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Steel Structure Introduction

Expert opinion - 27/06/2024

1. What is a Steel structure?

Steel structures are essential components in various types of construction projects, characterized by their robust steel composition and distinctive shapes.

This steel material complies with specified standards for chemical composition and proper strength. The demand for the construction of steel structure buildings is increasing and is used in many projects such as bridges, stadiums, warehouses, industrial facilities, and other infrastructure projects.

Steel structure is used in various steel constructions
Steel structure is one of the materials used in various steel constructions and has specific shape

(*)Structural steel is a steel material used in construction, engineered with a particular shape and chemical composition to meet the specific requirements of a project to counter concrete’s low tensile strength and ductility. Ductility is an important property of structural steel.

Based on the project’s unique specifications, the steel components can assume various shapes, dimensions, and thicknesses, produced through hot or cold rolling processes. In contrast, others are created by welding flat or curved plates together. Typical shapes include I-beams, HSS, channels, angles, and plates.

2. Main type of steel structure building

The main types of steel structure building are the frame structure, the truss structure, the grid structure, the arch structure, and the portal rigid steel frame. Additionally, structural steel has a steel arch structure, arch bridge, beam bridge, cable-stayed bridge, and suspension bridge.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different structural steel systems is essential to design your project correctly, and offers unique advantages based on the specific requirements of the construction project.

3.  Advantages and disadvantages of steel structure 

Structural steel is a popular and reliable choice for a wide range of construction projects, from commercial and industrial buildings to bridges and other infrastructure developments, because of its advantages of steel structures such as: 

  • Steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which is very strong for its weight, and is much higher than other common construction materials, such as concrete and wood. This means that steel components can be made very lightweight without sacrificing strength.
  • Ductile steel structures can absorb more energy before failure than brittle structures. This makes them ideal for applications subjected to high-impact loads, such as in earthquake-prone areas or industrial settings.
  • Prefabrication and ease of assembly of steel structures lead to faster construction times. 
  • The steel structure is recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice. 
  • Low maintenance requirements of steel structures contribute to long-term cost efficiency. 
  • Steel structures can be easily modified or expanded. 
  • Properly designed steel structures can provide high fire resistance.

Generally, steel structures also have some disadvantages. However, this can be overcome entirely with appropriate measures at optimal costs.

  • Steel is susceptible to corrosion, so steel structures need to be properly protected from the elements. This can add to the cost of maintenance and upkeep.
  • Steel is a good conductor of heat, meaning steel structures can be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. This can make them less comfortable to occupy and can also increase energy costs.

Read more: Bolt Connections In Steel Structure

4. Structural steel properties

Steel is an alloy composed of iron and carbon, and its specific properties can be adjusted by adding various elements such as manganese, sulfur, copper, phosphorus, chromium, and nickel. Therefore, Structural steel properties depend on its chemical components. 

The influence of different chemical components on steel is as follows:

  • Increasing the carbon and manganese content will enhance tensile strength and yield strength but reduce ductility and make it less weldable.
  • If the sulfur and phosphorus content exceeds a certain percentage, it will create brittleness, affecting weldability and fatigue strength.
  • Chromium and nickel content contribute to the corrosion resistance of steel and can also improve its high-temperature resistance.
  • Corrosion resistance can be further enhanced by adding copper.

Read more: Features and Applications of Hot Rolled Steel

Advantages of steel structure 
Advantages of steel structure

Minor changes in chemical composition can result in various types of steel. These types of steel are used to construct structural components such as pipes, plates, conduits, bolts, rivets, reinforcing bars, and more.

Heat treatment and alloying processes are employed in steel production to achieve different properties and strengths. The structural steel properties include:

  • Tensile strength: The stress-strain curve of steel is typically obtained by conducting tensile tests on any standard steel sample. The tensile strength can be determined based on yield strength and ultimate strength.
  • Hardness: Hardness is considered the resistance to indentation and scratching of any material. Different methods to measure the hardness of metals include Brinell hardness testing, Vickers hardness testing, and Rockwell hardness testing.
  • Toughness of notches: It is the ability to develop very small cracks in the material or materials that can develop such cracks due to several load cycles. These cracks can lead to sudden structure collapse and are very dangerous. Therefore, to ensure this does not happen, preference should be given to materials with slow crack propagation. These types of steel are called high-strength steel, and the amount of energy it absorbs is measured by impacting a notched sample.
  • Fatigue strength: A part of the structure designed to withstand a single static load may fail if that load acts in cycles with a large number.
  • Corrosion resistance: Metal corrosion is a natural phenomenon that occurs rapidly in places with high humidity and near salt water. Therefore, efforts have been made to control corrosion using galvanized steel bars and epoxy coatings. Still, they have failed in practical use due to the risk of dispersion and rapid corrosion. Anti-corrosion elements such as copper, phosphorus, and chromium added improperly to the metal will create corrosion-resistant steel.
  • Rolled steel: Like concrete, steel parts of any shape and size cannot be cast in place because steel requires very high temperatures to melt and be rolled into the required shape. Rolled steel parts, including beams, columns, channels, rectangular hollow sections, circular hollow sections, single angles, tees, double angles, and pre-fabricated steel building parts, are produced in steel mills and brought to the market.

Read moreIs Steel Structure Better Than Concrete?

5. Steel structure standards in Vietnam 

The standards of steel structures are intended to determine the quality of steel structures used for construction. For example, the constructions must meet the standards of Vietnam, Australia, the USA, the UK, and Europe. 

Once the standards have been identified, this will be the basis for constructing, controlling, and accepting steel structure constructions. Currently, the standard of steel structure is the national standard TCVN 5575: 2012.

This standard has the following features:

  • Originating from Russia with the code SNIP II -23 – 81, compiled by the Institute of Construction Science and Technology – Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Construction proposed, General Department of Standards and Quality appraisal, Ministry of Science and Technology announced.
  • As the National Standard as prescribed in Clause 1, Article 69 of the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations and Point B, Clause 2, Article 7 of the Government’s Decree No. 127/2007/ND-CP on August 1st, 2007 detailing the implementation of several articles of the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations.
  • Applicable to steel structural design of civil and industrial constructions; not used to design transport and irrigation constructions such as bridges, road constructions, valve doors, pipes,…
  • TCVN 5575: in 2012, apply the restricted state method with safety coefficients for load, materials, working conditions …
  • TCVN 5575: in 2012, it focused on hardness and did not accept the deformation of the structure’s shape. 
  • TCVN 5575: in 2012, apply the formula:
  • Calculation intensity = standard intensity/material safety coefficient. 
  • Calculation load = standard load/overlay factor (load reliability coefficient)

If the steel structure has many effective loads, add the simultaneous load reduction coefficient of the loads. 

Read more: Erection of Steel Structures

Steel structural standards in Vietnam

TCVN 5575: in 2012, it was used as a calculated load for steel structures with specific regulations for wind coefficient, aerodynamic coefficient, etc.

Standards for construction of steel structures in Pebsteel

At Pebsteel, steel structure construction standards follow the latest design and construction standards.

  • Welding Standard – AWS.
  • Load standard – ASCE.
  • Cold Rolled Steel Design Standard – AISI.
  • Steel structural design standard – AISC.

These standards have contributed to Pebsteel’s creation of international-quality steel buildings.

6. Applications of structural steel

Structural steel is a versatile and durable material that is used in a wide variety of applications. It is strong, lightweight, and relatively easy to work with, making it a popular choice for many different types of construction projects. Some conventional structural steel products include:

  • Steel beams (such as I beams)
  • Steel frame buildings
  • Steel railings
  • Steel gates
  • Staircases
  • Lintel beams
  • Parallel flange channels
  • Flitch plates

Structural steel is used in a wide variety of applications, including:

  • Buildings: Structural steel is used to construct the frames of all types of buildings, from tiny residential homes to large commercial skyscrapers.
  • Bridges: Structural steel is the primary material used to build bridges of all sizes, from small footbridges to large multi-span bridges.
  • Other infrastructure: Structural steel is also used to build other types of infrastructure, such as roads, railways, and power lines.
  • Industrial structures: Structural steel is used to build various industrial structures, such as factories, warehouses, and power plants.
  • Ships and other vessels: Structural steel is the primary material used to build ships and other vessels, such as boats, barges, and oil rigs.

Read more: What Is Structural Steel Welding? Definition And Methods

7. FAQ about Steel Structure? 

  1. 1. What is a steel structure called? 

    Steel structure, also known as a “steel frame structure” or simply a “structural steel” system, is one of the materials used for any steel construction; it is formed with a specific shape.

  2. 2. What are the four types of steel structures? 

    The four main types of steel structures are basic building frame structures, portal frames, truss structures, and grid structures, each serving specific construction purposes and engineering requirements. 

If you have questions that need to be answered, please contact us at the following email: [email protected] for specific advice.


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