Getting down to the basics

Steel Frames, the definition

Steel frame is a building technique with a “skeleton frame” of vertical steel columns and horizontal I-beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame. 

Did you know?

The development of this technique made the construction of the skyscraper possible.

Steel frame is typically consisting of vertical column and horizontal beams which are riveted, bolted or welded together in a rectilinear grid. Steel beams are horizontal structural members that resist loads applied laterally to their axis. Columns are vertical structural members that transfer compressive loads. It can be used to form the skeleton of a building. 

Types of Steel Frame Construction

There are various types of steel frame construction which include:

1. Conventional Steel Fabrication

Conventional steel fabrication involves cutting steel members to the correct length and welding them to build the final structure. This construction process may be executed on site entirely which requires massive manpower. Alternatively, for best results it can be done in a workshop partially to provide better working conditions and reduce work-time.

2. Bolted Steel Construction

In this technique, all structural steel members are fabricated and painted off-site, then delivered to the construction site, and finally bolted in place. The size of the steel structural members is controlled by the size of the truck or trailer used to deliver steel elements. Commonly, the maximum length of 6mm is acceptable for normal trucks and 12m for long trailers. Bolted steel construction is substantially fast because lifting the steel members into place and bolting are all the works that need to be executed on a construction site. It is considered to be the most preferred construction approach because the most of the fabrication can be done in workshops, with the right machinery, lighting, and work conditions.

3. Light Gauge Steel Construction

Light gauge steel is a thin sheet (commonly between 1-3mm) of steel which has been bent into shape to form C-sections or Z-sections. It is broadly common and used for the construction of residential and small buildings. Benefits that light gauge steel construction provide include design flexibility, high construction speed, strong, lightweight, easy to remodel, Recyclable, good Quality (durable and low in maintenance).

4. Applications of Steel Frame Structure 

Steel frame structure is a considerably suitable option for the construction of various buildings and skyscrapers due to its strength, low weight, speed of construction, and large spans construction capability.  

All-in all, it is the go-to method for construction when it comes to scale and durability.