Composite lintels should not be confused with combined lintels. They can appear to be similar; both using two different materials, but from a structural point of view they are very different. Here we quickly examine both and focus on the important differences, and what this means in their application.
Taken from the British Standards Code BS EN 845-2:2013, a combined lintel is a “lintel consisting of two or more structural elements each one acting with compression and tension zones.” From our own point of view, we sometimes specify combined lintels for certain projects, and when certain criteria must be met – for example, thermal transference.
Typically combined lintels would include a concrete boot lintel on the inner leaf of the construction and an ‘L’ shape steel lintel on the outer leaf. The ‘toe’ of the concrete lintel would meet the steel lintel at the cavity – as per the image.
Our own combined lintel would not be boot shape, and in fact would be a standard or high strength concrete lintel on the inner leaf and an ‘L’ shape or tray lintel on the outer leaf. The two would not actually meet, and with the insulation in the cavity, this lintel solution offers exceptional thermal properties, and can often be a less expensive solution than a single steel lintel.
Because of the potential connotations of this, we do not publish any load span data within our brochure.
Whilst the load span details can vary for combined lintels, the composite lintel is designed specifically so that a ‘combined action’ is achieved and the duel products act together as one structure, and thus offer exceptional load bearing capabilities.
In the case of our composite lintels, we use heavy duty steel lintels designed with a channel at the back so that masonry can be cured to create the composite action.
This process creates a lintel with high strength that can be used for heavy-duty applications like concrete floor loads, attic truss loads and point loads like compound trusses and steel beams.
For more information on our composite lintels enter ‘CXHD’ into our product selector. For any technical enquiries contact our technical team.