in a single project?

Yes, H Beams and I Beams can be used together in a single project, depending on the specific structural requirements. For instance, H Beams can be used as vertical supports, while I Beams can serve as horizontal supports, providing a balance between load-bearing capacity and weight reduction.

  1. Are there any other types of structural beams besides H Beams and I Beams?

Yes, there are several other types of structural beams, including T Beams, Channel Beams, Angle Beams, and Box Beams. Each type of beam has its unique shape, weight properties, and applications in structural engineering.

  1. How is the weight of H Beams and I Beams calculated?

The weight of H Beams and I Beams can be calculated by multiplying the length, height, and width of the beam by the material’s density (typically steel). Additional factors, such as flange thickness and web thickness, should also be considered in the calculation.

  1. How do composite materials affect the weight and performance of beams?

Composite materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced polymers, can significantly reduce the weight of beams while maintaining or even enhancing their strength and stiffness. This can lead to improved performance in specific applications, such as aerospace structures, automotive components, and lightweight bridge construction.

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