Version 2.01 Available!


for Microsoft Excel

 A spreadsheet for designing simply supported,  steel beams to BS 5950 : Part 1 : 1990


  • Quick design !
  • One page output !
  • 2 minute learning curve !
  • BS 5950 design !
  • Useful as a learning aid !
  • Instant what-if scenarios !
  • What you see is what you get !
  • Transparent calculation process !
  Photograph courtesy of Roberts Engineering Co.
Steel Beam is fast, easy to use and doesn't swamp you with pages of computer output. Read on for more information .....  






The spreadsheet performs an analysis and design of simply supported and cantilever steel beams bending about their X-X axis and subjected to gravity loads. Beams can be either with full restraint or without full restraint.

Design is in accordance with BS 5950-1:1990. Bending moments, shear forces and deflections are computed at 1/60th positions along the span and the maximums of these values are used for the design. The equations for the analysis have been obtained from the Reinforced Concrete Designer's Handbook by Reynolds and Steedman. Self weight of the steel section is automatically included in the calculations. The moment capacity of the section is calculated taking into account the corresponding shear force and a reduction is made as necessary. A check is made to see if a shear bucking calculation is required and a warning is issued. This spreadsheet also contains a calculation sheet for checking local web bearing and buckling.

The spreadsheet uses UK steel section properties which have been directly obtained from the Corus Construction Manual, released on CD in February 2000. The values were imported into Microsoft Excel v8.0 from the html tables contained on the Corus CD. No typing in of values has been carried out and therefore the section properties should accurately reflect the tables as published by Corus.