Wide Flange Beam: Why and Where Are They Used?

wide flange beam

Industries use various equipment to improve productivity, including specialised tools and support materials for their industry. One such piece of equipment is the wide flange beam. Also known as H-beams or WF beams, these are a type of support material used in construction. They are made of rolled steel and are known for their durability. Here, we explore the uses of a wide flange beam and cryogenic dry break coupling.

Wide Flange Beam consists of two horizontal flanges connected by a vertical web. The flanges are wider than the web, providing greater resistance to bending and twisting forces. This design allows the beam to support heavy loads while minimising material usage.

What is a Wide Flange Beam, and How is it Made?

Wide Flange Beam is a structural support element in structures that are very large and have an immense width or span. The functional aspect of flanges is to distribute weight without additional structural changes. These are designed in the form of a ladder for weight distribution.

The manufacturing process for wide flange beams, I-beams, begins with rolling the beam from a single piece of steel. In 1849, Alphonse Halbou, an engineer associated with the French company Forges de la Providence, patented this process.

The first construction project was in 1889 when the Rand McNally building in Chicago used I-beams. The term “wide flange beam” is also common, as beams have parallel pieces called flanges that are wider than I-beams. A central web connects the flanges.

The most common use of wide flange beams is in residential projects. Due to the thicker centre web, they are stronger and heavier than I-beams. By adjusting the height or size, they can be built up as per project requirements.

What is Cryogenic Dry Break Coupling

A cryogenic dry break coupling is a component used to connect and disconnect hoses and pipelines safely and quickly. They are designed to minimise leaks and reduce the risk of exposure to cryogenic fluids.

What are the Uses of Wide Flange Beams?

Wide flange beams are used in a wide variety of applications, including:

  • Construction: Homes, commercial buildings, floors, roofs, bridges, highway ramps, and overpasses
  • Temporary support work: Structural foundations and retention walls
  • Bridge construction: Buildings, cranes, and truck trailers
  • Industrial structures: Buildings, bridges, and industrial structures
  • Wide flange beams are the most popular steel “I” beams used in construction and structural projects. They have non-tapered horizontal flanges that can resist bending during impact. Their more comprehensive profile gives them more muscular horizontal strength.

What are the Uses of Cryogenic Dry Break Couplings?

Cryogenic dry break couplings transfer liquefied gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. During loading and unloading, they also avoid spillage and damage associated with drive and pull-away incidents.

They consist of a tank unit or adapter with a spring-loaded poppet and a hose unit or coupler with a valve driven by an internal cam.

Which is the most commonly used Wide Flange Beam?

The most common comprehensive flange beam grade is ASTM A992. This grade has replaced the older ASTM grades, A572 and A36. However, A572 remains the most common type of wide flange beam in buildings today.

Wide flange beams are usually made from carbon structural steel and high-strength, low-alloy structural steel. Steel is a popular material for wide flange beams because it’s durable, easy to work with, and long-lasting.


Wide beam flanges have been a critical support equipment in the construction industry. They are responsible for the even distribution of weight, with the H-shape absorbing any increase or decrease in weight without making structural changes to retain balance. Similarly, the role of cryogenic dry couplings is to prevent spillage of liquified gases during loading and unloading.