Beam VS Lintel – Difference Between Beam And Lintel

Lintel and beam both are horizontal members of the building but they are different from each other. Beam and lintel have different functions and vary in technical aspect as well. So, in this article, we will see the difference between beam and lintel.

so let’s start

Difference Between Beam And Lintel

Beam VS Lintel - Difference Between Beam And Lintel

Concept 

It is the horizontal members used to support vertically applied loads. It is a horizontal member that is arranged parallel to the slab. 

Whereas lintels are horizontal members used to support masonry over windows, doors and other openings in a wall.

Types

Types of beams are simply supported beam, fixed beam, cantilever beam, overhanging beam etc. They can be of different materials but usually, they are in the form of RCC.  

Whereas lintels are mostly simply supported. Types of lintel are wooden lintel, concrete lintel, stone lintel, Brick lintel, steel Intel etc. Nowadays wooden lintels are not used because wood is liable to rot and also, damage during a fire and hence may cause the collapse of the wall above it.

Load transfer path    

The beam carries the load from slab and transfers it to the column from, column it is transferred to the footing and from footing finally to the soil.   

Whereas lintel carries the load of the wall above the openings and transfers it to walls only.

Function 

The function of the beam is to support the slab resting on it. It also provides support for the floor and ceiling.  

Whereas the main function of the lintel is to support the masonry wall above the openings like the door, window and transfer its load to sidewalls.

Behaviour  

The beam may act as a fixed beam or simply supported beam, based on support conditions.  

Whereas lintel generally acts as a simply supported beam.

Structural member

The beam is the framing member and part of the structural frame.   

Whereas lintel is not a framing member and not a part of the structural frame.

Importance in Structure

The beam is the most important component of the building and hence it needs due consideration while designing.

Whereas most of the times lintels are neglected, at times these structures are not even provided, which ultimately leads to diagonal crack at openings.

Location     

The beam is supported on the column and Wall, its endpoint is rested on columns.  

Whereas the lintel is placed on door or window frame or sometimes on the wall, its endpoint is rested on walls.

Feasibility in Design

Design of beam is not easy as compared to lintel as it is a part of the structural frame but nowadays the job has become easy as many 3d software’s are available for design.   

whereas the design of lintel is easy as it is not a part of the structural frame.

Geometry  

Beams may be straight, curved or tapered in the plan.    

On the other hand, lintels may be straight or curved in the plan but the latest trend is to avoid lintel and provide a deep beam that is up to the top of the door or window frame which results in saving time and offer more sound and durable construction.

Construction Process

The beam is normally cast with the slab as a whole, except in case of a precast beam, beams are not simple and easy to construct as compared to lintel.

On the other hand, the lintel can be cast separately during the construction of a masonry wall. Precast lintels can also be used. It is simple and easy to construct a lintel as compared to the beam.

Width 

The width of the beam can be equal to or more than the size of the wall below. it depends on the load.  

Whereas the width of the lintel is equal to the size of the wall below.

Length   

The beam can be of long span or short span depending upon structural configuration.  It is much longer as compared to its cross-section.   

Whereas lintel is basically a short span member. It is not much longer as compared to its cross-section.

Cross-sectional Area   

The cross-sectional area of the beam is more as compared to lintel.    

Whereas the cross-sectional area of the lintel is less as compared to the beam.

Conclusion

These are the difference between beam and lintel. I have tried to cover all the differences in this article. If you found this article helpful, please be sure to share it.

Finally thanks! for reading the article.

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