Structural steel is a type of steel that is used for construction purposes. It is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, chemical compositions, and mechanical properties.
In the most basic definition, structural steel is defined as steel shaped for use in construction for buildings purposes. Having high strength, stiffness, toughness, and ductile properties, structural steel is one of the most commonly used materials in commercial and industrial building construction.
Many structural steel shapes take the form of an elongated beam having a profile of a specific cross-section. Structural steel shapes, sizes, chemical composition, mechanical properties such as strengths, storage practices, etc., are regulated by standards in most industrialized countries.
Steel can be developed into nearly any shapes, which are either bolted or welded together in construction.
Structural steel can be erected as soon as the materials are delivered on-site, whereas e.g., concrete must be cured at least 1–2 weeks after pouring before construction can continue, making steel a schedule-friendly construction material.
The density of steel varies based on the alloying constituents but usually ranges between 7,750 and 8,050 kg/m3.
STRUCTURAL STEEL SHAPES
An I-Beam (or H-Beam) is a structural steel with an I or H shaped cross-section. The horizontal part of the beam is called a flange, and the vertical part is called a web. The web resists the shear forces, and the flange resists most of the bending moment that the beam experiences. This type of structural steel is a popular choice in construction due to its efficiency in resisting bending and shear loads.
A structural channel (or C-Beam) is similar to an I-Beam as it has both flanges and webs, but the flanges only stick out of one side of the web, creating a C shaped cross-section. They are often used in building construction and civil engineering where the back side of the web can be mounted against another flat surface for a maximum contact area.
A hollow structural section (HSS) is a type of structural steel that has a hollow tubular cross section.
The term HSS is commonly used in the USA, but in countries that follow British construction terminology the terms circular hollow section (CHS), square hollow section (SHS) or rectangular hollow section (RHS).
These three names reference the three basic shapes that HSS steel can be supplied in.
Rectangular sections of HSS steel are commonly utilized in welded steel frames where loading is experienced in multiple directions.
Circular and square HSS steel is often used for multiple axis loading as their uniform geometry along multiple cross-sectional axis provided uniform strength characteristics.
STRUCTURAL STEEL APPLICATIONS
The construction industry utilizes a lot of structural steel for obvious reasons. The high tensile and shear strength offered by the different sections of structural steel enable it to be utilized in the construction of buildings, ensuring a secure load.
Various grades are used in the construction industry depending on the yield strength required.
Offshore structures are exposed to some of the harshest conditions, including strong winds, salt water, and powerful sea currents. Structural steel is a popular choice for the offshore industry as it promotes a safe environment, longer working life, and reduces the risk of failure.
Structural steel is a popular choice for the shipbuilding industry as it can provide a high level of strength, which helps to reduce the overall costs. Structural steel can also reduce maintenance due to the corrosion resistance properties.