A lintel is a horizontal member which is placed across the openings. Openings are invariably left in the wall for the provision of doors, windows etc. A lintel is thus a sort of beam, the width of which is equal to the width of which is equal to the width of the wall, and the ends of which are built into the wall.
ü Timber lintels
ü Stone lintels
ü Brick lintels
ü Steel lintels
ü Reinforced cement concrete lintels
Timber lintels are the oldest types of lintels, though they are not commonly used now-a-days, except in hilly areas. The sound and hard it. As the timber is easily liable to catch fire, only good quality is constructed over coat of suitable preservative should be used as lintels.
Stone lintels are used in stone masonry structures. This consists of a simple stone slab of greater thickness. Stone lintels can also be provided over openings in brick walls.
Brick lintels are not structurally strong and they are used for small openings, generally not exceeding not exceeding 1 meter span, and light loads. They are built up with hand well burnt, copper colored, free from cracks and with sharp and straight edged bricks.
Steel lintels are provided where the opening is large and the super imposed loads are also heavy. It consists of rolled steel joists or channel sections.
Reinforced cement concrete lintels
Reinforced cement concrete lintels have replaced practically all other types of lintels because of their strength, rigidity, fire resistance economy and case in construction. Its width is kept equal to the width of the wall. The depth of R.C.C lintel and the reinforced depends upon the span and magnitude of loading. It can be pre-cast ot cast-in-situ, pre-cast R.C.C lintels are preferred for small spans upto about 2 meters. The depth of lintel and the reinforcement is governed by the intensity of load, the type of support and the span.