Design of Steel Lintels in Masonry Walls

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Instructor Information: Alexander Newman, P.E., F.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

This webinar was co-sponsored by ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute and ASCE Continuing Education.

Purpose and Background

The available choices for lintel materials include steel, precast concrete, and masonry. This seminar focuses on the design and construction of steel lintels, the most popular solution for veneer walls. Unfortunately, these mundane structural elements often do not receive the design attention they deserve, with the resulting cracking and sagging of masonry, rusting of steel, leakage, and other wall distress. Some engineers neglect torsion forces acting on steel-angle lintels and take a simplified approach that might work for short spans but becomes increasingly questionable with large openings.

The seminar discusses the design techniques appropriate for a variety of wall opening sizes. The bulk of the presentation is devoted to the design of steel lintels for large openings in masonryveneer walls, such as those that might be needed at overhead doors. A design example for this condition is included. The designs and details of loose angle lintels over small openings and suspended lintel systems over strip windows are also examined. Since many wall openings are made in the shape of the arch, the issues of designing curved steel lintels are discussed as well.

What about openings made in existing masonry walls during renovations? The presentation explains how these openings can be made while avoiding collapse and how to properly place steel lintels into these openings. The presenter will discuss how curved steel lintels can be used to repair damaged masonry arches.

Seminar Benefits

- Learn how to design steel lintels in masonry walls safely and accurately
- Discover proven methods for analyzing steel lintels placed in small, medium and large wall openings
- Work through a step-by-step design example for a lintel over a large overhead door placed in the CMU wall with brick veneer
- Discuss practical details for framing at arched openings in masonry-veneer walls
- Examine safe methods for making openings in existing masonry walls during renovations and placing steel lintels into various openings

Intended Audience

Structural and civil engineers, architects, facility managers, and building officials seeking to broaden their knowledge of designing steel lintels in masonry walls will benefit from this seminar. Engineers will learn about architectural considerations involved in specifying lintels, while architects will learn about the structural complications involved. 

Seminar Outline

- Introduction: Masonry-veneer walls
- Lintel alternatives for masonry walls
- Steel lintels for small and moderate-size openings
- Steel lintels for overhead doors
- Suspended lintels over ribbon windows
- Lintels for arched openings
- Lintel installation in existing masonry