common types of steel sections

Architectural Steel Fabrication

Steel is the material of choice for modern architecture, and today’s architects, builders and construction professionals all favour it for its unparalleled, strength, versatility, and sustainability. Architectural steel – more commonly referred to as structural steel – is categorised into shapes, each with their own compositional properties that are regulated by standards which differ between different countries.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of using steel for structural purposes, and the common sections we, as architectural steel fabricators, work with every day. If you are in need of a steel fabricator in Sydney, look no further than Steel Fabrication Services. Call us today for a quote or to talk to one of our steel experts.

common types of steel sections

Steel is the material of choice for today’s modern architects. Let’s take a look at the benefits of architectural steel.

Why Do Architects Favour Steel?

Strength – Steel has a very high strength-to-weight ratio and is the most widely used structural material in modern construction. Architects favour it because it has fantastic load-bearing capabilities and can do incredible things creatively while still maintaining structural integrity.

Aesthetics – Trends in construction and architecture over the last half century have favoured steel more and more. Steel can be integrated easily into any space and pairs very well with many materials, glass, concrete, brick and wood, meaning you can do more with it.

Unlike wood and concrete, steel can be easily fashioned, bent and shaped in any number of ways. Non-linear designs will benefit greatly from the use of structural steel.

Sustainability – More and more architects are opting to design with sustainable materials in order to help offset the impact of tree consumption. Unlike wood-framed houses, which can require up to 50 trees worth of lumber, no wood is required in steel manufacturing, meaning our sensitive ecosystems can be left untouched.

Easy to work with – Steel is worker-friendly. It’s light and easy to transport. It doesn’t need to be treated with harmful pesticides, preservatives or glues. And it arrives on site ready to install, with all the cutting and prepping being done off-site.

What Are Some Common Architectural Steel Sections?

Parallel Flange Channels – These channelled beams are U-shaped with right angled corners. They come in many different sizes, however, the two sides are always the same length and are parallel to each other. They also offer a high strength to weight ratio and have similar uses to angled sections.

Tapered Flange Beams  Taper flange beams are I-shaped sections and are also available in a wide-variety of sizes. In construction these are often used for cross-sections of girders. Though they have quite high resistance ratios, they are not usually recommended when pressure is present along their length as they are not torsion (twisting) resistant.

Universal Beam – Universal beams, also known ad I-beams or H-beams, are shaped like their namesake: an ‘I’ when standing upright, and a ‘H’ on their side. Universal beams are usually made of structural steel and are used in construction and civil engineering, among other industries.

Universal Column – Universal beams are also widely used for structural purposes. They are similar to beams and are often called I-beams or H-beams, however, all three sections are equal in length. As their name suggests, they are mainly used for columns, and have fantastic load-bearing capabilities.

Angled Sections – Angled structural steel sections can either either be equal or unequal. Both are right angled, however, unequal sections have different sized axis’ making them L-shaped. This kind of section is much stronger (up to 20%) with much higher strength to weight ratios. Angled section are used in residential construction, infrastructure, mining and transport. They are available in wide range of lengths and sizes.

Circular Hollow Sections – Circular Hollow Sections have hollow tubular cross sections and have much higher resistance to torsion that tapered flange beams. Thickness of the walls are uniform around the entire circle which makes this beams great for use with multi-axis loading applications.

Rectangular Hollow Sections – Similar to circular hollow sections however they have rectangular cross sections. They are very popular in many mechanical and construction steel applications. Their flat surfaces make them prime for use in joining and metal fabrication.

Square Hollow Sections – Like their hollow section brothers but with square cross sections, these are used in smaller applications such as columns or posts. However they are unsuitable for beams as their shapes are inherently difficult to bolt into other shapes. They are also known as ‘box sections’.

Flat Sections – The most versatile steel section as they require to be attached to another section. In some cases they can be attached to another section as a strengthening tool. They are also often referred to as ‘plates’ (for example, checker plate)

Custom Architectural Steel

Modern steel fabrication utilises high-tech computer software such Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems that monitor and control the movement of machines such as routers, welders and laser cutters, while 3D modelling has made it easy to visualise even the most complex custom steel components.

Fabricators work closely with architects, steel drafters and detailers, and consumers to bring plans on a piece of paper to life.

If you are considering steel for a project and would like a professional opinion, we can help!

Our team of expert steel fabricators have the experience and knowledge to answer any of your questions and will ensure that you find the best solution to suit your needs. Contact us today, simply call, fax, email or drop by our Brookvale location.

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