Structural steel – The modern engineers choice, worldwide
Structural Steel very simply is construction material made of steel. It is a profile which has a specific shape. Structural steel must also have a specific chemical composition and strength. We have all seen the residential steel buildings made of structural steel. Also other common uses of structural steel are for making garages, storage buildings, retail stores etc. However did you know that structural steel is also used for the construction of truck storage buildings, airplane hangars, carports, pole barns, offices, RV storage, jet ski storage, agricultural buildings, car storage, homes, sheds, backyard storage, grain storage, body shops, repair shops, retail space, recreational vehicle storage, wood shops, farm buildings, and equipment storage? Thus in modern times, structural steel has replaced a number of conventionally used materials like wood for home construction. Also structural steel is used for factory construction due to it’s durability and strength.
In most industrialized countries the composition, strength, storage, size, shape etc. is regulated by the government. There are some common shapes of structural steel used world-over. The most common is the I-beam or which is the I shaped cross section. Then there is the WF shape that is the wide flange steel material which is also known as the H shape. Thus the WF shape and the H shape are both alike. Then comes the Z shape which has half a flange in opposite directions. There is also structural steel that is hollow which is called the hollow structural section which has a hollow rectangular or square cross section. The pipe shaped structural steel has a hollow round cross section and the angled one has an L shaped cross section. The channel shape structural steel has a C shape cross section and the Tee shaped structural steel shape has a T shaped cross section. A railway rail on the other hand has an asymmetrical I beam and a bar is a piece of metal which is flat, rectangular and long but is not so long as to be called a sheet. A rod is either square or round and long. And in the end we have a Plate which is sheet of structural steel which is thicker than 6mm or 1.4 inches in width.
I beams which are most commonly used are of two standard forms. One is the I beam formed by rolling or extrusion. And the other is formed by welding plates and is also known as the wide flange or H shape. I beams are the most commonly used kind as the Eulor_Bernoulli equation shows that they are the most efficient for carrying bending and in the plane of the web, as well as shear. It is not as capable in the transverse direction, and it is a poor choice for carrying torsion. Hollow structural section beams are usually used to carry 3D loading. The I-beam has very little margin for plastic bending.
Thus we see that engineers opt for the most durable as well as flexible material for construction - structural steel