This guide concentrates on the sections that we hold as standard stock items, although we can of course source many steel items and non-ferrous metals that are not mentioned below. In general we talk of two types of mild steel - bright and black. Bright as its name suggests is shiny to look at with a clean, slightly oiled finish, is available in both metric and imperial sizes and generally comes in a 3mtr (10/12’) standard length. Black mild steel has a rougher, scaled finish that is dry to the touch and generally comes in a 6mtr (20’) standard length in metric sizes only. Stronger steels known as alloys are also available – please see the relevant product pages or technical information for further details.
Most angles are black mild steel although a few small sizes are available in bright mild steel. They look like a capital L shape in cross section and are described using height, width and thickness. e.g. 75 x 75 x 6mm.
Angles where one leg is longer than the other, e.g. 75 x 50 x 6 mm angle. Some of the larger sizes are available in bars up to 12mtr. Only available in black mild steel.
A section that looks like a capital T with the size specified as width across top x height x weight per metre, e.g 25 x 25 x 3mm. Larger tees can be made by cutting down beams and columns.
ROLLED HOLLOW SECTIONS (RHS) – Square and Rectangular
Commonly known as ‘box section’ these hollow sections have three dimensions – height, width and thickness of steel and the standard bar length is 7.5mtr. Some larger sizes are available in longer lengths.
Often known simply as tube, these are described using the external diameter (o/d) and the thickness of the wall, e.g. 33.7o/d x 3.2 mm.
ERW – Electron Resistant Welded Tube
A semi bright tube that has a seam running down the inside. Thinner than the circular hollow section, ERW wall thickness ranges from 1mm – 3mm and are available in round, square and rectangular sizes.
Quite literally, half of a round bar in black mild steel, semi circle in cross section. This type of section is often used for handrails. We keep a ‘Square Edge’ that has a small upright before curving, or a ‘Feather Edge’ which is curved from one side to the other.
UNIVERSAL BEAMS & COLUMNS
Commonly known as girders, RSJ's, steels, I Beam and H Beam, they look like a capital H and are used for support work in buildings. Both are described using their height, width and weight per metre, e.g. 178 x 102 x 19 kg/mtr. The height of a beam is larger than the width, whereas the height and width of a column is the same e.g. 203 x 203 x 46 kg/mtr. Standard lengths vary from 6mtr up to 18.2mtr but are usually sold cut to length as required.
Often known as C Section or U Section due to their shape, channels are described using width and height. e.g. 150 x 75 mm. We keep 6mtr standard lengths although varying lengths up to 18 metres are available.