Nucor Skyline

Nucor Skyline is a North American leader in supplying wide flange to the foundation industry. We supply beams in various sizes, weights, and grades adhering to ASTM, CSA, and other industry standard specifications. We have an experienced team of engineers available to work with you and propose solutions to all of your project needs. 

What is a Wide Flange?

Wide Flange is a type of steel beam used in the construction and structural industry. It features a shape resembling the letter H. Nucor Skyline supplies wide flange sections produced from recycled steel using clean electric arc furnace technology. We supply various grades of steel, including but not limited to A913 quench and tempered steel. This grade allows us to attain high yield strengths, up to 70 ksi, while still maintaining ease of welding in the field.

Ordinary Uses of Wide Flange

  • False or temporary support work. Support beams used to hold back earth while construction is under way to build walls, bridges, etc.
  • Structural Foundation. Beams are used as part of the final structure being built to support and stabilize structures. These structures could be bridges, buildings, parks, etc.
  • Retention Walls. Wide Flange Beams are used as the stabilizing element in walls for retention of earth, sound barriers along highways, walls within a basement or underground structure.

The Differences between Wide Flange Beams and I Beams

Wide flange beams and the traditional I beams are similar, but differ in shape. Wide Flange beams, resembling an H on its side, have wider flanges than I beams, which are shaped more like a capital letter I. 

Measuring Wide Flange Beams

Nucor Skyline provides engineers, builders, and contractors access to the AISC Wide Flange Beam Chart. The chart includes all of the dimensions and properties necessary for design and construction. The chart is available in both imperial and metric units and is located in our Technical Product Manual on our website at

What is a Wide Flange Steel Beam?

A wide flange steel beam is a structural product made of rolled steel. Known for its sturdiness and ability to hold up large and heavy buildings, the wide flange beam is preferable in construction projects. The H design allows even distribution of weight without affecting the structural properties. It is commonly used as a horizontal support (called a waler) unit with sheet pile or soldier pile retaining walls with an anchoring system. It can also be used as vertical support to hold sheet pile inserts to produce a combination wall (combi-wall).

Secant pile walls are formed by constructing intersecting reinforced concrete piles. The secant piles are reinforced with either steel rebar or with steel beams and are constructed by either drilling under mud or augering. Primary piles are installed first with secondary (male) piles constructed in between primary (female) piles once the latter gain sufficient strength. Pile overlap is typically in the order of 3 inches (8 cm). In a tangent pile wall, there is no pile overlap as the piles are constructed flush to each other.

Applications of Structural Beams

  • Wide flange beams are useful in cofferdam applications as waler and bracing systems. They allow the anchor loads to transfer into the soldier piles of the wall or allow for equal distribution across a sheet pile wall. The piles sit against the wall and are welded or bolted to the main steel parts of the wall. 
  • Applications such as secant and tangent pile walls use wide flange beams to allow for free-flow of concrete and to reduce voids. Secant and tangent pile walls are formed by constructing concrete piles that are reinforced with either a wide flange steel beam or steel rods. Secant walls have an overlap of piles, usually in the range of three inches. Tangent pile walls have no overlap and are constructed flush to each other. Both secant and tangent pile walls are used for retaining walls, foundation walls, or cut-off walls.
  • For stronger or stiffer walls, contractors use wide flange beams as king piles with the combination of sheet piles. The beam-z wall application utilizes connectors welded to the ends of the beam flange to create a connection component between the sheet piles and the king piles.
  • In beam and lagging or soldier pile wall applications, wide flange steel piles are placed at regular intervals during construction. The wide flange piles are drillable or forced into the soil.
  • Sound and sight walls are non-structural walls designed to provide a barrier for sight and sound pollution between the highway and a residential or commercial area. H structural beams are useful as posts or as post foundations.
  • Falsework is an application for bridges and other structures. It is comprised of wide flange beams, H-pile beams, and other steel parts. Falsework is used as a temporary structure for support in the construction of a perpetual structure. 

Standard Specifications of Wide Flange Beams

ASTM International is a global organization providing standardized guidance to product manufacturers and users of steel and its variants. The organization makes available the latest edition of publications essential in the classification, evaluation, and specification of steel types. Manufacturers use the information that specifies the material, mechanical attributes, chemicals, and metallurgic properties to produce mechanical components, construction elements, and related accessories.

  • ASTM A36 is a standard specification covering the shapes of structural quality for bolted, welded, or riveted construction of bridges and buildings and other purposes. It is mainly for carbon structural steel. 
  • ASTM A572 Grade 50 is for a higher strength, low-alloy Columbium-Vanadium structural steel. The specification covers the 50 grade for welding, bolting, and riveting construction structures.
  • ASTM A588 is a specification for higher strength, low-alloy structural steel. Advantages of this specification include resistance to atmospheric corrosion and savings in weight.
  • ASTM A690 specifies the testing and materials standard for high-strength and low alloy of phosphorus steel H-piles and sheet piling of structural quality. The specification is commonly useful in the construction of bulkheads, excavation, and block walls. 
  • ASTM A709 specification covers bars and shapes for bridge projects. It is for carbon and high-strength low-alloy shapes. 
  • ASTM A913 Grade 50 is the standard specification for higher strength, low-alloy steel shapes of structural quality. The specification covers structural steel shapes in grade 50 produced by QSI. The intentions of these shapes are for bolting, riveting, and welding construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures. 
  • ASTM A913 Grade 65 is the same standard specification as the ASTM A913 Grade 50, but differs in grades. Its structural steel is grade 65.
  • ASTM A992 specification is for steel structural shapes in building framing. It covers rolled shapes for building framing, bridges, and general structural projects.

ASTM is the standard applicable in the United States. The steel grade of wide flange is in American, Canadian, and European standard specifications. ASTM specifies the grade based on the yield strength. For example, the A36-ASTM is 36 ksi in yield strength and the ASTM-A992 is 50 ksi. In America, there are eight steel grades. 

Wide Flange Beam Sizes 

Nucor Skyline has many sizes of wide flange beams available for foundation contractors to utilize for bracing systems and cofferdams, secant pile walls, sound walls, and beam and lagging walls. The letter W designates the sizes of the wide flange in depth and weight. Nucor computes the weights of rolled steel shapes on a cubic foot of the steel weighing 490 pounds and a cubic meter of steel having a mass of 7,850 kilograms. 

The calculation of the weights of the shapes is in the ASTM A6/A6M publication and rounded to the nearest pound. Included in the computation of weights and properties are the fillets and/or rounded edges, under standard industry practices. The cross-sectional area or weight of each shape must not be over 2.5 percent of specific amounts, with the exception for shapes with a nominal weight of less than 100 pounds per foot. The calculation of the values of the cross-sectional area is in minimum dimensions using an asterisk as an identifier. 

American Wide Flange Beams 

American wide flange beams are available in eight ASTM standards including A36, A572-Grade 50, A588, A690, A709, A913-Grade 50, A913-Grade 65, and A992. The A36 standard has yield strength of 36 ksi and the A572, A588, A690, A709, A913 and A992 have a yield strength of 50 ksi. A913 has a yield strength of 65 ksi. Nucor Skyline’s H beam products are in compliance with ASTM standards. Most of our structural shapes conform to the latest edition of ASTM A6/A6M structural steel specifications.

Advantages of Wide Flange Beams for Structural Projects

An important advantage of the wide flange beam is that it is economical and reduces the construction time. The steel beam has more sectional area for optimization and distribution. It features mechanized properties that save on material costs and a wide flange H design for sturdy support of structures. Use Nucor Skyline’s structural beams for a variety of applications, such as walers and bracing for cofferdams, secant/tangent pile walls, beam-z, and others. 

Case Study: Purple Line Extension

Case Study: Purple Line Extension

Learn how a light-rail system through downtown Los Angeles utilizes wide flange beams in a multitude of ways 

Download Case Study

Steel Beam Brochure

Steel Beam Brochure

Learn about our complete line of wide flange and h-pile beams. 

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Technical Product Manual

Technical Product Manual

Get all the information you need about Nucor Skyline's complete line of steel foundation products. 

Download Product Manual

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