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Canadian Institute of Steel Construction - recommendations re: non-conforming structural steels

Canadian Institute of Steel Construction - recommendations re: non-conforming structural steels

Canadian Institute of Steel Construction - recommendations re: non-conforming structural steels

Hey all!

In 2016, the CISC quietly posted an article on their website recommending that engineers only specify steels produced in Canada, USA and the EU. They cite concerns with fraudulent mill test reports and high concentrations of elements not normally tested for in North American Standards (boron appears to be the primary concern).

We've changed our specifications to match CISC's recommendations, but I know that other structural engineers in our small market have not (most, if not all, are probably unaware of CISC's position). Now contractors are complaining that we're difficult to work with and telling Owner's that buildings are going to cost more if we're involved.

In the past 6 months, we've had steel from Russia, S. Korea and Turkey show up on our job sites. Per CISC recommendations, we've insisted on having the material tested, which resulted in additional costs and small delays. The testing was performed despite having mill test reports for all members (due to concerns regarding fraudulent reporting). All members tested met the CSA/ASTM standards, but some were found to be close to, but not exceeding, the recommended 0.0008% boron limit. Very few mill test reports will even note the boron content of the steel.

I'm very curious to hear what other structural engineers are doing with regards to global steels. Are you satisfied that mill test reports are accurate? Do you force suppliers to confirm the boron content in their steel? Are we being unreasonable?

Thanks for your time!


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