The Iron Age symbolized the origin of steel. Steel is a mixture of several metals, but most of it is iron. Iron is second to steel which is harder and stronger. In 1856, there was a breakthrough in steel manufacturing, with the development of the Bessemer process, which used oxygen to both harden and strengthen steel.
Maintaining the integrity of structures requires building materials that contribute to both strength and flexibility.
History of Tubular Steel
The properties of tubular shapes have been known since ancient times. Historically, in the late 1900s, some bridges were built on tubular columns made from riveted rolled plates which led to the production of seamless welded circle hollow sections.
After the Second World War, hollow sections of steel were welded together using perfected welding and steel rolling practices.
Square Hollow Sections
Square hollow sections are referred to as tube steel or structural tubing. Square hollow sections are used in manufacturing steel frames. In the manufacturing of tube steel, a flat steel plate is rounded, welding the edges together.
People commonly see the applications of square hollow sections in Ferris Wheels and roller coasters. Further, other forms of square hollow sections are seen in construction, machinery, automotive, furniture, storage system and transmission towers. Manufacturers are constantly developing new and innovative products.
The Impact of Hollow Steel on Architectural Design
The challenge of architectural design is to balance both functional and structural requirements. The invention of hollow steel sections has made it possible, for instance, to create steel structures that have open sections.
Solid steel has not advanced architectural design. It has been shown that there are no restrictions on steel tubular shapes to bend in all directions and to sustain compression and torsion forces. The ability to form tubular steel has made it possible for architects to design attractive and functional structures.
Function and Safety of Hollow Steel
While steel, combined with concrete, is still a valuable and functional building material, hollow steel has all the attributes of reinforced concrete and can sustain the forces of wind and water, having lower drag coefficients.
Hollow steel can be filled with concrete to increase its bearing resistance and its fire rating. Further, the use of hollow steel increases the efficiencies of the heating and the ventilation system, which makes use of the hollow steel columns. Hollow steel, however, comes at a greater cost than use of solid steel.