structural engineering question

I have a wood 8" x 10" beam in my basement that runs the long of my house about 23' supported by 1 jack post midway through the length of the beam which is right in the middle of my basement. I'm wanting to encompass the wood beam with a metal "U" beam to add strength and then add 2 jack posts at the end of the beam.
My question is ... what thickness must the metal be of in order to have the necessary strength to support my home?
thanks Felix
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In this situaion, I'd bolt plate steel to each side of your current beam. I have no idea what thickness your application will require.
KB
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I concur. The horizontal part of a "U-beam" (steel channel, actually) adds very little to the beam's resistance to vertical loads. Almost all of the benefit comes from the side pieces.
To the original poster: do a Google search on "flitched beam".

1/4" is probably plenty.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Felix,
I don't think you will find a U beam. You can have a good steel yard brake a steel U for you. You would be at the mercy of what dimension their equipment is capable of braking. 1/4" should be readily available.
I wonder what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Is your existing beam sagging or failing in some way? Are you just wanting to wrap it in steel for some other reason? If you think that you are going to remove the center post, I think you better get some better advice. There are ways to move the post(s) to different loading conditions (this would still require engineering sizes, spacing, and footings), but pulling posts out to provide a clearspan will require more beam than I think you can duck under.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Get yourself an professional engineer to look at it. You don't screw around on something like this. Even drilling holes in the beam to attack reinforcement might cause problems.

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thanks to all who added their comments and input, I believe I will consult an engineer and go from there. thanks again Felix

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