Structural Steel Suppliers & Framing | How Does It Work?
Safe buildings are essential, whether they are office buildings, industrial complexes, or residential structures. As the profit margins in construction and property management become ever thinner, there is a drive to make sure these structures give you the best possible return on your investment. Ensuring the safe, durable, and economical construction of your building begins with the materials you choose to use, which is why structural steel framing is so popular.
Structural steel suppliers are able to provide premium materials that enjoy a wide range of benefits over traditional wood construction. Steel can also be used in conjunction with wood to create hybrid structures, blending the best qualities of both. Structural steel should have a place in your next build.
What Is Structural Steel?
Structural steel is steel that is of the proper composition and shape to be used to create structures. The shapes are such that, due to the profile of the cross section, they provide the needed rigidity for their intended use. The composition is engineered to provide the right balance of hardness and flexibility through a delicate blend of alloys that impart the correct qualities for the steel’s use. Experienced structural steel suppliers can help make sure the steel you get is the best steel for your job.
Common Structural Steel Shapes
- Beams – Beams are perhaps the most recognized structural steel framing shape. The cross sections of the classic I-beam, T-Beam, and Z-Shape bear a resemblance to their respective letters, with the design adding structural strength through its low second moments of area.
- Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) – These structural members are hollow shapes, such as squares, circles, rectangles, and ellipses. They resemble pipes, but the shapes are chosen for their ability to distribute weight throughout the cross section rather than for their fluid carrying properties.
- Rods – Metal with a solid circular or square shaped cross section produced in varying lengths. Rather than used as structural support alone, these are often used to reinforce other materials.
- Plates – Large and flat, structural steel plate is thicker than 6mm or ¼-inch. Structural plate is also often used to add strength to other structures.
- Rails – This structure is very similar to I-Beams, but are not symmetrical.
Structural Steel Suppliers & Framing | How Does It Work?
Certification Of Structural Steel
Structural steel suppliers will only carry structural steel that has been certified for use by ASTM International. These steels will be identified using a code that begins with the letter A followed by two to three numbers. This letter code identifies the alloys used in the production of the steel to help you make a more informed decision when choosing materials. If an identification code has only numbers, it is not certified for structural use, and should not be used.
What Are The Benefits Of Structural Steel Framing?
Using structural steel in your building’s frame comes with a few benefits over more traditional wooden construction:
- Structural Steel Is Lighter – Since structural steel beams are “cut out” rather than having a solid square or rectangular cross section, length for length, they are lighter than wooden beams of an equivalent length.
- Structural Steel Is Environmentally Conscious – Portions of the metal in your structural steel come from recycled materials, and your beams, if ever replaced, will also be recyclable.
- Structural Steel Reduces Construction Time – With today’s technology, such as CNC machines, structural steel can be engineered off site and shipped ready to assemble. This also helps lessen the chance for human error in the design and fabrication.
- Structural Steel Is Durable – Structural steel is built to stand up to elements and abuse. Steel framing can be designed to withstand heavy storms, earthquakes, and impacts that would down other buildings.
- Structural Steel Can Save You Money – Between saved build-time, extended service life, and ease of use, steel framing can be the right choice to get your project done on time and under budget.
How Do I Choose The Right Structural Steel For My Project?
Good structural steel suppliers should be available to help you properly estimate your project’s needs. In fact, a partnership with a reliable supplier who also has experience in metal fabrication can be one of the smartest business decisions you can make. However, here qualities to consider.
- Strength To Weight Ratio – This will directly impact how your architect or engineer can best use your structural steel.
- Cost – As with most building materials, you will want to look for the element that gives you the performance you need at the cheapest overall cost. Remember, though, you often get what you pay for.
- Environmental Responsibility – As more businesses seek to lower their environmental impact, this has become a greater consideration. Steel can be one of the most sustainable building materials around.
- Resistance To Damage – Alloys are available that are composed to have higher resistances to fire, corrosion, and oxidation. Make sure you’re choosing the right steel for these environmental hazards.
- Best Fit For You– One of the best features of structural steel is its variety. There is no need to compromise because there is steel available in the right form and composition for you.
What Should I Look For In Structural Steel Suppliers?
When choosing your metal supplier, look for a company who has the knowledge needed to ensure you are getting the right structural steel. They should also be professional and have the ability and experience to offer precision metal fabrication. This holistic approach will help you get both the sales and support you need.
MSI, Inc., has been serving the greater Los Angeles area for 55 years. Our structural steel is helps create the skyline that Angelinos know and love. When you need to choose a metals partner, choose the most trusted name among structural steel suppliers in the area. Contact us today for a quote on your next project.