Structural Steel

Shapes and Standards

Structural Steel is steel construction material, a profile, formed with a specific shape or cross section and certain standards of chemical composition and strength. Structural steel shape, size, composition, strength, storage, etc., is regulated in most industrialized countries.

  • I-beam, I-shaped cross section
  • Wide Flange (WF) and H sections
  • Z-Shape (half a flange in opposite directions
  • HSS-Shape (Hollow structural section also known as SHS -structural hollow section- and including square, rectangular, circular (pipe) and elliptical cross-sections) widely used in columns and storefront structures.
  • Angle (L-shaped cross-section)
  • Channel (C-shaped cross-section)
  • Tee (T-shaped cross-section)
  • Bar, a piece of metal, rectangular cross sectioned (flat) and long, but not so wide so as to be called a sheet.
  • Rod, a round or square and long piece of metal or wood, see also rebar.
  • Plate, sheet metal thicker than 6 mm or 1/4 in.
  • Open web steel joist

Standard Structural Steels (USA)

Steels used for building construction in the United States use standard alloys identified and specified by ASTM International. These steels have an alloy identification beginning with A and then two, three or four numbers. The standard commonly used structural steels are:

Carbon steels:

  • A36 – structural shapes and plate
  • A53 – structural pipe and tubing
  • A500 – structural pipe and tubing
  • A501 – structural pipe and tubing
  • A529 – structural shapes and plates

High strength low alloy steels:

  • A441 – structural shapes and plates
  • A572 – structural shapes and plates
  • A618 – structural pipe and tubing
  • A992 – W shapes beams only

Metal Deck

Another use of steels is in the form of cold rolled metal deck floors and roofs that play a significant role in steel building construction. There are enough variables in deck design to make it important for designers to put the right combination together to maximize value. Some of these variables include:

  • Type (roof deck, centering, deformed floor cell, cell deck)
  • Profile (narrow, intermediate, wide rib)
  • Depth
  • Gauge
  • Finish
  • Side laps
  • End laps
  • Span and deflection
  • Fastening systems
  • Acoustic or non-acoustic

Roof deck is generally available in 1-1/2” and 3” depths. Deeper deck is available from a few manufacturers. Deck is available in thickness from 16 ga through 22 ga and with painted, G60 galvanized or G90 galvanized finishes. Vented deck is recommended for lightweight insulating concrete aplications.

Floor decks for the support of poured-in-placed concrete is available in several styles:

  • Form deck (centering), which usually comes in a modified corrugated profile varying in nominal depths from 1/2” to 1-1/4”
  • Composite (deformed) floor deck
  • Cellular deck
  • Deck for use with shear studs
  • Deck that cannot be used with shear studs
  • Vented or unvented floor decks