Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel Hollow Sections
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Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel Hollow Sections

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Design Capacity Tables Contents

  • Part 1 – Introduction 
  • Part 2 – Materials 
  • Part 3 – Section Properties 
  • Part 4 – Methods of Structural Analysis 
  • Part 5 – Members Subject to Bending 
  • Part 6 – Members Subject to Axial Compression 
  • Part 7 – Members Subject to Axial Tension 
  • Part 8 – Members Subject to Combined Actions 
  • Part 9 – Connections 

Foreword to Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel Hollow Sections

OneSteel Australian Tube Mills is one of the world’s premier producers of welded steel tube and pipe for structural, mechanical and low pressure reticulation applications.

For many years, OneSteel Australian Tube Mills has been at the industry forefront with numerous innovations delivering significant value to a wide range of key industries.

With manufacturing facilities strategically located in Australia (Brisbane, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth), OneSteel Australian Tube Mills is effectively placed to supply high quality tubular steel products to markets in Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and South-East Asia.

OneSteel Australian Tube Mills’ innovative approach to the development of tubular products has been noted by various industries for many years. This has included the introduction and ongoing push of higher strength RHS and Pipe products which reduce weight and cut costs for end-users.

Strength enhancements began with Grade C350L0 (“TruBlu”), then Grade C450L0 (“GreensTuf”) and DuraGal® and now C450PLUS™ (previously DualGrade® C350L0/C450L0) products.

OneSteel Australian Tube Mills were the first to develop and promote these grades into Australian Standards and its market areas and now offer the largest range of C450PLUS™ sections – not only in Australia but across the world.

Development of tubular shapes has also been an important strategy for OneSteel Australian Tube Mills. Specific shapes (some of which carry patents and trademarks) were developed for defined industries and include the SiloTube, UniRail, StockRail and Architectural sections.

Limited rollings of other forms of hollow sections can be supplied on a special order basis. Apart from material improvements, OneSteel Australian Tube Mills’ plants also produce different types of coating systems for tubular products.

Revolutionary primer-paint systems were developed with industry participation to protect hollow sections from rust during warehouse storage, transportation and fabrication as well as offer a smooth clean work surface during and after fabrication.

OneSteel Australian Tube Mills now supplies the largest range of welded tubular steel products in Australia which vary in shape, grade and finish. Compared to other steel products, the worldwide consumption of welded tubular steel products is significantly increasing.

The main reasons for this outcome is due to the aesthetics, engineering efficiencies, cost-effectiveness, increased specifier/end-user awareness and the high valueadding inherent with tubular products.

This has now firmly positioned OneSteel Australian Tube Mills as the preferred tubular supplier within many industries. Quality products, people and service sets OneSteel Australian Tube Mills apart from its competitors.

Preface to Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel Hollow Sections

The “Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel” (DCT) suite of publications from the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) – previously the Australian Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) – has been commonly used by design engineers for at least a decade.

The actual origin of these publications goes back to 1969 when the Safe Load Tables (SLT) was published by AISC (at the time) for the then permissible stress based steel structures Standards AS CA-1 and subsequently AS 1250.

The SLT was published in six editions (the last edition being in 1987) with both hot-rolled “open” sections (e.g. UB, UC, PFC, etc) and structural steel hollow sections (CHS, RHS and SHS) included in its contents. The release of AS 4100 Steel Structures in 1990 to supersede AS 1250 saw a change in design philosophy from permissible stress to limit states design principles.

Such a change prompted the revision of the SLT to manifest itself as the DCT. The first edition of the DCT had an overall format which was similar to the sixth edition of the SLT and included both open and hollow sections.

However, due to the growing popularity, increasing range and innovation of hollow section construction, the DCT was effectively split in 1992 with the release of the “Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel Hollow Sections” (DCTHS) which only considered tubular members.

Thereafter, a second edition of the DCTHS was released in 1999 entitled “Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel – Volume 2: Hollow Sections” (DCT-v2:HS). While somewhat of a challenge, the aim of the DCT-v2:HS (and preceding DCTHS/DCT) was to provide current information on hollow sections available from various manufacturers.

However, at the time of publication, the consolidated product range listing from each of the manufacturers was disjointed and not reflective of available sections.

Even though the DCT-v2:HS listed a large range of hollow sections, this positive aspect was negated by imprecise information on product availability.

Various manufacturers also complicated the situation by producing their own versions of the DCTHS even though they had a smaller product/size range.

Subsequent market studies by OneSteel Australian Tube Mills revealed that there was growing specifier and industry frustration from the numerous but fragmented publications available that attempted to describe the total range of hollow sections compliant with Australian Standards.

Market feedback also indicated some level of confusion with what sizes were available in various grades. There was no ready answer to this frustration and confusion – unless, of course, a single manufacturer could confidently supply a total consistent range of hollow sections.

As part of its ongoing Sales & Marketing strategies, and after much analysis, OneSteel Australian Tube Mills are undertaking various initiatives to significantly grow the tubular market with a substantial increase in product range and technical support.

Prior to this initiative, one of the limitations with tubular construction was the restricted range of large readily available hollow sections that are fully compliant with Australian Standards. For RHS/SHS this was seen to typically “top out” at 250 x 250 SHS with thickness up to 9 mm thick.

The situation with CHS was slightly different with the availability of larger “down-graded” line-pipe though there were some issues reported on the compliance of such products to the structural requirements of AS/NZS 1163 Grade C350L0.

The ability to supply a full range of structural steel hollow sections coupled with the ability to ease industry frustration from the lack of consolidated correct information of such sections also sees OneSteel Australian Tube Mills providing a large array of technical/marketing media (i.e. literature and software). Part of the media includes this DCTHS which is based on AS 4100–1998.

In order to embrace the acceptance level of the previously published industry document, this DCTHS follows the same format as the ASI/AISC DCTHS.

This means that the Parts of this publication follow the same numeric sequence as those in the ASI/AISC DCTHS and AS 4100. The tabulated data and much of the text in this publication also follows the same format and sequence as the ASI/AISC DCTHS which now makes it a ready companion to the DCT for hotrolled “open” sections.

Hence, if readers are familiar with the current ASI/AISC DCTs they will also be familiar with this publication.

Whilst based on the ASI/AISC DCTHS, some minor revisions, corrections and updates were incorporated in this publication as well as recognition of the changed “loading” Standards to AS/ NZS 1170 and other related Standards.

Also, readers will note that this publication is produced in “landscape” format – i.e. the width of the page is the longer dimension.

The rationale behind this modification followed industry surveys that noted the generally published “portrait” format did not suit publications substantially containing landscape tables.

Consequently, this and several other OneSteel Australian Tube Mills publications have been produced in landscape format. For additional information, readers should also refer to page (ii) for the appropriate use of this DCTHS.

As a complementary design aid to this publication, OneSteel Australian Tube Mills has also produced a simple calculator for structural steel hollow sections designed to AS 4100. Called TubeComp®, the software provides much of the information contained in this publication with just four (4) “clicks of a mouse”.

The data screens of TubeComp® are dynamically updated and can provide exact values of design capacities for effective lengths not listed in the tables of this publication without the need for linear interpolation or extrapolation.

TubeComp®, like this and other publications, are freely available from OneSteel Australian Tube Mills by using the contact details noted below.

It is interesting to note that after nearly twenty years since the release of the first DCTHS, the same basic team involved in the first document has been brought together to develop this publication.

This team includes engineers for computations, content and project management as well as graphic designers.

Accordingly, we trust this publication is of value to designers of hollow section construction and would appreciate any feedback on its adequacy or ways to refine it. May your designs in tubular construction be fruitful ones!

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