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What are Structural Steel Shapes?
Sunday, October 1, 2017

In the US and the UK, materials used in construction are strictly regulated and defined for safety and durability.  The American Section of the International Association for Testing Materials (ASTM) sets forth the specifications for steel alloys with which buildings can be constructed.  These materials are known as structural steels. 


Structural steel is identified by the letter A, identifying them as an alloy, and a two to four-digit number.  (For example, A500.)  A similar nomenclature applies to American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) classifications, but they are not related or interchangeable.  


Structural shapes made from these materials are also regulated for consistent strength, form, and size.  They are often named for their cross-section appearance, which is the exposed area when the material I cut at a 90 degree angle.  Common structural shapes include:

·        Bar or Flat Bar

·        Rod, rebar, or dowel

·        Plate or sheet

·        C-beam or structural channels

·        I-beam

·        H-section

·        Z-shape

·        HSS-Shape

·        Angle or L shaped

·        Tee or T shaped

·        Rail profile or Asymmetrical I-beams


While there are alternative materials for some applications, structural steel is replied upon for its tensile strength, constructability, as well as its resistance to fire, mold and corrosion.  The most common structural steels are carbon steels, high strength low alloy steels, corrosion resistant high strength low alloy steels, and quenched and tempered alloy steels.  These materials can be rolled into shapes, pipe and tubing to be used in construction.


Action Stainless & Alloys stocks stainless still bar, rod, tubing, plates and sheets for all of your structural components.  We also offer several processing services, such as rolling, welding, and polishing for brushed structural shapes.  Check out our products online or contact us for more information.


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