How Cold-Formed Steel is Made PDF Email
Cold-formed steel framing is made from strips of structural quality sheet steel that are fed through roll forming machines with a series of dies that progressively shape the steel into C-shaped sections, or formed into a variety of other shapes, including “U”, “Z”, and even hat-shaped sections, to meet the requirements of specific applications.  Cold-formed steel framing members can be formed from a wide range of material thickness that enables them to meet the requirements of nearly all structural and non-structural applications.. 

altCold-formed steel starts with the production of raw steel, which is made by combining iron ore or steel scrap with small amounts of carbon in a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)





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Molten steel is poured into slabs that are reduced into thinner strips of steel, called “hot band.”  Increasingly, steel mills are employing a new, very efficient process called direct reduction to make “hot band.”





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In the steel finishing process, the hot band is reduced once again into “cold rolled steel.”  A protective coating of zinc is then added through the galvanization process.  The final product is called a “coil.”




altTo convert coils into cold-formed steel framing members, they are first slit into widths that match the intended dimensions of the final product.




altThe slit coils of cold-formed steel are formed into C-sections and other shapes usually by roll forming the steel through a series of dies. Penetrations for plumbing and electrical runs are also punched at pre-determined locations, helping reduce installation times.  No heat is required to form the shapes (unlike hot-rolled steel), and thus the name cold-formed steel. A variety of steel thickness is available to meet a wide range of structural and non-structural applications.

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The cold-formed steel framing materials are then either used to build wall and floor panels, and roof trusses, or delivered to the job site in bundles.



altaltCold-formed steel is the preferred material for curtain walls and partitions in commercial construction due to its light weight, high strength, non-combustible nature and ease of installation, and for these same reasons is increasingly being use as the primary structural system for buildings up to 9 stories tall.
 
altAs a recognized green building material, steel framing projects can also earn credits or points for green building rating programs as well as other government incentives.




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