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RE: Alternate to steel beams

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Got a shelf full of handbooks for LiteSteelBeam, along with software to
AS4600(cold formed steel code), plus 2 offcuts sat on my desk. The handbooks
replicate our timber framing code (AS1684) providing span tables and
connection details, using the LiteSteelBeam. Also there are comparitive
equivalence tables. Lot of work seems to have gone into their development by
Smorgon, then they got carved up by Bluescope and Onesteel.

First time specified, got not available. Then some builder turns up and says
uses all the time, apparently knew a supplier with warehouse full of them.
Then find out that they are still being made, just not that easy to get hold

We were using Fielders Dimond section, which is stronger than typical
c-section. After 2 years getting plant setup in Adelaide, dismantelled and
moved production to Perth.

Also similar problems with the Lysaght Duragal coldformed Channels (upto 8mm
thick), difficult to get hold off, or have to buy more than need direct from

But that's Adelaide, lack of demand.

Though plenty of demand for c-sections: carports, verandahs, and sheds

Not sure about usage in other states for: LiteSteelBeam, Fielders Dimond,
Lysaght Duragal Channels, Lysaght Supabeam.

Coldformed doesn't seem to have the same general usage in Australia as does
in USA and UK. I know in UK they were building 4 storey student residences.
Here Adelaide just get steel sheds, converted to 2 storey shacks in rural
areas: otherwise simply girts, purlins and floor joists.

Part of the obstacle is reluctance to design. Most hot rolled steel is
designed using design capacity tables, whilst coldformed has to be designed
by calculation to code, which is seen as complex and time consuming.

Hazard a guess that if LiteSteelBeam finds a market in the USA, then
Australia will end up importing it.

Conrad Harrison
B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust
South Australia

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