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General Info on Stainless Steel Rectangular Hollow Sections

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General Info on Stainless Steel Rectangular Hollow Sections

Have you ever seen those really awesome art deco type structures and wondered what type of material was used? Or how such a solid structure could be so intricate? These structures are probably made from hollow steel. These sections are quite fascinating in and of themselves. You may have even seen some of these sections at a construction site but never really gave it any thought.

The most common shape used is rectangular. There are two basic ways to make a rectangular hollow section, both giving similar results. An untrained person could spot the discrepancy without really knowing why there is a difference. It’s as basic as hot and cold. Literally. A hot rolled hollow section is formed in a mill and creates one solid piece with no seams. Cold formed sections are rolled at an angle from a flat sheet and welded, with a definitive seam from one end to the other. Besides the obvious esthetic look, there is no difference in strength or capabilities of either process.

stainless-steel-rectangular-hollow-sectionThe wall thickness is uniform with heavily rounded corners providing a strong support. The rectangular hollow section is most commonly used as a welded steel frame providing the support needed when the structure will have multiple weight distribution loads. The biggest advantage is the exceptional resistance to lateral torsion buckling. For additional support and an improved fire rating the hollow sections are filled with concrete. Construction is easier due to the flat square surfaces.

The only true disadvantage, if there is one, is the difficulty in connecting the sections. They need to be welded together. Welding may not be as easy or convenient compared to a hammer and nails. A proper weld will hold forever while a nail will eventually rust and fail. The incredible advantage over wood is the ability to structure any rectangular hollow section into an unlimited number of shapes to form any type of desired outcome. The St. Louis Arch is an example of how a steel structure can be created.

Common applications for using a rectangular hollow section is in the frame work for buildings or bridge structures. They can be found as railings at a train station. Additionally they can be used to create a mast or to create pillars. These strong sections have a wide variety of uses and provide a solid foundation in creating a solid structure that will last for many generations.

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