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RE: W21x48 and W21x55 beams

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I’ve spec’d both of the sizes you mention and gotten the call from the detailer that I must have meant a different size.  I pointed out these sizes were being produced (I checked the AISC website to confirm) and he was satisfied… for awhile.  We ended up changing those beams to a couple of the older sections because the 21x48 and 21x55 were “not readily available”.  I guess the moral is, check on availability before specifying any large, unusual or new shapes.   



Bruce D. Holcomb, P.E., S.E.

Structural Engineer


Butler, Rosenbury & Partners

300 S. Jefferson, Suite 505

Springfield, MO 65806

ph. 417-865-6100

fax 417-865-6102

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, Planning & Development

Your Vision.  Our Focus.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Peoples [mailto:kspeoples(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 9:35 AM
To: Steel Detail; Seaint
Subject: W21x48 and W21x55 beams


I know that some of you are going to read this and say "Wake up Ken, these have been out there for a while now", but just in case some of you don't know this, I feel obligated to share this:

I am looking at a job to bid and I see W21x55 beams and I say to myself - "must be a W24x55 or W21x50".  Just in case, I check the LRFD 3rd edition and sure enough there are two beam sizes in there that I was not aware of - W21x48 and W21x55.  I knew that the big W44's were vastly different from the 9th edition, but I had not realized the changes to beams in the range that I use fairly often.  I will have to pencil these into my 9th edition!  Without me going through the entire list, are there any other new lighter (say less than 100 plf) wide flange members that I should know about?


Best regards,




Kenneth S. Peoples, P. E.
Lehigh Valley Technical Associates, Inc.
1584 Weaversville Road
Northampton, PA 18067


Phone: 610-262-6345
Email: kpeoples(--nospam--at)