When you start a building project with steel, you can feel confident in the outcome. This is because you are working with one of the most resilient materials available. Additionally, it has the highest strength-to-weight ratio. Not every project will require extreme durability, and this is where cold-formed steel comes into play.
What is Cold-Formed Steel?
Cold-formed steel (CFS) is a versatile building material that is considered sustainable because of the recyclability of steel. It begins as sheet steel that has the appropriate composition to be classified as structural quality. The sheets can be made in a variety of shapes as well as multiple thicknesses, making CFS ideal for many structural and non-structural uses.
How is Cold-Formed Steel Made?
Cold-formed steel starts as raw steel, which is melted to a molten consistency. The liquid is cooled before going through a series of rollers. The steel becomes thinner and more durable than its hot-formed counterpart by going through the process at lower temperatures. Once the CFS is bent, rolled, or stamped into the intended shape, it is removed from the rolling machine.
The reason cold-formed steel is stronger and more resistant to warping and tension breaking is that it has closer dimensional tolerances and a wider range of surface finishes.
Characteristics of Cold-Formed Steel
Cold-formed steel provides several material advantages that make it a popular choice in numerous applications. For example, it is known for its ability to give buildings the strength to stand against extreme winds and earthquakes. Other properties of CFS include:
- High strength-to-weight ratio – CFS is a superior material for building because of this property. On average, its strength-to-weight ratio is seven times greater than dimensional lumber.
- Uniformly manufactured – CFS provides consistency, which is vital for all manufacturing and building ventures. This consistency translates into less waste.
- Resists warping – CFS can bear significant loads without the danger of warping or buckling under the weight.
- Fire-resistant – Because of its high melting point and low thermal conductivity, CFS has significant fire-resistant properties that make it an excellent building material, especially in regions where bushfires are common.
- Cost-effective – CFS is superior to other materials, like concrete or wood. It is easy to transport, readily available, and highly versatile.
- Sustainable – CFS is made from recycled steel and is also recyclable. It is an environmentally friendly material with several applications.
The Applications of Cold-Formed Steel
Cold-formed steel is exceptionally versatile, making it a material of choice for various uses.
- Auto Industry – CFS parts are lightweight to help reduce petrol consumption, and they are also a solid and durable material to use in auto production.
- Consumer Goods – CFS has nearly unmatched versatility, so it is ideal for a wide variety of consumer goods such as furniture, appliances, household items, and outdoor products.
- Mid-Scale Structures – CFS is ideal to use in the construction of buildings six stories or under because of the ease of transporting the materials. Among other things, CFS is popular for building hospitals, schools, and retail property.
- Infrastructure Projects – Because of its strength and weight, CFS is frequently used in building bridges and roads.
- Construction Projects – CFS use is growing across Australia, particularly in housing. There are many ways cold-formed steel is used in home construction. These include:
- Framing – The lightweight pieces are easy to work with and arrive on the job site in the specific sizes and shapes needed for the project. This makes assembling the various parts less time-consuming than other materials. The precision of CFS parts means less waste and less time spent clearing away scrap.
- Roofing and cladding – Because CFS is available in a wide variety of colours and finishes, it is an ideal material for use in roofing and cladding. Its durability and weather-resistant properties make CFS an excellent choice for these residential uses.
- Prefabricated housing – CFS is used frequently in the construction of prefabricated housing. Expert craftsmen make the steel frames off-site and send the parts to the building site, where they are put together. This method allows builders to assemble quality housing in a short amount of time.
- Renovating existing buildings – Another use for CFS is building an addition or renovating a building. Cold-formed steel framework integrates easily with existing structures. Builders can work efficiently on projects using CFS, making customers happy while spending less time on each building site.
Benefits of Cold-Formed Steel
The use of cold-formed steel continues to grow in the residential sector in part because of these benefits:
- Speed of construction
Why You Should Build with Cold-Formed Steel
Cold-frame steel is the clear choice for construction projects. In addition to being a consistent product with exceptional uniformity, CFS will not shrink or split and does not absorb moisture. Additionally, it resists warping, termites, and fire.
If you are considering using cold-formed steel in an upcoming building project but would like more information about the product. If you want expert assistance planning a project, contact us at Steel Frames WA. We are backed by over a half-century of building experience in Western Australia, so you can feel confident that your project will turn out right.