Terminology

MATERIALS: Metal

Alloy
Two or more metals, or metal combined with non-metallic substances, to obtain a desired performance characteristic, such as hardness, elasticity, corrosion resistance, etc.

American standard beam
Common name for an S-Shape steel beam.

Angle
Structural steel shape resembling L. May be Equal Leg Angle or Unequal Leg Angle (shown). Used in trusses and built-up girders.

C-Shape or Channel
Structural steel shape which has a cross-section resembling [. Similar to W-Shapes with half-width flanges on one side. Used in trusses and built-up girders.

Extrusion
A structural member formed by forcing a material, such as steel, through a hole of the desired cross section; refers to both the process and the final product.

Flange
On structural steel shapes, such as C-Shapes, S-Shapes, and W-Shapes, the horizontal portions at the top and bottom which are perpendicular to the web.

Forge
Process used in forming a metal structural member by heating and hammering to the desired shape.

I-beam
Common name for an S-Shape steel beam.

Iron
A malleable (may be pressed and shaped without returning to its original form), ductile (may be stretched or hammered without breaking), metallic element. The main ingredient used in the production of steel. Once a common building material for bridges, but was gradually replaced by steel around the turn of the 20th century.

Cast iron has a higher carbon content (2.0% - 4.5%) and is less malleable (more brittle). It is shaped by pouring it in a fluid, molten state into molds. Steel alloys are next in decreasing order of carbon content (approx. 0.2% - 2.0%), followed by wrought iron, which has less carbon content (approx. 0.2%). This makes wrought iron tough, but more malleable. It is more easily shaped by heating and hammering (forging).

Narrow Flange Beam
An S-Shape steel beam.

Rivet
A metal fastener with a large head on one end, used to connect multiple metal plates by passing the shank through aligned holes in the plates and hammering the plain end to form a second head.

Rolled section
A structural member formed by heating a material, such as steel, a passing it through a series of rollers to achieve a desired shape.

S-Shape or Narrow Flange Beam
Structural steel shape which has a cross-section resembling an I with sloped inner flange surfaces adjacent to the web. May be formed by extrusion or rolling. Designated by the prefix S followed by the depth in inches and the weight per linear foot in pounds, such as S6x10. Commonly called I-beam or American standard beam. Compare to W-Shape.

Steel
Any of a variety of iron-based metallic alloys having less carbon content than cast iron, but more than wrought iron.

W-Shape or Wide Flange Beam
Structural steel shape which has a cross-section resembling an H with flat inner flange surfaces adjacent to the web. May be formed by extrusion or rolling. Designated by the prefix W followed by the depth in inches and the weight per linear foot in pounds, such as W18x40. Compare to S-Shape.

Web
On structural steel shapes, such as C-Shapes, S-Shapes, and W-Shapes, the flat portion which is perpendicular to and joining the flanges. Also, the system of members connecting the top and bottom chords of a truss.

Weld
Joining two metal pieces by heating them and allowing them to flow together. Creating a bond by using another nonferrous metal which melts below 800 degrees Fahrenheit is called soldering. Creating a bond by using another nonferrous metal which melts above 800 degrees Fahrenheit is called brazing. The continuous deposit of fused metal created in these processes is called a bead.

Other common fasteners used in metal structures include: rivets, threaded bolts, and pin/eyebar connections.




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Page created: 17-Jun-1999
Last modified: 20-Sep-2000

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