Steel hollow sections, otherwise known as structural steel tubes, are categorised into three main types: RHS (rectangular hollow sections), SHS (square hollow sections) and CHS (circular hollow sections). Also referred to as Box Steel, Square Steel, Tube Steel or Rectangular Steel tube, hollow sections are commonly used in welded steel frames where forces are experienced in multiple directions. Steel hollow sections boast uniform strength thanks to their uniform geometry, making them ideal for columns and posts.
For this reason, residential construction heavily features the use of steel hollow sections. Many homes use these posts without you even knowing! Because of their size, they can be effortlessly disguised in materials to match the aesthetics of your home.
To learn more about steel hollow sections and their differences, keep reading for everything you need to know about CHS, RHS and SHS.
Circular hollow sections (CHS) was the first form of hollow section and are still commonly used in a wide range of structural, mechanical and construction areas. Its uniform design gives CHS tremendous resistance to torsional forces.
Thanks to its clean, consistent lines, lack of protruding edges, and smoothness of CHS make it a popular architectural choice for aesthetic appearances in various applications. The lack of protruding edges also reduces the impact of exposure, dust and other material build-ups. However, keep in mind that CHS tubes are typically more expensive than their RHS and SHS counterparts.
Favoured for mechanical, structural, and construction applications, Rectangular hollow sections (RHS) feature flat surfaces that are more economical for joining, alongside various other types of fabrication works. Thanks to the flat surfaces, only a straight cut is required for joining, with minimal edge preparation needed for welding or joining, giving it clean lines alongside structural strength.
Sitting comfortably between RHS and CHS, Square hollow sections (SHS) strike a balance between appearance and strength. Much like RHS, an SHS features a flat surface, making it more economical for joining and welding, with clean lines and minimal edge preparation required.
SHS is most commonly used in constructing entry porches to support the roof. The steel is then covered in brickwork or timber to match the house.
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