What are Waler Beams?
Waler beams, also referred to as “walers,” are horizontal beams that are bolted to a larger upright structure, such as a dock, in order to help support it. They can be placed at different heights or angles along a structure in order to bolster it most efficiently, and may be constructed from various materials such as steel, wood and composites. Retaining walls and docks often require the use of walers.
How Do Walers Beams Work?
Waler beams distribute weight over a wall or dock, ensuring that the pressure is dispersed along the entire length of the structure. Without waler beams, sections of walls or docks that are under stress may shift or break. By slanting waler beams on a diagonal, the beams can be used for further increase a structure’s weightbearing capacity.
When used on retaining walls and docks, waler beams can also act as a buffer from ships that might bump against them, and are therefore important to maintaining the security of those structures and the safety of the people around them. When a ship bumps against a retaining wall secured with a waler, the beam absorbs the force and spreads it out from the point of impact, ensuring that the wall doesn’t break upon contact.
Waler Beams Made of Steel
Steel is the most common material used to make heavy duty waler beams. Steel has good bending stiffness, meaning that it will bow rather than break in extreme conditions and is therefore less likely to crack than other materials. The strength and flexibility of steel makes it a great option for waler beams since it can withstand vibrations, shock and high pressure.
What Sizes Do Walers Beams Come In?
Both wide flange and H-pile beams are often used as walers. Some common sizes may include:
W8: W8x18, W8x21, W8x24, W8x28, W8x31, W8x35, W8x40, W8x48, W8x58, W8x67
W10: W10x22, W10x26, W10x30, W10x33, W10x39, W10x45, W10x49, W10x54, W10x60, W10x68, W10x77, W10x88, W10x100, W10x112
W12: W12x26, W12x30, W12x35, W12x40, W12x45, W12x50, W12x53, W12x58, W12x65, W12x72, W12x79, W12x87, W12x96, W12x106, W26x120, W12x136, W12x152, W12x170, W12x190, W12x210, W12x230, W12x252
W14: W14x22, W14x26, W14x30, W14x34, W14x38, W14x43, W14x48, W14x53, W14x61, W14x68, W14x74, W14x82, W14x90, W14x99, W14x109, W14x120, W14x132, W14x145, W14x159, W14x176, W14x193, W14x211, W14x233, W14x257, W14x283
W16: W16x26, W16x31, W16x36, W16x40, W16x45, W16x50, W16x57, W16x67, W16x77, W16x89, W16x100
W18: W18x35, W18x40, W18x46, W18x50, W18x55, W18x60, W18x65, W18x71, W18x76, W18x86, W18x97, W18x106, W18x119, W18x130, W18x143, W18x158, W18x175, W18x192, W18x211, W18x234
HP10: HP10x42, HP10x57
HP12: HP12x53, HP12x63, HP12x74, HP12x84, HP12x89, HP12x102, HP12x117
HP14: HP14x73, HP14x89, HP14x102, HP14x117
HP16: HP16x88, HP16x101, HP16x121, HP16x141, HP16x162, HP16x183
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