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Tony Bryer 18th June 2015 03:01 AM

Steel section grades and sizes
On the June round of releases (SB4.62i, PS5.52i and EB2.00a) we have changed the default steel grade from S275 to S355. Previously our guidance was to specify S275 unless one could be sure that the contractor would appreciate the significance of S355 being specified. Now that all new steel is supplied to grade S355 this advice is no longer appropriate unless the calculation relates to reuse of older steel whose grade is unknown.

Also on this subject, I'd remind you of an October 2013 safety warning:

Given the continuance of the recession he and colleagues are seeing an increased use of smaller than specified steel sections in domestic construction. For example a 203 x 203 x 60 UC might be specified on a drawing by an engineer and a 203 x 203 x 46 UC appears on inspection of the installation. Occasionally the correct size is even shown on the delivery ticket (Alert Anomalous documentation for proprietary products). On other occasions the builder has made a decision that the steel is over designed and reduces it without consultation. This is now occurring on applications in one city at the rate of once or twice a week. The reporter has checked with colleagues in other cities and a similar picture is emerging. This is not a new problem but it is on the increase. The reporter and his colleagues are giving builders a list of the dimensions of common section sizes and advising them to check their steel before installation. This has the effect of both helping and warning at the same time.

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