How to Calculate Structural Steel Weights

By Cameron Easey
The weight of structural steel is found by using mathematical equations.

The weight of structural steel is more than you can determine using a standard scale. Finding the weight of a steel beam requires the use of math equations to properly calculate the weight. To do this, you need to first obtain measurements for the steel beam. Once these measurements are known, you can input them into the equation.

Measure the length of the steel beam with the tape measure and note the measurement, such as 20 feet.

Measure the height of the steel beam and note the measurement, such as 6 inches or 0.5 feet.

Measure the width of the steel beam and note the measurement, such as 6 inches or 0.5 feet.

Multiply the length by the height by the width to calculate the volume of the beam. In this example, this equation looks like (20 x 0.5 x 0.5), for a result of 5 cubic feet.

Multiply the cubic feet of the steel beam by the density of steel. This equation looks like (5 x 490) for a result of 2,450 lbs. This is the weight of the structural steel beam.

Tip

The density of steel is approximately 490 lbs per square foot. If you use this value, the other measurements you multiply it by need to be in feet, so the units are consistent and you get an accurate weight.

About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.