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The Concept of Structural Steel Detailing

The Concept of Structural Steel Detailing

Steel detailing refers to the creation of steel detailing shop drawings to aid steel fabricators in providing the exact requirements for a steel structure. A steel detailer is responsible for producing the shop drawings and layout drawings. The fabricators will then refer to the blueprint and arrange all the components for a smooth construction procedure.

Structural engineering or structural steel detailing process involves designs, and plans, detailed structural drawings, and various documents related to the construction of the steel structure. It is the communication link between the key members like architects, engineers, contractors, and steel fabricators, working on the project. The key members must work concurrently to keep disasters at bay during and post-construction.

Structural Steel Detailing

Importance of Structural Steel Detailing

Steel detailing is essential for large projects to withstand natural calamities and avoid collapse. Architects hugely depend on skilled steel detailers or steel fabricators with comprehensive technical knowledge on site maps, drawing blueprints, large iron beams, fabrication details, column positioning, and joists, etc.

Structural steel plays a crucial role in constructing commercial, industrial structures. Owing to the durability and proven quality of structural steel, it is mostly used in building elegant structures as in shopping complex, commercial buildings, and residential buildings as well. It is used in the form of steel joists, trusses, metal decking, steel column, along with several other steel parts to build bridges, industrial plants, buildings, etc. There is a massive demand for steel detailing without which a structure may demonstrate inefficiency, causing a catastrophic accident.

Hence, professional steel detailers must be hired for a meticulous shop drawing. Steel fabricators are deft in steel detailing procedure. The drafters, architects, and engineers produce accurate, detailed drawings customized to suit each project.

Examples of Significant Steel Structures

Circuit of the Americas Observation Tower, Austin - The iconic 250-ft tall observation tower serves as a visual finale to the central Grand Plaza and an illustrious aura to the Austin360 Amphitheater. After the project was sanctioned, the time for completion was limited. Therefore, the steel engineers created a Tekla Model (BIM LOD 400). The detailers prepared the steel detailing shop drawings directly from the model, which saved three months, and the project was completed soon.

Circuit of the Americas Observation Tower, Austin

Beijing National Stadium – Also known as Bird’s Nest Stadium, was the cynosure during 2008 Olympic Games. It is the largest steel structure in the world, which was constructed with more than 42,000 tons of steel and took five years to complete. The engineers used Aerospace software to create a 3D model of the stadium. Based on the steel detailing, it was found that existing steel brands were not suitable. Hence a new brand was discovered to meet the requirement of this project.

Beijing National Stadium

Scenarios in which Architects and Contractors Need Structural Steel Detailing

Steel fabrication demands structural steel detailing for creating designs, evaluate cost, and produce the production details. Steel engineers, architects, and fabricators need steel detailing to measure features like complexities around the structure, value, the usage, and load that the structure can bear.

The construction industry today demands the usage of various latest technologies targeting sound production. Owing to the precision and accuracy in production, architects, fabricators, steel erectors, rely primarily on the steel detailing to get information on various structural components.

Scenarios where Structural Steel Detailing Is Required

  • Pre-Engineered Building (PEB) - Steel detailing is commonly used in PEB projects. Pre-engineered buildings are building enclosure system, including structural system with roof and wall cladding. Steel detailing is highly recommended in these projects.
  • Light Metal Framing – Steel detailing is used for light metal framing in both residential and commercial market sectors. The model accuracy and smooth communication with other parties associated with the project help in reducing flaws in fabrication and construction.
  • Aluminum curtain walling and facades – Structural steel detailing is essential in façade elements, aluminum curtain walling, and multi-material environment. Detailing also aids in solving complexities around logistics and construction sequences in a practical way.
  • Offshore – Steel detailing is vital in large structures. It gives out information like the center of gravity, the weight of the structure, maintenance of the structure, and so on. Detailing is beneficial throughout the lifecycle of the project.
  • Bridges – Structural detailing is predominant in bridge construction. The detailing helps in fetching accurate details about the steel, timber, composite bridges. It delivers high-end automation for fabrication leading to better project management.
  • Transmission Towers – Detailing of transmission towers include every specification ranging from foundation detail to the constituents and the connections. The engineers refer to the detailing draft for concrete and meticulous construction.

Steel Detailing Software and Applicability

  • Tekla

    Tekla is a virtuoso among the steel detailing software. Structural steel detailers, engineers and fabricators use Tekla extensively to create detailing and 3D models of all steel structures. The software is popular owing to the following features:

    • Avoids human errors and rework
    • Saves time
    • Facilitates smooth communication and coordination with the help of 3D model
    • Optimization of the process and profit maximization
  • ProSteel

    Bentley’s ProSteel is a 3D modeling environment supporting structural steel detailing. Based on standard platforms – Microstation and AutoCAD, Prosteel empowers detailers, engineers and fabricators with proficiency to create 3D models for the steel structures and concrete as well. The benefits include:

    • It creates documentation automatically. The programming interface and the open working environment leads to a standardized program.
    • ProSteel integrates with other third-party products as well alongside Bentley. This feature subjugates duplicate efforts and enhances coordination with other areas of design, structural analysis, etc.
  • Allplan

    For 50 successive years, Allplan has predominantly served the digitalization in the construction industry. It’s an open BIM software solution with cloud technology, hence, a global choice for Building Information Modeling (BIM)

  • Autodesk Advance Steel

    Designed for structural steel global marketplace, Advance Steel is an advanced software. It is widely used by structural steel detailers, mechanical engineers, fabricators, and architects. Advance Steel delivers 3D models of structural steel and more. It generates shop drawing and arrangement drawings, automatically saving time and avoiding rework.

Steel Detailing Procedure

Steel detailing procedure is a mandatory, and fundamental step which calls for precision in manufacturing and construction pursuits. The process undergoes the steps mentioned below:

  1. The steel engineers devise a project idea and draw a rough design. The drawing might include details regarding mechanical system and fabrication.
  2. Steel detailers convert the design into perfect yet methodical diagrams for each steel part required in the project.
  3. With all specifications, the detailers create shop drawings and plan for making steel members like columns, stairs, metal decks, beams, joists, trusses, braces, and more.

The extensive steel detailing would include the following details for each part:

  • Dimensions
  • Size
  • Surface specifications
  • Material requirements
  • Welding
  • Manufacturing instructions
  • Fabrication instructions
  • Bolting
  • Painting specifications

When steel members are ready, the steel detailers create the erection drawings for field. The erection drawing advocates about how and where to construct with the fabricated steel members and send it back to the client.

IndiaCADworks – Structural Steel Detailing Partner for Your Projects

IndiaCADworks has pioneered the global construction market over two decades in providing structural steel detailing service. Our pool of drafters, engineers, and architects are industry experts who proficiently cater to all steel detailing requirements. To know more, contact us today.

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