Top Quality Steel Hollow Section Tubes: Types, Use, Benefits

Top Quality Hollow Section Tubes: The hollow section pipes and tubes are the most flexible and adaptable equipment for industrial applications. Steel Hollow sections (SHS) are generally used in welded beams, columns, and frames. These hollow sections are manufactured in 3 basic types circular hollow sections, rectangular hollow sections, and square hollow sections. Structural hollow sections are generally used on construction sites, towers, railways, bridges, etc. Hollow sections offer excellent resistance to corrosion, stress cracking, and oxidation.

Hollow Section Tubes

What are hollow sections?

Hollow Section is a metal profile with a hollow tubular cross section on the inside. The hollow steel section (HSS) is only composed of structural steel per code. Flat steel plate is gradually changed into different shapes by welding edges like round or circular, elliptical, square, and rectangular during the manufacturing process.  Square and rectangular steel hollow sections are sometimes called tube steel or box sections.

Structural hollow sections are more versatile, dependable, and economical forms of steel that can be used for plenty of mechanical and building applications. It is manufactured in round, square, and rectangular shapes and a broad range of sizes. The wall thickness of hollow sections is uniform around the cross-section, but the rounded corners are typically twice in thickness.

Features and Properties of Hollow Section Tubes

Steel Hollow sections pipes and tubes are made of similar steel as used for other steel sections. The mechanical properties of structural Hollow sections are produced in special steels like high-strength steel with yield strengths or higher, weathering steels, and steel with improved or special chemical compositions, etc. The properties of hollow section tubes are the following:

Protect Corrosion of Hollow Sections

Any structures made of steel hollow section pipes have the properties of corrosion protection. This is because structural hollow sections have rounded corners for better corrosion protection as compared to sections with sharp corners. It is also true for the joints in circular hollow sections where there is a smooth transition from one section to another. 

Fire Resistance of Hollow Section Columns

The fire resistance properties of hollow sections of pipe are the reason preferred for use in many industries and structures. Generally, unprotected structural hollow sections (SHS) have an inherent fire resistance property of almost 15 to 30 minutes. And traditionally unprotected steel structures fail when they reach temperatures of about 450 to 550°C. But, the temperature at which a steel pipe reaches its ultimate limit state depends on the combined value of the section and its actual load level. 

When the service load level of a steel pipe column is less than 50% of its fire resistance, the critical temperature rises to over 650°C. And if hollow steel sections (HSS) are required to withstand extended amounts of fire time, additional measures are taken to delay the rise in steel temperature like:

  • External insulation of the steel sections.
  • Concrete filling of the section.
  • Water cooling.

Heating and Ventilation of Buildings 

The inner cavity of the steel hollow sections pipe gives the passing way to air and water circulation for heating and ventilation of buildings. This function of pipe’s hollow section columns with the integration of the heating or ventilation system in schools and offices maximizes the floor area by eliminating heat exchangers. It also provides a uniform provision of warmth and combined protection against fire.

Types of Steel Hollow Sections – CHS, RHS, And SHS

What Are CHS, RHS, And SHS?

Structural steel hollow sections (SHS) are commonly used in building, structural, and mechanical fields. These hollow steel sections (HSS) are known for their significant performance in different industries. There are generally 3 basic types of steel hollow sections, for example:

1. Circular Hollow Sections (CHS)

The circular hollow sections (CHS) are enriched with excellent weldability for mechanical features. That’s why the CHS is highly recommended for structural, mechanical, and building purposes. These circular hollow sections are usually used for low-temperature applications. The circular hollow sections are also known as round steel tubes. These hollow sections are highly malleable and durable and strongly resist chemical procedures and physical reactions. 

Circular hollow sections are manufactured in different shapes and sizes. These hollow sections also have minimal chances of brittle fractures. The structural hollow sections also deliver excellent tensile and give strength with accurate drift expansion.

2. Rectangular Hollow Sections (RHS)

The rectangular hollow sections (RHS) steel pipes are the most popular products manufactured for different mechanical and structural uses. These structural hollow sections are manufactured using superior-quality raw materials with high-quality grades.

These hollow sections are highly used because of their flat surface. Their flat surface with the most inexpensive joining provides great structural solutions for different types of production work. The RHS needs minimum edge preparation before welding and other joining techniques. These are generally used on construction sites and in other industries. 

Rectangular hollow sections of steel pipes are very light in weight with extreme strength. These are made in different shapes, sizes, and dimensions. These hollow sections are also highly tensile with more strength. It also gives extreme resistance to weather corrosion, crevice corrosion, and stress cracking.

3. Square Hollow Sections (SHS)

The square hollow sections (SHS) act as an intermediate between circular hollow sections (CHS) and rectangular hollow sections (RHS). The properties of SHS are similar to RHS. The steel SHS has extreme flexibility and durability, and also excellent stability and elasticity. The square hollow section also has high resistance to rupture with minimal chances of brittle fractures.

This square hollow section doesn’t require any preparation before welding. These hollow sections are highly weldable and enriched with flat surfaces, giving the most economical joining and welding solutions. It is highly used in construction, industrial and commercial fields for mechanical and structural purposes. 

The square hollow sections are generally used in many industries:

  • Oil and gas  
  • Chemical industries
  • Petrochemical industries
  • Refineries
  • Petrochemical industries
  • Defense 
  • Railways 

Benefits and Advantages of Hollow Sections

The benefits and advantages of hollow section pipes are the followings:

  • The hollow sections give greater flexibility in use and strength-to-weight ratio than conventional sections enhance efficiency and reduce cost. 
  • The hollow section pipes are light in weight and give visually glamorous structures. 
  • Because of the water circulation in the hollow section cavities, the deformation of the building due to temperature differences by sunshine would be limited.
  • It protects building structures from fire by circulating water in hollow sections’ columns connected with a water storage tank. The running water keeps the steel pipes’ temperature below the critical value of 450°C.
  • The hollow structural sections (HSS) are closed sections with all sides that give an advantage for resisting torsional load.
  • The hollow sections are often preferred by architects especially when exposing the structural forms of a design because of their smooth sides, rounded corners, and closed sections.
  • The hollow section pipes are cost-saving. As square and rectangular HSS have about two-thirds the surface area of an open section of the same pipe’s capacity. As a result, this less surface provides a cost-saving benefit to prepare, fewer painting materials are required, cementitious fireproofing can be reduced, and minimum labor requirements.
  • The steel hollow section tubes are strong, durable, versatile, reusable, and 100 percent recyclable. 
  • The steel structural hollow sections are inherently adaptable and can be easily extended at a later time without the worry of overloading the foundations of the existing structure.
  • A hollow section steel bar has the ability to carry large loads.
  • It has a wide range of functional possibilities.
  • The ability to be modified into different shapes.
  • It provides good weather and corrosion resistance.

Use and Application of Hollow Sections Pipes

The structural hollow sections are used and applicable in all fields. The application of hollow sections is preferred because of the beauty of their shape, to express a lightness or in other cases their geometrical properties. Some examples of the use of hollow sections in different fields are:

  1. Buildings and Halls, etc.: Mainly used for columns and lattice girders or space frames for roofs. 
  2. Bridges: The Firth of Forth Bridge is an important example of using the hollow section for structural applications in bridges. Nowadays, there are many examples of pedestrian bridges and movable bridges.
  3. Flanges of Plate Girders: The circular hollow sections (CHS) are sometimes also used for the flanges of plate girders.
  4. Barriers: The hollow sections are also used for hydraulic structures like barriers. 
  5. Offshore Structures: The circular hollow sections are used in offshore structures. As the circular hollow section piles are often driven through the circular hollow section legs of the jacket.
  6. Hollow section members are also used for towers, legs, and diagonals in topside structures, microwave towers, flare supports, cranes, bridges, support structures of helicopter decks, and in different secondary structures like staircases, ladders, etc.
  7. Towers and Masts: Electrical transmission towers are made of angle sections with simple bolted connection designs made of hollow sections.
  8. Special Applications of Hollow Sections: These special hollow sections are used in many fields like transport sign gantries, guard rails, parapets and signposts, mechanical engineering jobs, cranes, the agricultural field, glass houses, radio telescopes, and roller coasters, etc.

We at SPAR Steel make sure that our hollow sections products are made from superior quality raw materials. We manufacture CHS, RHS, and SHS  products using advanced technologies and techniques. Our hollow sections are known for their accurate sizes, shapes, and dimensions. We provide you with excellent quality grades at a competitive price in the market. We ensure customers that each product goes through different scientific testing methods.