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If you have a steel I beam that is a W10 @ 15 and the span

Customer Question
is 21 ft 2 inches...
If you have a steel I beam that is a W10 @ 15 and the span is 21 ft 2 inches and there is a hole in the beam approximatly 5inches by 7inches how will that affect the stuctural integrity of the beam? there is one floor above the garage.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Structural Engineering
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11/23/2011
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 6 years ago
StructuralEng
StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 7,427
Experience: Structural Engineer
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StructuralEng : Hole in webs can often be problems.
StructuralEng : Can you tell me where along the 21' span the hole would be?
StructuralEng : Where along the 10" depth would the hole be?
StructuralEng : If you can get that to me, I can help you. Also, do you know what grade of steel the beam is?
Customer:

The span is actualy 18 feet 3 inches, sorry and the hole is right in the middle. The hole is right under the top flange and extends a little more than half way down the web. The grade of steel is 15 pounds per foot.

StructuralEng :

No problem

StructuralEng :

When I say the grade of steel, I mean the yield stress. Is it A36 (Gr. 36) or A572 or A992 (Gr. 50)?

StructuralEng :

Is the 7" dimension horizontal or vertical?

Customer:

The vertical height of the beam is 10 inches.

Customer:

I am not sure what grade of steel it is. Sorry

StructuralEng :

The grade isn't as critical,

StructuralEng :

I meant the opening.

StructuralEng :

Is the 7" opening dimension horizontal or vertical?

Customer:

the hole is approximatly 5 inches high and 7 wide... i do not have the exact dimensions

Customer:

horizontal

StructuralEng :

There is no web at all below the top flange?

Customer:

very little, maybe 3/4 of an inch

StructuralEng :

What is on top of the beam? Concrete floor slab or something else?

StructuralEng :

Even that 3/4" is helpful, because this is the compression flange.

Customer:

wood framing

StructuralEng :

Is there any wood framing directly on top of the opening?

Customer:

you cant see becase garage ceiling is finished, but there are wood floor joists above..

StructuralEng :

What is the space above used for?

Customer:

It is a family room. There is couches coffee table book shelf etc

StructuralEng :

Here are my thoughts.

StructuralEng :

It violates the AISC guidelines for web penetrations in steel beams. I'm not comfortable going against that and saying that it's ok, especially with the hole favoring the compression side of the beam. If the hole were favoring the tension side (bottom) of the beam, I'd be pretty comfortable saying that it's ok, but not on the compression side. If you're absolutely certain that there is a 3/4" stem of web below the top flange, I would say it's ok, but not unless that's true.

StructuralEng :

I'll explain a little, so you understand my concern

StructuralEng :

The top of a simple span beam is in compression and the bottom in tension. The top side in compression wants to buckle. It can buckle in two directions - up and down or side to side. The up and down buckling is precluded by the web, which is attached to the stable tension flange. That is not true here.

StructuralEng :

The hole is in the correct location along the length of the beam (the center is where you typically want holes), but it should really be centered on the depth of the beam, too.

StructuralEng :

Fortunately, there is a fix.

StructuralEng :

If you've found my answer helpful, please "accept" it. I'll be happy to answer additional questions on the topic. If you could provide feedback, I would appreciate it.

Customer:

I will be happy to accept and give you excellent feedback.. before we continue I think it might be best to go and take some accurant measurment of the beam as I am just going from memory. what do you think

StructuralEng :

That's fine.

StructuralEng :

Do you have access to the beam from below?

Customer:

yes I have acess to the beam from below

Customer:

I will be back in an hour or so, I am going to get some accurate measurments.

StructuralEng :

Great. I'll be here.

Customer:

So as it turns out I will have to have a sturcural engineer come look at the beam. Since I am the real estate agent selling this house with the beam, in order to protect myself I should have an expert come look at it. The home inspector was not very helpful. So I guess I will just accept now. thanks for your help!

StructuralEng :

Ok, best of luck.Just know that there are fixes for it, even though it violates AISC requirements.

Customer:

Ok, thanks!

StructuralEng :

No problem.

StructuralEng
StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 7,427
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