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Steel design Topics related to the design of structural steelwork to BS449 or BS5950

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Old 18th August 2011, 03:07 AM   #1
Tony Bryer
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 905
Default Do you really want to specify a RSJ? Probably not.

A query from a UK user says "Just had a call from a builder trying to order 203x102x25kg/m RSJs, which I calculated were required to support cavity wall structure over. However steel suppliers say that 25kg RSJ not available only 23kg."

The confusion has probably arisen because we so often refer to I-sections as RSJs (rolled steel joists) when this is not technically correct (as in the supplier's response). RSJs are I-sections rolled with a tapered flange, whilst currently rolled I-sections whose flange inner and outer faces are parallel are properly described as universal beams (UB, alternatively UKB the Corus trademark). The UB replacements for the smaller RSJ sections were first introduced around 1980 although RSJ sections remained in use for many years after.

We include RSJ sections in the SuperBeam and ProSteel steel data files so that you can check these when necessarily, most usually because you are changing the load on an existing beam or your client wants to use a secondhand section. In other cases specify a UB (or perhaps UC) section. The only exception to this is if for some very good reason you want to use one of the two RSJ sections that are still currently listed, viz 102x44x7.44 and 152x127x37.30 (source
Tony Bryer, Greentram Software Pty Ltd
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