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Re: Steel Lintel Bearing on Masonry Wall

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Dave Nuttall wrote:
> I would like to know what the various opinions are regarding the bearing of
> a steel lintel on a masonry wall
> The typical lintel in question consists of a W section with a plate below
> spanning somewhere between 6' and 30'.

> What complications occur by fixity if the lintel is supporting a cavity
> wall, where the brick wants to expand, and the
> cmu backup wants to contract, but the lintel is only bearing on the cmu?

One complication with this condition (beam + plate supporting brick and
cmu, beam bearing on cmu) occurs if the plate on the bottom of the beam
extends into the brick at the ends. After I saw two cases where the
brick cracked in a vertical line from the plate down to the ground, with
the crack about 3 or 4 inches from the jamb of the opening, it confirmed
for me that the plate should stop at the edge of the opening, or
preferably about 1/2" clear.

Rick Burch
Columbia, SC

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