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RE: SEMANTICS: Def. of "Joist" vs. "Beam"

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The way I was taught:
Plywood (or decking wood or metal) load joists
Joists load purlins
Purlins load beams
Beams load girders
Girders to columns

Right or wrong that is what has been in my pea brain for many years but,
still open for change.

Joseph R. Grill, P.E. (Structural)
Shephard - Wesnitzer, Inc.
Civil Engineering and Surveying
P.O. Box 3924
Sedona, AZ  86340
PHONE (928) 282-1061
FAX (928) 282-2058

-----Original Message-----
From: Polhemus, Bill [mailto:BPolhemus(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 4:07 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: SEMANTICS: Def. of "Joist" vs. "Beam"

Just a little item here:

I am in a little dispute with a colleague over the use of the term in a

What is the definition of a "joist" (generically speaking) as distinct
from a "beam"? I say that what I'm looking at are "joists": They are
flexural members that directly accept the service loads, are laid
parallel to one another and are closely spaced.

He says they are "beams."  But maybe I'm putting too fine a point on it.

What say you?

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Senior Associate
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. 
Engineers I Architects I Material Scientists
10235 West Little York, Suite 245
Houston, Texas 77040
P: 832-467-2177 F: 832-467-2178
http://www <blocked::http://www/> 

 <<Polhemus, Bill.vcf>> 

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