What Are the Most Common Structural Steel Shapes?

What Are the Most Common Structural Steel Shapes?

Published on April 13th, 2023

Structural steel is an essential component in the construction industry, offering strength, flexibility, and durability for various applications. Steel is available in various shapes and designed for specific purposes. Read on and find out the most common structural steel shapes available for your applications.


I-beams, also known as universal beams, are some of the most recognizable and widely used structural steel shapes. They feature an I-shaped cross section with two parallel flanges connected by a vertical web. I-beams have an excellent load-bearing capacity, making them ideal for supporting horizontal loads in buildings, bridges, and other structures.


Channels are U-shaped steel sections with two parallel flanges and a web connecting them. They are typically used as supporting members in building construction, such as purlins, joists, and studs. Channels offer good load-bearing capacity and top-notch torsional resistance and can be easily connected to other structural elements.

Structural Tees

Structural tees, or T-beams, have a T-shaped cross-section. They are formed by cutting an I-beam or H-beam along the web. These sections are often used in the construction of roofs, floors, and other support structures. Structural tees have excellent strength with the added benefit of reduced weight compared to the original beam.

Formed Steel Angles

Formed steel angles are L-shaped sections with two legs of equal or unequal length, joined by a 90-degree bend. These versatile steel shapes have various purposes, such as reinforcing connections, supporting beams, and creating frames for doors and windows. These steel angles are easy to weld, cut, and drill, making them popular for many construction projects. Their angular design offers excellent strength and stability, which is idea for structures subjected to lateral loads.

Now that you know the most common structural steel shapes, choose the right steel for your construction projects. Check out the wide range of formed steel products available with California Steel.

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