Let me tell you: How to Identify a Steel Beam Size
In the case of identifying a given steel beam without the aid of rolling mill marks, the height (A), flange width (B), flange thickness (C) and web thickness (D) should be measured. Using this information, you can go to any number of steel service center catalogs or engineering guides to match the measurement results to the name of the beam. The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) provides a complete list.
For example, if the beam height is 15.72 inches, the flange width is 15.80 inches, the flange thickness is 1.560 inches, and the web thickness is 0.980 inches, it is W14 x211. "W" indicates that it is a wide flange beam (as opposed to S beam); "14" is the segment number; "211" indicates that the beam weighs 211 pounds per foot. You should note that, depending on the beam size, the allowable deviation range of the specified size is 1/8 inch to 5/16.
If you want to know the metric equivalent of any beam size, check out our new metric conversion calculator. It is calculated that W14 x 211 is equal to W355.6 (mm) x 314.39 (Kg/m) with section number W360 x 314.