Steel Shapes

shapesCommon structural shapes

The shapes available are described in many published standards worldwide, and a number of specialist and proprietary cross sections are also available.

A steel I-beam, in this case used to support timber joists in a house.

While many sections are made by hot or cold rolling, others are made by welding together flat or bent plates (for example, the largest circular hollow sections are made from flat plate bent into a circle and seam-welded).

Structural Steel

Structural steel is a category of steel used as a construction material for making structural steel shapes. A structural steel shape is a profile, formed with a specific cross section and following certain standards for chemical composition and mechanical properties. Structural steel shapes, sizes, composition, strengths, storage practices, etc., are regulated by standards in most industrialized countries.

Structural steel members, such as I-beams, have high second moments of area, which allow them to be very stiff in respect to their cross-sectional area.