Structural steel
Structural steel is steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 construction material
Material is anything made of matter, constituted of one or more substances. Wood, cement, hydrogen, air and water are all examples of materials. Sometimes the term "material" is used more narrowly to refer to substances or components with certain physical properties that are used as inputs to...

, a profile
Profile (engineering)
In standardization, a profile consists of an agreed-upon subset and interpretation of a specification. Many complex technical specifications have many optional features, such that two conforming implementations may not inter-operate due to choosing different sets of optional features to support...

, formed with a specific shape
The shape of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material...

 or cross section
Cross section (geometry)
In geometry, a cross-section is the intersection of a figure in 2-dimensional space with a line, or of a body in 3-dimensional space with a plane, etc...

 and certain standards of chemical composition
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 and mechanical properties. Structural steel shape, size, composition, strength, storage, etc., is regulated in most industrialized countries.

Structural steel members, such as -beams
-beams, also known as H-beams, W-beams , rolled steel joist , or double-T are beams with an - or H-shaped cross-section. The horizontal elements of the "" are flanges, while the vertical element is the web...

, have high second moments of area
Second moment of area
The second moment of area, also known as the area moment of inertia, moment of inertia of plane area, or second moment of inertia is a property of a cross section that can be used to predict the resistance of beams to bending and deflection, around an axis that lies in the cross-sectional plane...

, which allow them to be very stiff in respect to their cross-sectional area.
In most developed countries
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

, the shapes available are set out in published standards, although a number of specialist and proprietary cross sections are also available.

  • -beam
    -beams, also known as H-beams, W-beams , rolled steel joist , or double-T are beams with an - or H-shaped cross-section. The horizontal elements of the "" are flanges, while the vertical element is the web...

     (-shaped cross-section - in Britain these include Universal Beams (UB) and Universal Columns (UC); in Europe it includes the IPE, HE, HL, HD and other sections; in the US it includes Wide Flange (WF) and H sections)
  • Z-Shape (half a flange in opposite directions)
  • HSS-Shape (Hollow structural section
    Hollow structural section
    A hollow structural section is a type of metal profile with a hollow tubular cross section. In some countries they are referred to instead as a structural hollow section ....

     also known as SHS (structural hollow section) and including square
    Square (geometry)
    In geometry, a square is a regular quadrilateral. This means that it has four equal sides and four equal angles...

    , rectangular
    In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles. The term "oblong" is occasionally used to refer to a non-square rectangle...

    , circular
    Circular is a basic geometric shape such as a Circle.Circular may also refer to:-Documents:*Circular note, a document request by a bank to its foreign correspondents to pay a specified sum of money to a named person...

    Pipe (material)
    A pipe is a tubular section or hollow cylinder, usually but not necessarily of circular cross-section, used mainly to convey substances which can flow — liquids and gases , slurries, powders, masses of small solids...

    ) and elliptical
    In geometry, an ellipse is a plane curve that results from the intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that produces a closed curve. Circles are special cases of ellipses, obtained when the cutting plane is orthogonal to the cone's axis...

     cross sections)
  • Angle (L-shaped cross-section)
  • Channel ( [-shaped cross-section)
  • Tee (T-shaped cross-section)
  • Rail profile
    Rail profile
    The rail profile is the cross sectional shape of a railway rail, perpendicular to the length of the rail.In all but very early cast iron rails, a rail is hot rolled steel of a specific cross sectional profile designed for use as the fundamental component of railway track.Unlike some other uses of...

     (asymmetrical -beam)
    • Railway rail
    • Vignoles rail
    • Flanged T rail
    • Grooved rail
  • Bar, a piece of metal
    A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

    , rectangular cross sectioned (flat) and long, but not so wide so as to be called a sheet
    Sheet metal
    Sheet metal is simply metal formed into thin and flat pieces. It is one of the fundamental forms used in metalworking, and can be cut and bent into a variety of different shapes. Countless everyday objects are constructed of the material...

  • Rod, a round
    A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius....

     or square and long piece of metal or wood
    Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

    , see also rebar
    A rebar , also known as reinforcing steel, reinforcement steel, rerod, or a deformed bar, is a common steel bar, and is commonly used as a tensioning device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures holding the concrete in compression...

     and dowel
    A dowel is a solid cylindrical rod, usually made of wood, plastic or metal. In its original manufactured form, dowel is called dowel rod.Dowel rod is employed in numerous, diverse applications. It is used to form axles in toys, as detents on gymnastics grips, as knitting needles, as structural...

  • Plate, metal sheets thicker than 6 mm or  in.
  • Open web steel joist
    A joist, in architecture and engineering, is one of the horizontal supporting members that run from wall to wall, wall to beam, or beam to beam to support a ceiling, roof, or floor. It may be made of wood, steel, or concrete. Typically, a beam is bigger than, and is thus distinguished from, a joist...

While many sections are made by hot or cold rolling
Rolling (metalworking)
In metalworking, rolling is a metal forming process in which metal stock is passed through a pair of rolls. Rolling is classified according to the temperature of the metal rolled. If the temperature of the metal is above its recrystallization temperature, then the process is termed as hot rolling...

, others are made by weld
Weld most commonly refers to a joint formed by welding.Weld may also refer to:-People:* Weld family, an extended family of New England** Theodore Dwight Weld** Tuesday Weld* Weld-Blundell family* Cecil Weld-Forester, 1st Baron Forester...

ing together flat or bent plates (for example, the largest circular hollow sections are made from flat plate bent into a circle and seam-welded).
Most steels used throughout Europe are specified to comply with the European standard
European Committee for Standardization
The European Committee for Standardization or Comité Européen de Normalisation , is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens and the environment by providing an efficient infrastructure to interested parties for...

 EN 10025
EN 10025
EN 10025 - Hot rolled products of structural steels refers to a set of european standards which specify the technical delivery conditions for hot rolled products of structural steels...

Unanswered Questions