Steel is a versatile material for lintels that can provide structural support under a wide range of loading conditions, from light duty to extra heavy duty. It offers a wide range of options for external and internal walls, including bespoke lintel designs, and provides an ideal balance of size, strength, and practicality.
The versatility of steel compared to other lintel materials
Lintels made of wood, stone, concrete, or steel can all be used in a variety of situations. There is a practical aspect to consider, such as whether the size of the lintel required makes a material suitable. The need for a proper concrete lintel repair should always be addressed, be it in Chicago or anywhere else.
The material must also be capable of performing in the required situation and contribute to the building meeting regulatory requirements. Timber, for example, cannot be used to construct an exterior wall.
Steel lintels allow for a broader range of products, from relatively simple angles and channels to box lintels and cavity lintels, and even special lintels for architectural features.
When steel lintels are specified, all internal walls and partitions, as well as timber frame and masonry external walls, can be sourced from a single manufacturer.
Steel lintels and sustainability
Steel can play a significant role in delivering buildings with significantly lower annual carbon emissions and energy use in applications such as masonry cavity walls. However, because of the raw materials required to make it and the energy-intensive processes used to manufacture products, it is frequently discussed as having a high embodied carbon.
Since there are no practical alternatives to steel lintels possible, it is important to consider the long-term benefits of steel when calculating the “carbon cost.” Steel is durable and will last for the life of the building, in addition to providing the ideal balance of strength and weight (and longer). If a steel lintel cannot be reused at the end of a building’s life, it can be broken down and the steel recycled.