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RE: Use Of ASTM A513 For Stairs' Guardrails

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Been there, done that.  The whole sad story follows:

You might see more specifications go the A513.  It is generally available.  A53 and A501 are more commonly specified by structural engineers for round tube / pipe.  A500 is commonly specified for square and rectangular tube.  That is what is in the AISC and that is what we normally use.  

The problem comes about when you try to comply with UBC and ADA.  I don't care if you're in OSHA, SBC, BOCA, or UBC land; thou shalt comply with the ADA.  There are few exceptions to this edict.  The law of these United States was crafted by the omniscient Federal Government to be good.  And so it shall be; lest ye be sued in Federal Court.

Consider that the nominal dimensions for A53 and A501 are predicated on the inside diameter.  That is OK with most codes because the various codes are written either for a "nominal" dimension, or they give an acceptable range.  But the ADA knows far more than the codes of mere mortals and says the outside diameter shall be 1 1/2". 

What is an engineer to do?  Well you pull a page out of the mechanical engineers book and you specify A513 (predicated on outside diameter).  By the way you will need to adjust your I's, S's, and other structural engineering stuff to comply with the other provisions for strength.  

Harold Sprague
Krawinkler, Luth & Assoc.
4412 W. Eisenhower Blvd.
Loveland, CO 80537
Voice: 970 667-2426
Fax: 970 667-2493
Email: hsprague(--nospam--at)

-----Original Message-----
From:	CanitzCF [SMTP:CanitzCF(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Saturday, April 04, 1998 6:22 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Use Of ASTM A513 For Stairs' Guardrails

I recently completed a design for a steel fabricator/erector who was the subcontractor for the design and erection of structural steel stairs and the associated guardrails for a project located in Baltimore, MD. The project specifications required that the posts and top and bottom guardrails' material conform to ASTM A513. Initially, I questioned this requirement since ASTM A 513 is the standard specification for Electric-Resistance-Welded Carbon and Alloy Steel Mechanical Tubing. Paragraph 1.1 of this spec states that this material is intended for use as mechanical tubing. Previously, I always used material conforming to ASTM A53 or A500 for guardrail designs. 
Has anyone used ASTM A513 material in the past for similar type of application?

Charlie Canitz, PE
Bel Air, MD