Table of Content Introduction Definitions: Lintel Post History Conclusion
Introduction The simplest illustration of load and support in construction is the post – and – lintel system, in which two upright members (posts, columns, piers) hold up a third member ( lintel, beam, girder, rafter) laid horizontally across their top surface. This is the basis for the evolution of all openings. But, in its pure form, the post – and – lintel is seen only in colonnades and in framed structures, since the posts of doors, windows, ceilings, and roofs are part of the wall.
LINTEL Lintel refers to the horizontal beam that goes across two supports. Although it is often referred to as a beam, a lintel can take many forms, such as a block of stone or metal reinforcement. A lintel is designed primarily to hold weight, such as a roof or deck, depending on the vertical posts it rests on. It can support a huge amount of weight, and is effective for reinforcing tall buildings or heavy structures. The job of the lintel is to bear the loads that rest on it (and its own load) without deforming or breaking. Failure occurs only when the material is too weak or the lintel is too long. Lintels composed of materials that are weak in bending, such as stone, must be short, while lintels in materials that are strong in bending, such as steel.
POST The post refers to the vertical support, which is paired with an identical support to form the full design. Posts can be columns, poles or beams, modified to meet as architectural designs. The job of the post is to support the lintel and its loads without crushing or buckling. Failure occurs, as in lintels, from excessive weakness or length, but the difference is that the material must be especially strong in compression.
History From prehistoric times to the Roman Empire, the post – and – lintel system was the root of architectural design. The interiors of Egyptian temples and the exteriors of Greek temples are delineated by columns covered by stone lintels. Prehistoric Stonehenge is an example of early post-and-lintel construction. Its posts are the vertical megaliths that support the lintels, which are the stones laid horizontally across the posts. The basic technique of using columns to support horizontal loads is still used today.
Conclusion Ancient uses of the post-and-lintel were refined but not fundamentally altered until the production of cast-iron columns, which, offering greater strength and smaller circumference, greatly reduced the mass and weight of buildings. Much construction in modern materials is based on the post-and-lintel system of the past.