Introduction of Lintel
Different parts of the structure of the building include foundation, beam, column, wall, slab etc. Likewise, the lintel is also a component of the superstructure.
The lintel has been used as a decorative building element in the architectural traditions and styles of ancient cultures for centuries. This lintel form is created using, without any structural work.
The structural stone lintel in the southern Mexican Mayan city of Yexchilan specializes in stone carving as a decorative lintel.
The ancient Egyptians used lintels to distribute the weight of the roof for their buildings. This technique enabled him to build structures in large spans.
The lintel is used to provide an opening in a wall or between two vertical supports as a horizontal structural component in a building. It is used on windows and doors in any building. Thus they can be defined as weak elements in the structure of a building.
The lintel is used exclusively for load-bearing purposes. But sometimes lintel is used in a building for decorative purposes.
What Is Lintel?
The lintel is a beam type in the structure of the building to provide openings for doors, windows and to support the upper wall. The lintel is commonly used to transfer loads from the upper wall to the side walls.
Lintels are usually placed on a masonry wall in a building. The width of this lintel is kept equal to the masonry walls.
The lintel beams are rectangular in the appropriate plan and section as required in the building.
Lintels can be found in houses around you made of many materials such as wood, stone, brick, reinforced brickwork, reinforced concrete or steel.
Size of Lintel Beam
The width of the lintel window is usually the thickness of the opening and depth in the range of 1/12 to 1/8 of the opening span of the building.
The minimum width of a lintels for windows for any building is 4 inches (100 mm).
Purpose of lintels for windows
Some of the purposes of lintel are as follows:
- The lintel is usually provided in the delicate part of the building as protection of windows and doors.
- lintel facilitates easy fixing of windows and doors etc. in the building.
- The lintel is installed to withstand loads coming from the upper blocks or bricks.
- The lintel is provided to transfer the load above it to the side walls.
- The lintel facilitates the need for more head-rooms to open the arches. Such as for doors, windows etc.
- The purpose of the lintel is that it can be used for decorative purposes.
Types of lintels for windows
- Timber Lintel
- Brick Lintel
- Stone Lintel
- Reinforced Brick Lintel
- Steel Lintel
- Reinforced Concrete Lintel
- Precast Lintel
1. Timber Lintel
Wood or wooden lintel has been used in houses since ancient times. wooden Lintel is more commonly used in hilly areas. Where wood is readily available locally.
The use of timber lintel as Lintel is expensive, less durable and fire-sensitive. The timber lintel is fixed to the wall using steel bolts.
If the opening length of the door or window is longer, it can be used as a lintel by joining two pieces of wood together.
Pieces of wood can be used as a lintel by joining two or more pieces of wood together with the help of packing. In addition, this type of lintel can sometimes be used by providing a mild steel plate at the top and bottom.
There are some disadvantages of timber lintel.
Wood lintels have less strength than other materials and wood lintels can rot if not properly maintained.
Timber Lintel is very sensitive to fire. And this type of Lintel has less durability.
2. Brick Lintel
Brick Lintel is fixed in a mortar with brick in the upper opening of the door frame. This type of lintel provides weak support to the upper wall.
The brick lintel is commonly referred to as the ‘soldier arch’ or ‘brick on end’ arch.
Brick on and soldier arch was traditionally used in fairface interwork to give the appearance of support.
The thickness of their brick lintel is kept from 10 cm to 20 cm depending on the span of the door and window opening. In this type of brick Lintel, bricks with a mortar-filled frog on the side end give more shear resistance.
3. Stone Lintel
Stone Lintel is commonly used in places where the abundant stone is readily available.
The stone lintel is used in building in mountainous areas. Because stone is easily found in such area.
Stone lintels can be provided in brick walls above.
stone Lintel is the common type of Lintel. The thickness of the stone lintel is important for its formation. Stone lintels are sometimes fixed to a brick wall in the form of a single piece or more than one piece.
The minimum thickness of this type of stone lintel is kept at 10 cm. The side bearing of this type of lintel is kept to a minimum bearing 15 cm.
4. Reinforced Brick Lintel
This type of lintel is used where the opening span is greater than 1 m. Depth of reinforced brick lintel 15 cm. Or more than 10 cm.
The bricks are arranged in such a way. 2 to 3 cm between the bricks to insert reinforcement stirrups. Width space is left. These gaps are filled in 1: 3 using cement mortar.
In this type of lintel 6 mm diameter, vertical stirrups are fixed in front of every 3 brick joints. This type of lintel is provided as the main reinforcement bar with a diameter of 8 to 10 mm at the top and bottom.
5. Steel Lintel
Steel Lintel has rarely been used. This type of Lintel is used where the superimposed load is heavy and has a very large span for opening.
In this type of Lintel, the channel sections are fixed as Lintel. In this type of Lintel, we can use the same section or different sections as required.
For this type of lintel, the side vertical wall needs to be plumbed and levelled. So that the steel sections on it can be fixed in the proper position.
Some Advantages in Steel Lintel
Steel lintels can withstand excessive loads. In addition, it can be easily fixed in brickwork.
Steel lintels do not have the nature of rust, erosion and deformation.
No special shuttering is required for steel lintel.
6. Reinforced Concrete Lintel
RCC has gained a place by replacing all other materials commonly used for the lintel. These types of lintels are fire-proof, durable and have good strength.
Concrete mix 1: 2: 4 is used for the lintel. Which is usually done as Lintel in an opening span of 800 mm. In this type of lintel, the number and dia of reinforcement are determined according to the load on it.
It can be used as a lintel for heavy loads and large spans. This type of Lintel is increased at the rate of 8 cm for each meter. This type can be a product like Lintel precast or cast-in-situ.
RCC lintels can be easily spanned up to 2 m. This type of Lintel can increase the speed of construction.
In this type of lintel main reinforcement is provided at the bottom of the lintel to resist stress.
Also Read : 23 Different Types of Doors | Functions of Doors
Some of the advantages of reinforced concrete lintel are as follows
- This type of lintel is stronger, stiffer and more durable than other types of the lintel.
- Reinforced concrete lintels generally have fire retardant properties.
- RCC Lintel retains its strength in any size and shape.
- This type of Lintel is easy to construct. It can last a long time.
- The lintel is used to meet the less efficient issue in concrete using reinforcement as required.
- This type of construction uses Lintel the most.
6(B). Precast Lintel
The precast concrete lintel is specially used in blockwork walls. So that construction can be done quickly and easily. This type of Lintel provides strong support for doors and windows.
Prestressed precast lintels can generally be easily used for the construction of residential and commercial buildings. It is readily available in various sizes in the market.
Advantages of Lintel Beam
Some of the main advantages of lintel beams are as follows,
- Lintel can be easily constructed. Precast Lintel can be used as a lintel.
- Lintel doesn’t necessarily build up everywhere. Lintels in the building provide support for the door and window.
- Lintel provides a platform to form a wall above it.
- The lintel creates an opening in the wall for the door and window.