Flitch Beam Design & Software

Flitch  beam  design software is a useful tool for architects, engineers, designers, and builders. Flitch  beams  are a common type of composite construction. Composite construction materials are formed by combining two or more materials in a way that allows them to function as a single component structurally. Flitch  beams  are created by layering wood  beams  with steel plates or plywood in order to form a wider, lighter structural  beam . Bolts hold the layered components together to form a single unit.

These advantages make flitch  beams  a desirable and attractive choice in light frame construction projects:

They can support heavier loads over longer distances

They are thinner than solid wood or steel  beams  with similar load-bearing qualities

They can be nailed to other components of wood structures during construction

They are much lighter than solid  beams .

Using computer software to design a flitch  beam  can greatly improve the cost effectiveness of a project by allowing for a more exact and efficient design. Software packages precisely calculate the needed thickness, depth, and length of each  beam  much easier than any kind of hand calculation.

Utilizing flitch  beam  design software eliminates the possibility of using  beams  that are too thick or too closely spaced together. This can drastically reduce construction costs by allowing each  beam  to be more fully utilized to its capacity.

One of the more difficult calculations associated with a flitch  beam  is that of the Deflection the  beam  will undergo. Software packages will carefully calculate the deflection of flitch  beams . Properly constructed flitch  beams  ensure that all of the components deflect by exactly the same value. The relative stiffness value of steel and wood is vastly different. When used correctly, structural analysis software will accurately determine the proper interaction of multiple materials.

Bolt size and Spacing in the construction of flitch  beams  is crucial. A separate article will briefly discuss a simple way of determining the bolt spacing for a flitch  beam .

Flitch  beam  design software is a must-have tool for the careful architect, engineer, or designer.