Weight Comparison Chart of Rolled Beams vs. Plater Girders

Topics: Design, eSPAN140

Standard for short span steel bridge designs were developed to create a design aid for bridge engineers. The standards are available within eSPAN140, a free web-based tool that provides preliminary simple-span and modular designs for steel bridges up to 140 feet, allowing bridge owners and designers to compare steel and concrete structures and make informed choices.

The standard contain designs with spans ranging from 40 feet to 140 feet in 5 foot increments for rolled wide flange beams and homogeneous steel plate girder sections (as well as press brake tub girder and buried bridge options).

The SSSBA Bridge Technology Center developed a document containing tables which compare the weight of or rolled beam sections (limited to W36 sections) to plate girder sections (optional tension flange transitions).

The table is for 6 foot through 11 foot girder spacings (1 foot increments) for spans of 40 foot to 14o foot (5 foot increments).

Please note that this is for general INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  It should also be noted that lower weights from plate girders do always translate to lower costs. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact a steel producer supplier for discussion on the best option and specific weights.

Attached are a series of graphs that compare the weights of rolled beams (the set limited to W36 or below – we have another set that looks at permitting W40s and W44s) against plate girders that permit a possible flange transition in the tension flange only (we have another set that has a uniform tension flange only).

Download Tables

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