The advantages of using cold-formed steel profiles in construction

The advantages of using cold-formed steel profiles in construction
In a series of publications entitled “Light Steel”, the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) published a guide to the design of structures using cold-formed steel sections (Grub, 1997).
In accordance with this guide, the following advantages of using these materials in construction are presented.

Advantages during execution

-Easy assembly in a wide range of structural and architectural forms
– There are well-established joining and assembly methods
– There is the possibility of prefabrication of the subassemblies; the elements can be delivered to the required length and with all the screw holes made in the factory
-Assembly and installation is easily and quickly done on site
-Individual elements, even subassemblies, can be handled and assembled manually, without lifting equipment; the labor is low and does not require a special qualification
– Possible changes to the structure can be made on site much easier than in the case of hot rolled profiles; this obviously with the designer’s approval
– Fire protection is easily achieved; the protection systems with insulation and plasterboard allow obtaining a fire resistance of up to 120 minutes
-Assembly errors on the construction site are reduced to a minimum
-Competitive constructions are obtained, performing from a technical and economic point of view.

Advantages during exploitation

-Lighter and more efficient structures can be made, in a wide variety of shapes
-Larger openings can be obtained than when using wooden elements
-The structural system allows, in general, to obtain technical spaces for electrical cables and sanitary installations
-Fire protection materials can be easily replaced in the event of a fire
-Provides good thermal protection and avoids the formation of condensation, if the construction details are respected
– They do not affect the environment, they are recyclable, the demolition is done with minimal losses (Burstand, 2000)

The low weight of these constructions is a particularly important advantage in the case of weak foundations or work on superstructures or attics.

Cold-formed profiles can be used in the same structure together with hot-rolled profiles, where large openings or loads occur. Also, in multi-storey buildings, made of hot-rolled profiles, you can take advantage of the resistance to horizontal actions of the closing panels made of cold-formed profiles and corrugated sheet.

Source: (Mazzolani and Piluso, 1996).

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