beam and column

Beam and Column | Introduction | 13 Differences Between Beam and Column



Both Beam and Column are important parts of a building. But Both Beam and Column are totally different if we compare them.



The beam is a structural component of the structure that carries the bending load, a shear force that is load perpendicular to its longitudinal axis.

The beam is the most important member that carries the weight of the ceiling of a building and transfers it to columns. The concrete beam can be classified as T-beams, L-beams, and rectangular beams. This L, T, or rectangular beam is classified because of the shape of the cross-sectional area.

Steel beams are also classified as I-section, L-section, U-section, etc. The main objective to design a beam is to carry bending moments and shear stress that are the results of loading.

A concrete beam uses transverse reinforcement to prevent bending moments while vertical reinforcement prevents the shear stresses caused due to loading. Industries widely use prestressed concrete beams in bridges while houses in small-scale.

As a pre-stressed beam has a higher load carrying capacity compared to the normal beam, it will be advantageous to use.



Columns are defined as long slender member load axially in compression and having lateral dimensions very small as compared to their lengths.

A vertical compression member is called a column. If load passes through the longitudinal axis coinciding with CG of the column, it is called the axially loaded column, otherwise eccentrically loaded column.

Columns are the building structures connected to different footings to transfer the load of the building to the footings of the buildings.

There are two types of columns: Slender columns and Short columns.

Slender columns are those columns whose cross-sectional dimensions are small compared to their length and this column was introduced with the finding of high strength materials.

Short columns are those columns whose cross-sectional dimensions are more compared to their length and this type of column is widely used than slender columns.

Concrete columns, whether slender or short, uses main reinforcement parallel to the vertical loads and use rectangular or circular ties to prevent the bars buckling action. While pouring concrete, the vertical reinforcement has to be erected straight.


  Difference between Beam and Column  

a.It is a horizontal member.It is a vertical member.
b.It carries load perpendicular to its longitudinal direction.It carries load parallel to their longitudinal direction.
c.They are usually in a shape of square, rectangular, T-shape, I-shape, or H-shape.They are constructed in the shape of rectangular, circular, square, T-shape, L-shape, elliptical, etc.
d.It has a minimum width of 200 mm.It has a minimum width of 200 mm sometimes 300 mm as per requirement.
e.It is constructed to carry bending and shear forces.It is constructed to resist compression load.
f.It is classified based on its support.It is classified based on the slenderness ratio.
g.It transfers the load of slabs, ceiling, floor, roof to the column.It transfers a load of the beam to the footing and ground.
h.It has longitudinal steel on two faces to resist bending moment and vertical loads.It has longitudinal steel on all faces to resist compression.
i.Failure occurs by giving signs in the form of cracking or deflection.Failure occurs without giving a sign and collapses suddenly.
j.Beam requires minimum and maximum steel of 0.2% to 2.5% respectively.Column requires minimum and maximum steel of 0.8% to 5% respectively.
k.The beam is generally cast with the slab.Columns are generally cast in small batches.
l.It needs greater care during concreting and curing in the case of RCC structure.It does not need greater care during concreting and curing.
m.The building can stand without a beam.The building can’t stand without a column.


Hence, beam and column differ in their load carrying and transferring behavior.


Read More:  Continuous Footing


Read More:  Types of Beams