Behold the Beam

Part 3 — Types of Beams You Are Likely to Encounter If a surgeon doesn't possess a foundation of human anatomy and physiology knowledge, would you let that surgeon cut you open and probe around inside your body? Would you let a fire officer send you...


Part 3 — Types of Beams You Are Likely to Encounter If a surgeon doesn't possess a foundation of human anatomy and physiology knowledge, would you let that surgeon cut you open and probe around inside your body? Would you let a fire officer send you inside a burning structure if that...


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LVL is manufactured using dried and graded wood veneers that are coated with waterproof adhesive, assembled into a pattern, formed into billets and cured in a heating press. After curing, the billets are cut into stock for rimboards, headers, beams and the flanges for wood I-joists. (I have not yet seen dimensional LVL used as floor joists.) Like PSL, LVL can be built up (fastened side by side) to create a stronger beam rather than having to increase the depth of a single LVL. Because of the parallel lamination, LVL is not recommended for use as columns and posts (compressive members).

To Be Continued...

Next time, there will be more beams to behold when we describe the final eight of the 13 beam types:

6. I-joist

7. Built-up

8. Flitch

9. Box

10. Wide-flange steel

11. LiteSteelbeam (LSB)

12. Pre-cast concrete

13. Faux (fake)

NOTE: John Wooden, my inspiration for the "Fire Station Pyramid of Success," died on June 4, 2010, at the age of 99, a few months shy of his 100th birthday. Firehouse® published the five-part series in 2008. Although the world lost a great man, the influence of his character and what I call his respectful leadership will endure. Look for an updated homage to Coach Wooden in the coming months.

MARK EMERY, EFO, is a shift battalion chief with the Woodinville, WA, Fire & Life Safety District. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer program and an NFA instructor specialist. Emery received a bachelor of arts degree from California State University at Long Beach and is a partner with Fire Command Seattle LLC in King County, WA. He is in no way affiliated with or an advocate for the truss manufacturing or building construction industries. He may be contacted at fci@usa.com or access his website www.competentcommand.com.