When you pay attention to the geometric shape of steel sections used in construction, it makes one realise the importance of the shape. A structure's shape section should have relative benefits for providing optimum support and transmitting loads correctly through the structure.
Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) are lengths of high-strength welded steel tubing which is used for structural elements in buildings, general structures, and a variety of manufactured products. HSS is known as a closed class and is produced in round or circular, square, and rectangular shapes and comes in a broad range of sizes to meet certain specifications.
HSS sections are highly applicable for point loads and rotation and provide high structural capacity against compression and torsion. The most common uses for hollow structural sections are structural columns and shafts.
5 Benefits of Hollow Structural Sections
High Strength-to-Weight Ratio
HSS is not only the most economical structural member, but the sections have a high radius of gyration about both axes which provides high torsional resistance and superior compression performance with significant weight savings. For increased axial capacity, HSS sections can be used as a jacket for a concrete column.
Unlike a channel W or I section which have one or more open sides, hollow structural sections are closed sections with all sides being closed off. This feature of HSS is advantageous for resisting torsional load. Used in environments such as food processing and clean facilities, where cleanliness is required, HSS is the best choice as it minimises surfaces that otherwise may collect dust and debris.
Due to their smooth sides, rounded corners, and closed sections, HSS are often favoured by architects particularly when exposing the structure forms part of the appeal of a design. HSS have been used in iconic structures such as the London Eye and Emirates Stadium. They are also ideal for everyday applications such as vehicle trailers, fences, and handrails.
Since rectangular and square HSS have about two-thirds the surface area of an open section of comparable capacity, this has a cost-saving benefit as there is less surface to prepare, fewer painting materials are required, cementitious fireproofing can be reduced, and minimal labour is needed.
Sustainable and Adaptable
Hollow structural sections are strong, durable, versatile, reusable and 100% recyclable. HSS not only create lightweight and visually attractive structures, but steel structures are inherently adaptable and can easily be extended at a later time without the worry of overloading the foundations of the existing structure.
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