Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Steel Availability

Steel Availability

Steel Availability

How does one figure out which of the many ASTM shapes (W's, S's, C's, etc.) are regularly available on the market for use? ...especially when the quantities may end up being low, not justifying a special rolling (i.e. between 0-2 tons).

RE: Steel Availability

Assuming you are in the US:

From MSC 15th Edition:

Also AISC website on 'steel availability': Link

...and this Modern Steel Construction article 'ARE YOU PROPERLY SPECIFYING MATERIALS?': Link

For small quantities when I need to weld/fab something, I usually just call my local steel merchant.

RE: Steel Availability

Call a couple local fabricators who might bid the work. First for general info. a bit more locally specific than the AISC tabulation. Then again when you get some idea of some of the sizes involved on the project. A couple tons of fairly std. shapes and plate many fabricators might take out of their own stock.

RE: Steel Availability

I've used that AISC availability tool before and called the fabricators they listed and they didn't have available what the website said they had. This was regarding a large hss tube shapes, which are usually hard to find. But it's probably still good to check if a large number of fabricators pop up for particular shapes.

Typically shorter lighter wide flange shapes, and smaller square tubing or pipe (8" or less w/ max 3/8" wall) are easy to get, never really had a problem with channels since there's not that many shapes. Really heavy wide flange shapes and larger tubes can be difficult to get, and a lot of times it's preferable to use multiple members or built up shapes that are more readily available to solve the problem if possible. I've had smaller projects where contractors just want to frame everything w/ W12x26 even if it's way oversized, just because they're used to using it and it's easy to get.

If its a bigger project, I would just spec what you need, within reason, and increase depth when you can to provide a more economical design. If the contractor wants to upsize for availability they will let you know, or they won't and just do it. If your holding someones hand, then you can just call local fabricators as others have mentioned.

RE: Steel Availability

It's weird that A36 still what's used for angles and channels in the states. I'll still spec that sometimes, but 300MPa material is standard here now and the 11th edition of the CISC Handbook of Steel Construction is reporting strengths for channels and angles with 350MPa material now because they've become readily available.

Every piece of structural steel I've specced at 250/260MPa in the past several years and reviewed mill certificates for has been dual certified to at least 300MPa if not higher.

RE: Steel Availability

I find a lot of angles that are dual certified, but we still always assume A36 unless we absolutely need to consider 50ksi to get specific detail to work.

RE: Steel Availability

If you are doing a large project for which an early-stage mill-quantity order will be required, definitely contact Nucor, or Arcelor-Mittal to confirm rolling schedules and availability. For smaller projects, just contact your nearest local steel service center to see what they keep in stock, or can have available on short notice.


RE: Steel Availability

Note that the specification availability for HSS as rolled according to A1085 is increasing. Independence Tube, and others, are now offering a lot more rolled to this specification, as opposed to the old A500-Gr.C specification. This table is a living document, and the fluidity of the HSS listings are especially notable.


RE: Steel Availability

On some items, you just have to check and see. For example, I think the price per pound is higher for channels than for wide flanges. So you might assume a C6x8.2 is cheaper than W6x9, but it may or may not be. And some of the length availability varies- seems like channels are available mainly in 40' lengths, wide flange in 50' and 60', so you may have a lot more drop with one than the other.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


White Paper - Implementing a Multi-Domain System
IoT systems are multi-domain designs that often require AMS, Digital, RF, photonics and MEMS elements within the system. Tanner EDA provides an integrated, top-down design flow for IoT design that supports all these design domains. Learn more about key solutions that the Tanner design flow offers for successful IoT system design and verification. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close