Material for lintel: Lintel can be made from various materials. Such as steel, wood, stone, RCC, etc.
The most used material for lintel is RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete). Normally used concrete ratio for RCC lintel is 1:2:4.
Types of RCC lintel: RCC lintel can be two types depending on casting methods: Pre-cast RCC lintel and Cast-in-place RCC lintel.
The procedure of making both types of RCC lintel is almost same. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I personally prefer cast-in-place type of lintel.
Pre-cast RCC lintel: This type of lintel is casted separately somewhere on floor. When wall is ready to place lintel then it is just placed on both sides walls of opening.
Cast-in-place RCC lintel: When wall making is finished up to lintel level then formwork is made on wall for lintel. After making formwork, concrete is poured into it.
Advantage and disadvantage of them:
- Pre-cast RCC lintel is made on floor. So, we don’t need to lift formwork up to lintel level. That reduces required time to make lintel. On the other hand, cast-in-place RCC lintel requires more time to make.
- As formwork for cast-in-place RCC lintel is made on wall, so it requires to make formwork in three sides. But pre-cast lintel requires only two-side formwork.
- Cast-in-place lintel requires more supports to hold its formwork in place. On the other hand, pre-cast lintel requires only few supports as it is poured on floor.
- Pre-cast lintel is cost effective than cast-place-lintel.
- Surface finishes of pre-cast lintel can be better than cast-in-place lintel.
- As pre-cast lintel is made separately, so lintel and masonry wall can be done simultaneously.
- The reason why I prefer cast-in-place RCC lintel is its bond-ability with masonry wall. The bond between cast-in-place RCC lintel and masonry wall is very well. But pre-cast lintel doesn’t make any bond with masonry wall.
Construction process of RCC lintel: Construction process of RCC lintel is simple and it doesn’t need much technical knowledge. Anyone can make RCC lintel with little construction knowledge.
Generally it contains 4 numbers of 10mm dia bar inside it and stirrup should be 8 mm or 10 mm dia at 6 inch center to center.
Normally, RCC lintel’s shape is square or rectangle and it is extended about 6 inch into masonry wall. However, you should follow the construction manual for lintel extension-length into wall, concrete strength and also for reinforcement details.
Which type of RCC lintel do you prefer most and why? Please share in comments.