The Buildworld catalogue of concrete lintels is well acquainted with high-quality products from leading manufacturers, which include major varieties of prestressed concrete lintels.
Concrete lintels provide horizontal structural support in masonry that spans the opening for a door or window distributing the weight of the structure above the door or window to the abutting walls.
Regarded for aesthetic considerations—concrete lintels are generally used for load-bearing above the openings for doors and windows with small spans, to reduce the vulnerability of a building’s structural foundation. Concrete lintels must have adequate support at each end; otherwise, they’re vulnerable to cracking and collapsing.
In terms of tensile strength, concrete lintels leave a lot to be desired, which limits their usage in decorative capacity, covering short spans, thereby ushering the dominance of reinforced concrete lintels across projects demanding heavy load-bearing capacity for longer spans comparable with lintels made of steel. Hence, most concrete lintels spanning larger areas are reinforced concrete lintels.
The type of lintel used is essential not only to a building’s stability but also to the structure’s role in retaining heat as well as reducing condensation. Lintels must also be appropriately constructed to avoid thermal bridging and gaps that allow water inside. Concrete lintels are lighter than steel and more comfortable to handle on the job. While they’re not as strong as steel, they provide ample support for a variety of structures as well as the versatility to use for a multitude of construction applications.
Reinforced Cement Concrete lintels are the most sought after among concrete lintels owing to their heavy load-bearing capacity, easy availability in uniform strength, manufactured to British Standards, and reasonable pricing. It should be added that steel reinforcements introduce susceptibility to dampness and corrosion of the steel within the concrete, eventually causing the lintel to develop slivers of crack, weaken and collapse.
Despite its considerable limitations, concrete lintels are preferred over steel lintels in areas with high moisture levels, underground locations, and for construction designs that require immediate size adjustments. Prestressed concrete lintels offer comparable endurance to steel lintels at a much lower price and considered more serviceable on account of pricing and adaptability to the landscape of the project.