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Re: 350W Availability

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> I received the notice of Algoma ceasing production in April 99.
> Further I have contact a couple of vendors on Vancouver Island and it =
> seems that 350W, although available, is not commonly specified here =
> except for bridges and special uses.  It is 10% - 15% more expensive and =
> availability is by order from Vancouver suppliers.  I therefore conclude =
> that 300W is still the steel of choice in this neck of the woods.
> Is this scenario the same throughout Canada and/or North America.

Structural steel in Canada has met G40.21 350W for wide flange sections
for some time, regardless of the quality that is ordered/specified. The
price difference reflects market acceptance and has been decreasing.
There is almost no difference in most of North America, now, and any
residual difference has been the result of savvy salemanship. The
industry is feeling competitive pressures to reduce the number of grades
that are maintained. The CISC has recently recognized this reality in
the Handbook by providing the 350W update booklet to the 6th edition and
basing the 7th edition tables on 350W as the preferred quality (Note the
bold 350W printed on the cover).

The notice about Algoma was specific that they would cease production of
W sections, only. The second notice revised the date. They will continue
making plate, sheet and WWF shapes.

Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
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