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I-Beams or I-Joists are a very popular way of creating an engineered lightweight floor support system.

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Timber Engineering Europe

I-Beams (I-Joists)


What are I-Beams (I-Joists)?
I-Beams, also called I-joists, are beams with an I-shaped cross-section. The horizontal elements are known as flanges, while the vertical element is called the web. They are manufactured to exact specifications using Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) or Kiln Dried (KD) Graded C24 soft- wood flanges bonded to an Orientated Strand Board (OSB) web. Other names may also be used such as Sterling Board, Waferboard, OSB, Exterior Board & SmartPly, all of which are engineered sheets of timber. Using I-joists is a very efficient form for carrying both bending and shear in the plane of the web – their superior strength-to-weight ratio allows longer spans and easier handling. Their shrink and warp resistance contribute to ‘quiet’ floor solutions and close tolerance dimensions provide unequalled stability. I-joists, in many cases do not require insulation to gain compliance with Building Regulation Part E (sound) when installed at 400mm centres and above.

More about I-Beams:
They can be used for floor joists, wall studs and roof rafters in almost any type of construction, residential and commercial. Their sizes range from a depth of 145mm to 450mm and widths (flanges) of 45mm—97mm. Special I-Joists have been manufactured up to 24m long although 12-13m is a more common top-end size.

Manufacturing:
After cutting the webs and flanges to the specified widths and lengths, they are assembled with water-resistant glues by pressing the web into the top and bottom flange. After initial assembly, the I-joist is then end-trimmed and allowed to cure in an oven, or at room temperature to approximately equilibrium moisture content.

Benefits:

STRENGTH: Superior strength to weight ration allows much longer spans to be used than traditional joists.
ENVIRONMENT: Typically used 40-60% less material than a traditional method with no site wastage.
COST BENEFIT: Saves on site labour and materials compared to other methods.
STRAIGHT: Much closer tolerances and uniform dimensions.
LIGHT: Easy to handle and install. No rough edges or sharp corners.
LONG LENGTHS: Only transport logistics dictate beam lengths.
QUIET: If fitted to specification—will prevent ‘squeaky’ floors.
BRACING: No mid-span noggins or strutting required.
FIXINGS: Inexpensive hangers and joining components easily obtained for simple installation.
STABLE: No shrinking, warping, bowing, dry splits or shakes.
LOCATION: Use in floor roof and wall specifications.
SIMPLE: To install, easy to cut and drill for services (ask for installation guides).
VERSATILE: Can be used with masonry, timber and steel.
QUALITY: A fully engineered factory product, with a life time guarantee.


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Unlike steel or concrete, The OSB used in I-Joists is made from a completely renewable resource using small-diameter, fast-growing trees.



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