Lintels are structural horizontal supports that are used to cover openings in walls or between two vertical supports. It is usually used in windows and doors, both of which are weak points in building structures. Lintels are mostly load-bearing, but they can also be decorative.
The most common lintels materials are wood, steel, and concrete. The wood is inexpensive, easily accessible, and can be easily cut to size on site. However, it is usually only suitable for small openings with low loads. Precast concrete partitions are economical and provide strong support for structures such as brickwork over door and window openings. They are capable of accepting various surface layers.
Steel Lintels are usually manufactured from pre-galvanized steel which is cut and rolled or pressed into the desired shape. Steel has an advantage over concrete because steel lintels tend to be lighter and easier to work on site. If you need the best steel lintels, you may go through anysizesteel.co.uk/fabricated-lintels/.
Image Source Google
The lintels can be shaped so that it is not visible above the opening. Steel is also flexible and can be made to order according to specific design requirements, be it arches, corners, alcove windows, etc.
To determine the type of lintel required, the type of load to be supported must be calculated. This includes dead loads and live loads. Dead load refers to the static mass of components such as floors, tiles, masonry, etc., while live load refers to the weight of furniture, fixtures, people, etc.
Lintels must be supported at both ends, and the bulkhead length for masonry walls is typically calculated by measuring the overall width of the structural opening and adding 150 mm of end bearing at each end.
If the lintels or end supports are not suitable, they can cause cracks in the decor or in the structure itself, eventually leading to structural damage and collapse.