If you're considering a major building construction project, you may already know that structural hollow steel sections are more efficient than others and your design team will have to come up with a finished solution that takes this into account for your particular configuration. You may well be concerned with the overall weight of the project, but need to balance this with cost and in almost all cases would be better off using structural hollow sections, rather than options that are made from open section profiles. However, did you know that there is an additional benefit associated with the use of hollow sections and one that could enhance the overall safety of your finished product?
Core Advantages of Hollow Sections
Engineers assert that structural, square hollow sections have a much higher compression rate than open sections due to the method of manufacturer and are far more practical for most solutions. The outside dimensions will usually remain the same and this allows the same type of beam to be used throughout the building construction, rather than conventional "H" section columns where the external dimensions will change. These sections can be easily filled with concrete and potentially rebar to create a composite section with superior strength, due to the way that the concrete is contained within the shell of the steel.
Perhaps the most important asset is, however, their ability to provide protection during fire in a variety of different ways and it's possible to use either internal or external protection methods when using square or rectangular hollow sections.
Externally, structural hollow sections will need a smaller amount of fire protection material than the alternatives, because the exposed surface area is smaller. Internally, the area can be used to provide good fire protection while still retaining the all-important external dimensions.
Concrete reinforcement can provide significant fire resistance as compared to an empty or hollow section. Alternatively, water may be used when it is programmed to be self-activating during the outbreak of a fire. This takes place when a column becomes heated during a fire and the low-density of the water within generates a pressure differential that causes a natural circulation throughout. The more intense the fire becomes, the more the water circulates and introduces a cooling effect to fight the fire.
Have a word with your equipment supplier to see how structural hollow sections can be used to significant advantage in your upcoming project.