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desaintvenant (Structural) (OP)
2 Sep 06 13:12
Is there any difference between the words "beam" and "girder" ?

Alessio Spigarelli
Structural Engineer

Helpful Member!  UcfSE (Structural)
2 Sep 06 14:21
Typically a girder is larger than a beam, or may support several beams.
Helpful Member!  DaveAtkins (Structural)
4 Sep 06 8:03
I use the term "girder" to describe a member that has other members framing into it, and the term "beam" to describe a member that supports only decking or sheathing, with no other members framing into it.


KeySol (Structural)
5 Sep 06 10:15
The way that I was taught in school and now in professional practice is that:

A girder is a memeber that is in the floor system and has other members tying into the side of it.

A beam is a member that is dropped or below the floor system and has members bearing on top of it.
Helpful Member!  HgTX (Civil/Environmental)
5 Sep 06 12:02
In the steel bridge world, they often use "girder" to mean "built-up plate girder" and "beam" to mean "rolled section".


Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376

yates (Aerospace)
3 Nov 06 5:04
In structural mechanics, a beam is a virtual device which can only resist bending. A girder also resists bending but also has some torsional resistance. I vote for Keysol's definition.
GregLocock (Automotive)
7 Nov 06 6:26
But a beam element in FEA has torsional rigidity, so I think your definition is rather restricted. I can't remember  Shigley, Timoshenko or Roark making that distinction.

To me a girder has an implication of being fabricated from sub-components, as HgTX suggests.


Greg Locock

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