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Review: The Best Products for RSJ Beams in the UK in 2022


For any construction or building project, you must know about all products and tools required for the work. One essential thing is the RSJ or Rolled Steel Joist beam, also known as an I or Universal beam. RSJ Beams provide support to the structure and is an important element for civil and construction work. 

RSJ beams are available in many profiles and lengths to provide the maximum load-bearing strength using lower amounts of steel. Engineers vary the RSJ beam’s profile to build the best shape possible.

RSJ beams are made in three cross-sections: the I or H, also called the Universal beam, the channel-shaped C beam, and the T beam. 

The RSJ and the Universal beam are almost identical, but the BS4 lists them as different products. The British Standards Institution does not recognize the term RSJ officially, yes the construction industry still uses them.  

What is an RSJ Beam?

The Universal or RSJ beam is a calculated steel length with a specific shape and profile. It is used in many situations to replace load-carrying walls and provide a strong structure to a building. Multiple profiles make it possible to use these beams in different buildings and projects ranging from steel girders, door lintel, building construction, roof laying, etc. 

The principle behind an RSJ beam’s operation is simple. Padstones fit each end of the beam that distribute the load of the building or structure above. Builders need to make slots to position the beam inside walls. Concrete padstone casting is required if the wall’s brickwork is weak. The beam is fixed into the wall after the concrete has settled and removed the brickwork below. The RSJ beam’s lintel should cover its opening by 150mm minimum at each end for solid support. 

Compared to other conventional methods, using RSJ beams offers better support and has many other benefits. 

Benefits of Using RSJ Beams Over Other Conventional Methods

For decades better support, strength, durability, and high quality have made RSJ beams the most common choice for commercial and industrial construction projects. However, these beams are great for domestic construction work like decks, patios, etc., because of their many advantages. 

Highly versatile steel – Steel is a versatile material, and builders can easily bend RSJ beams and manipulate them into the required profile. It makes the beams perfect for small domestic work and high-intensity industrial construction projects. The beams can be formed, cut, bent, or shaped into multiple profiles. 

Robust, durable, and weather-resistant – Steel’s robust and durable nature of steel allows it to withstand high loads and stress. RSJ beams are ideal for any part of the globe because steel is highly weather-resistant. No chemical substances are required to galvanise steel, and it is fire-resistant too. Also, galvanised steel is rust-resistant, which is vital for homeowners. 

Excellent strength-to-weight ratio – Steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio compared to concrete and wood. Therefore, an RSJ beam with the same mass as wooden beams will withstand more pressure and load. Steel is even better than aluminium for this purpose. 

Eco-friendly – The construction industry has become greener than before because steel is eco-friendly. RSJ beams can be recycled as many times as you want, and this means less waste produced. Another great thing is that steel does not emit any toxic or greenhouse gas, making it better than wood or concrete. 

Maximum support – The I or H shaped cross-section in RSJ beams is intentional because the two flanges allow the beam to bend instead of breaking under high pressure. This makes RSJ beams perfect for a building’s framework and provides integrity and support to the structure. 

Helps save construction costs – As RSJ beams are so strong, you won’t need to replace them for a long time. Neither is there any need to install any other support mechanisms, which saves a considerable amount of money and time. 

Common RSJ Beams Profiles

RSJ beams consist of the following cross-sectional shapes:

  • I or H Beam: This type is the Universal beam, with the H beam having wider flanges while I beams have tapered flanges.
  • C Beam: The C beam is shaped like a channel and mostly supports heavy gadgets and bridge decks. Sometimes, two C beams are welded to form an I beam.
  • T Beam: As the name suggests, the T beam has a T-shaped cross-section in which the top part provides resistance against compression. The flange is already included within the beam reducing the space required for the beam.
  • J Beam: Workshops and large stores are more likely to use J beams where lower floors do not connect to the upper columns.

Cost of RSJ Beam Installation

The cost of RSJ beams is affected by factors more than just their length. Engineers increase the cross-section length as the size of the beam increases so that it won’t bend more than a safe limit. With the increase in length and profile, the cost of the beam increases. Using more steel will cause the beam’s weight will go up, and you will require lifting equipment. 

Before installing RSJ beams, uneven flooring on the side of walls has to be fixed. After the work is done, you have to spend on waste management and redecoration. You may have to take special Government approval or permissions before allowing major construction to take place. 

So, it would be best to consider all these things when estimating the cost of RSJ beam installation. 

Industries using RSJ Beams

Many industries all over the world use RSJ Beams for a variety of purposes:

Construction and Building

The most common use of RSJ beams is in the construction industry in new and the renovation of old buildings. Wherever a load-bearing wall has to be removed, RSJ beams have utility there. 


Bridges need RSJ beams to offer high-yield strength and maximum support to the structure. Different grades of steel have unique strength, tension, compression, and other features. Bridges are really heavy and need high-grade steel beam support. 


The transport industry is responsible for using 16% of the worldwide steel production. Tunnels, bridges, airports, sea harbours and fuelling stations are some of the structures that use RSJ beams. Beams are great for supporting complex structures and even the internal structure of vehicles uses small-sized steel beams. 


RSJ steel beams have utility in the manufacturing of fridges, cars, heavy gadgets, machinery, building equipment, agricultural tools, etc. 

Summing Up

If you are building a new home for yourself or want to renovate your old home, using RSJ beams instead of supporting walls is the right choice. The construction industry has been using these beams for a long time now because of the many advantages they offer.

Hire a trustworthy structural engineer and buy the best quality RSJ beams for your home. Your home’s structure will have great support, and you can rest assured about the integrity and safety of your building. 

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