See all Blog Posts What are Aluminum Beams? Category: Metal Man Knows Posted: September 21, 2022 Aluminum beam is an I-Beam formed from aluminum; it is typically used in applications that require strength but where weight is a significant consideration. Due to aluminum’s light weight, especially when compared to other structural beams (such as steel), the final product or structure’s weight is greatly reduced. This type of beam also carries a significant advantage when it comes to corrosion resistance over steel structural beams. There are two types of aluminum beam: Aluminum Association American Standard What is the difference between these two beam types? American Standard beams are I-Beams with more traditional tapering in the flanges and rounded edges. These beams, often referred to as Standard I-Beams, typically have narrow flanges. Aluminum Association beam is an I-Beam with thicker flanges than Standard I-Beams and are straight rather than tapered. How are aluminum beams made? Aluminum beams are manufactured using extrusion, where metal billets are forced through a die to create the desired long shapes – this can be done heated or at room temperature, depending on the specific requirements. After passing through the die, a worker will often anodize or temper the beam. Anodizing is a chemical application that ensures a strong, chemically bonded outer oxide layer is present to prevent corrosion; tempering is a heat treatment process that increases the beam’s strength. Depending on the final use, you would cut to size or bolt, rivet or weld together the final lengths. What are their applications? Aluminum beams are structural beams designed to support themselves over a long span. However, the most defining factor of an aluminum beam is its relatively low weight. For an aluminum beam to share the strength of a steel I-Beam, it would have to be much larger but weigh only half as much. As such, an aluminum beam is best suited for applications that require materials with moderate strength and low weight. The American Standard beam is typically used in the building and construction industry. Typical applications include structural components for commercial sites and residential homes such as rafters, awnings, trailers, overhead supports and walkways. Aluminum Association beam products tend to be more versatile as the thicker, straight-edged flanges allow for easier connections and fitting. These can be used in structural components, but can also serve as the foundational material for frames, brackets, base plates and machine parts. Metal Supermarkets Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with over 100 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985. At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, tool steel, alloy steel, brass, bronze and copper. We stock a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets, plates and more. And we can cut metal to your exact specifications. Visit one of our 100+ locations across North America today. Share: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn E-Mail Related blog articles Different Types of Metal Finishing: Processes & Techniques Windsor Welcomes Metal Supermarkets The World’s Largest Supplier of Small Quantity Metals What is the Difference Between 7050 vs 7075 Aluminum?