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NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

ALLOWABLE STRESS DESIGN OF TEK 17-1B
Structural (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY LINTELS
Keywords: allowable stress design, design examples, lintels,
openings in walls
Uniform Load
INTRODUCTION

Lintels and beams are horizontal structural members de-
signed to carry loads above openings. Although lintels may be Triangular Load
constructed of concrete masonry units, precast or cast-in-place
concrete, or structural steel, this TEK addresses reinforced
Concentrated Loads
concrete masonry lintels only. Concrete masonry lintels have the
advantages of easily maintaining the bond pattern, color, and
surface texture of the surrounding masonry and being placed Uniform load over portion
without need for special lifting equipment. of span
Concrete masonry lintels are sometimes constructed as a
portion of a continuous bond beam. This construction pro-
Lintel
vides several benefits: it is considered to be more advanta-
geous in high seismic areas or areas where high winds may be Clear span
expected to occur; control of wall movement due to shrinkage
or temperature differentials is more easily accomplished; and Effective span
Effective span = clear span + effective depth of lintel, d, but
lintel deflection may be substantially reduced.
need not exceed distance between centers of support (for
simply supported)
DESIGN LOADS
Figure 1—Typical Lintel Load Components
Vertical loads carried by lintels typically include: (1) dis-
tributed loads from the dead weight of the lintel, the dead weight • masonry wall laid in running bond,
of the masonry above, and any floor and roof loads, dead and • sufficient wall height above the lintel to form a 45o triangle,
live loads supported by the masonry; and (2) concentrated • at least 8 in. (203 mm) of wall height above the apex of the
loads from floor beams, roof joists, or other beams framing into 45o triangle,
the wall. Axial load carried by lintels is negligible. • minimum end bearing (4 in. (102 mm) typ) is maintained,
Most of these loads can be separated into the four types • control joints are not located adjacent to the lintel, and
illustrated in Figure 1: uniform load acting over the effective • sufficient masonry on each side of the opening to resist
span; triangular load with apex at mid-span acting over the lateral thrust from the arching action. The designer should
effective span; concentrated load; and uniform load acting consider two cases. First, there should be a sufficient
over a portion of the effective span. The designer calculates the shear area of the masonry to resist the horizontal thrust,
effects of each individual load and then combines them using and second, there must be enough masonry to resist the
superposition to determine the overall effect, typically by in-plane overturning moment on the masonry adjacent to
assuming the lintel is a simply supported beam. the opening. In unreinforced masonry, this means using
vertical loads to offset overturning. In reinforced ma-
Arching Action sonry, vertical steel can be used to resist overturning. As
For some configurations, the masonry will distribute ap- an alternative, the lintel could be a discrete length of a
plied loads in such a manner that they do not act on the lintel. larger continuous bond beam to provide adequate re-
This is called arching action of masonry. Arching action can be straint. For a series of wall openings, the designer should
assumed when the following conditions are met (see also consider the offsetting effect of thrust from adjacent
Figure 2): openings.

TEK 17-1B © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 17-1A)

and concentrated loads are considered. The load is then resolved onto the lintel as a uniform load.7 m). only the self Beam weight of the lintel. lightweight masonry units = 100 pcf (1602 of 3.7) 146 (2. 24 (610) 174 (2.1) 88 (1. Otherwise.1 m). the weight of the wall below the arched portion. (102 mm) bearing on each end.3 m) of masonry 16 (406) 103 (1.87 kN-m) minimum (typ) Vwall = wL/4 = (238)(5.33 = 5. 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) arching to occur in the wall (from Figure 2) is h + 8 in. When a lintel or other beam supports unreinforced masonry.95) 79 (1. with a magnitude determined by dividing the concentrated load by this length. the self weight.6 mm) to limit damage to the supported masonry. When arching is not present.5 ft ) = 238 lb/ft (3.9) 237 (3. 1) masonry wall laid in running bond with vertical reinforcement limits lintel deflection to the clear lintel span divided by 600 or to at 48 in.7)/4 = 339 lb (1. Maximum moment and shear are deter- mined using simply supported beam relation- Superimposed wall load ships.0 .48 kN-m) 45° 2 Vlintel = wL/2 = (88)(5. 3 kg/m ). The wall configuration is shown in Figure 4. the weight of the wall above the lintel. this results in a DESIGN EXAMPLE uniform load acting over a portion of the lintel span. (mm) The height of masonry above the lintel necessary for height. lb/ft (kN/m)a least 4 in. (1. Nominal lintel Nominal wall thickness.c. From Table 3 wall dead load is. Mlintel = wL2/8 = (88)(5. from Table 2. arching is assumed and the superimposed 24 (610) 154 (2. (305 mm) normal weight concrete Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. This triangular load has a base equal to the effective span length of the lintel and a height of half the effective span. If arching occurs.7. Lintel weight. 0.3) 195 (2.6) an 8 in. the wall weight supported by the 30° 30° lintel is taken as the wall weight within the triangular area below the apex (see Table 3). (203 mm) minimum uniform load.7)2/12 = 644 ft-lb 4 in.5 kN) Since the maximum moments and shears for the two loading conditions occur in the Clear opening same locations on the lintel. Design a lintel for a 12 in.162 kg/m ). (102 mm) (0.3 kN/m) a Face shell mortar bedding. (305 mm) normal weight concrete masonry units assuming 16 (406) 116 (1.1 kN) Wall For triangular wall load.5 ft (1.5 kN/m) at the apex. only the triangular portion with a height 3 (2. moment and Lintel height shear are. for 8 (203) 58(0. (203 mm) (mm) LIGHTWEIGHT CMU = L/2 + 8 in. normal weight units = 135 pcf (2.7)/2 = 251 lb (1. Self weight is a uniform load based on lintel weight (see Table 2).9) 158 (2.67 ft (3. Any superimposed roof and floor live and dead loads are Lintel neglected. (7.Lintel Loading The loads supported by a lintel depend on whether arch. only the lintel and NORMAL WEIGHT CMU wall dead weights are considered. Determine the height of ma- sonry required for arching action. Effective span the full weight of the wall section above the lintel is considered. the moments Effective span (see Figure 1) and shears are superimposed by simple Figure 2—Arching Action addition: . In most cases. the effective span is: L = 5. in.5) 130 (1. Unit weights: grout = 140 pcf For wall weight.5) uniform load is neglected. Because arching occurs.242 kg/m ).33 = 10.2 m) o.7)2/8 = 357 ft-lb h = Effective span (0.75) 65 (0. The lintel dead weight is considered a 8 in. = 3. since they are assumed to be distributed to the Clear span masonry on either side of the lintel. in.3) above the lintel. Assuming the lintel has at Table 2—Lintel Weights. Check for Arching Action. 3 D wall = 68 lb/ft2 (3.3) 12 in.5 ft (1.84) 73 (1.3 in. so the moment and shear are. (203 mm) height is.33 + 0.67 ft (1.9) Dlintel = 88 lb/ft (1. roof and floor loads. End bearing Mwall = wL2/12 = (238)(5. Design Loads. Figure 3—Distribution of Concentrated Load Concentrated loads are assumed to be distributed as For Running Bond Construction illustrated in Figure 3.1) 176 (2. (see Figure 1) as are superimposed loads. and concentrated loads are considered.2) 264 (3. 8 (203) 51(0.2) Because there is 18. When arching occurs.5) 219 (3. 4 x wall thickness + width of bearing area of beam ing action can occur or not.1 m) is considered.

390 2.580 17.760 1. in.04788 Table 4—Allowable Shear and Moment Capacities for Concrete Masonry Lintels (width x height) a Bottom cover.990 2.000 lb/ft (14.290 15. (M 13) bar and 3 in.5 m) load must be accounted for.-lb lb in. kN/m2 = lb/ft2 x 0.820 2.400 18. (mm).710 No. 5 2b 1. (610 mm) deep lintel. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures. Standards Joint Committee.-lb lb in. o.190 24.540 1. lightweight masonry units = 100 pcf (1602 kg/ m3). 5 2 2. No Arching Action. o.430 No.440 14. and the superimposed (5. 5 1 1.810 2. Window 4 ft (1.740 No.320 No. shear was conservatively computed REFERENCES at the end of the lintel. Table 3—Wall Weights a Wall weights (lb/ft2) for wall thicknesses.550 1.140 No.5 (38) 2 (51) 2. 6 1 2.390 26. 4 (M 13) Vmax = 251 + 339 = 590 lb (2.c.630 14.162 kg/m3).930 No.6 m) 18 ft 3.580 17.990 1. 4 1 2.264)(5.300 2. in.130 24. 5 1 2. arching cannot be assumed. 1999.030 1.500 1. Dtotal = 264 lb/ft + 1.620 No. Since the height of masonry above the lintel is less than 5 ft 4 in.560 19.140 2.870 12 x 8 lintels No.c.5 (64) 3 (76) Steel of Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall size bars lb in.120 1.000 25.510 No.630 18. 5 2 2. ACI for Masonry Structures (ref.820 2. normal weight units = 135 pcf (2.270 16. 1.580 21.490 1.7)2/8 x 12 in.2 m) Dlintel = 264 lb/ft (3. 4 1 2.000 20.6 kN) reinforcing bar and 3 in.770 21. (1.860 1.930 No.570 1.6 m) would be grouted solid. 21 32 42 52 61 26 39 52 63 74 24 in.012 in-lb (1.640 25.480 1. 19 29 38 46 54 24 36 48 58 68 40 in.242 kg/m3).0 kN) Mmax = 357 + 644 = 1. (76 mm) or less bottom cover has adequate strength.810 1. (mm): No.160 33.140 1.420 23. Using the same example.9 kN/m). there is no additional dead load due to 3 ft 4 in.920 1.c. o. Unit weights: grout = 140 pcf (2.560 No.610 30.080 1.190 1.950 25.170 1. 4 adequate.980 23.4 kN-m) From Table 4.610 38.970 16. of: Grouted Lightweight units Normal weight units cells 4 (102) 6 (152) 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) 4 (102) 6 (152) 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) None 16 23 30 36 41 21 31 40 48 55 48 in.940 18. 26 40 54 67 80 31 48 63 79 94 Full grout 37 57 78 98 119 42 64 87 110 133 a Assumes face shell mortar bedding. 4 2b 1. (76 mm) or less bottom cover is Lintel Design. 4 1 1.790 1.4 kN/m) Figure 4—Wall Configuration for Design Example Mmax = wL2/8 = (1. 1) allows maximum shear to be 530-99/ASCE 5-99/TMS 402-99.160 27. Reported by the Masonry calculated using a distance d/2 from the face of the support.-lb 8 x 8 lintels No.460 1.140 29.220 1.430 1.650 1.420 16.130 2. 23 35 46 57 67 28 42 55 69 81 16 in.600 16. (610 mm) deep. 6 1 2.420 29.160 22.560 24.001 ft-lb = 12.580 33.420 20. a 12 x 8 lintel with one No.170 1.-lb (7.530 2.790 19.390 32.3 MPa) 2 ft (0.602 lb (16.1 m).620 10 x 8 lintels No.6 kN/m) superimposed uniform load Case 2.940 22.710 28.601 in. 20 30 39 48 57 25 38 49 60 70 32 in.190 23. 5 1 2.300 No. the entire fm = 1500 psi (10.670 1.810 17. o. For ease of construction.460 1.690 25.160 27. (1.264 lb/ft (18. 1.970 20.400 2. recalculate assuming a 2 ft (0. 4 2 2. From Table 4. Because the lintel is 24 in.730 25.c.550 21.270 13. However. a 12 x 24 lintel with one No.000 lb/ft = 1.480 1.6 m) height from the bottom of the 12 in.470 1. 6 1 1.880 . from Table 2.600 1.290 12.5 ft (1. 4 2 2.090 2.440 18.360 1.780 1.730 20.980 28.790 24.190 29./ft = 61.910 20.0 kN-m) Vmax = wL/2 = (1.640 34.890 1.720 No.600 19.840 1.190 19.c.264)(5. producing a 24 in. o.0 m) masonry above the lintel. Building Code Requirements 1.360 29.810 21.710 23.250 14.790 1.-lb lb in. In this example.7)/2 = 3.930 2. (305 mm) CMU lintel to the top of the wall.

290 255. 4 2b 4.720 5. 4 1 6.170 180.800 5.920 204.680 9. 5 2 8.990 138.240 No.610 54.080 4.150 No.420 3. N.260 5.590 6.150 98.650 89. 5 1 5. 6 1 8.140 7. Herndon.760 144.340 201.740 121.620 96.44822.630 102.220 9. 6 1 6.730 199.720 4.780 85.440 148.830 3.050 6.620 189.870 4.980 59.090 107. 6 1 9.460 190.560 3.740 3.930 120.900 6.770 127.5 (38) 2 (51) 2. 5 1 9. (204 mm) lintels with two bars.300 No. 5 2 9.510 7.650 No.220 No.410 9.880 No.560 105. 4 2 5. 4 1 6.210 3. 4 1 9.910 103.170 92.760 87.540 83.330 4.830 No.140 245.930 89.540 135.960 89.390 184.990 6. 6 (M 19).790 211.940 285.990 235.790 111.110 196.930 116.630 80.970 4.290 7.140 140.120 127.290 7.370 9.540 3.600 10 x 24 lintels No.290 12 x 24 lintels No. 1).010 5.550 3.840 7.610 103.980 115.670 5.590 178.280 7.020 59.030 6.650 9.990 154.010 90.090 61.140 273.900 5.820 3.270 202.070 9.280 6.580 No. 5 1 6.370 280.620 8 x 24 lintels No.780 183.510 116. 5 2b 4.100 209.650 7.750 278.170 119.970 7. No.590 91. 4 1 8. Provided by: Cinder & Concrete Block Corporation NCMA and the companies disseminating this technical information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for the accuracy and the application of the information contained in this publication.750 112.080 7.800 9.840 194.-lb x 0.170 61.740 No.950 101. 4 2 6. 5 2 6. Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900 www.960 96.360 4.800 95.760 96.210 164.240 120.420 9.270 No.190 5.570 55.390 94.330 5.130 5.850 6.940 No.790 57.840 99. b For 8 in.070 123. 4 2b 6.290 4. No. 5 2 5.730 9. in.870 4.960 136.360 No.240 3.640 9. of: No. 6 1 6.ncma.260 7.5 (64) 3 (76) Steel of Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall size bars lb in.540 No.170 5.610 4.130 150. 1.190 131.-lb 8 x 16 lintels No.910 4.830 6.850 7.880 6.240 3.010 9.980 No.860 5.070 92.160 181.990 90.960 3. 4 1 5.210 5.org . No.700 7.570 107.m = in. Table 4—Allowable Shear and Moment Capacities for Concrete Masonry Lintels (width x height) (continued)a Bottom cover.120 197.700 4.740 No.770 86.540 194.940 146.570 271.650 12 x 16 lintels No.570 139.610 90.500 psi (10. 5 1 8.370 144. (mm). 6 1 5.990 6.940 No. 5 2b 6. 6 1 4.510 3.-lb lb in.140 144.460 97.130 292.650 54.600 No.290 145.560 206.500 4.310 186. 4 bar (M 13).440 264.110 3.590 82.750 143.750 3.960 126.790 57. 2302 Horse Pen Road.590 147.160 93.860 No.870 7.980 192.-lb lb in.040 4. low lift grouting is recommended for adjacent jambs to ensure proper grout flow and consolidation.760 6.330 9.3 MPa).112985.950 58. 5 1 4.240 62. Table values differ from TEK 17-1A due to change in Em (ref.960 188.830 9.220 5.790 110.600 No.140 141.010 177.780 109. N = lb x 4.200 No. 5 1 6.250 No.780 93.860 5.820 151.420 207.840 6.150 192. 4 1 4. 4 2 8.470 9.590 119. NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index.340 5.150 10 x 16 lintels No.280 7.590 287. 4 2 9.060 109.440 6.300 6.020 116.140 93.450 4.210 94. Metric equivalents: f'm = 1.-lb lb in.050 3.620 a Grade 60 reinforcement.600 7.420 5.250 No.130 9.110 No.630 4.310 95.800 56.820 294.490 No. 5 (M 16).