Cold-formed steel (CFS) is the common term for steel products shaped by cold-working processes carried out near room temperature, such as rolling, pressing, stamping, bending, etc. Stock bars and sheets of cold-rolled steel (CRS) are commonly used in all areas of manufacturing. The terms are opposed to hot-formed steel and hot-rolled steel.
Cold-formed steel, especially in the form of thin gauge sheets, is commonly used in the construction industry for structural or non-structural items such as columns, beams, joists, studs, floor decking, built-up sections and other components. Such uses have become more and more popular in the US since their standardization in 1946.
Cold-formed steel members have been used also in bridges, storage racks, grain bins, car bodies, railway coaches, highway products, transmission towers, transmission poles, drainage facilities, firearms, various types of equipment and others. These types of sections are cold-formed from steel sheet, strip, plate, or flat bar in roll forming machines, by press brake (machine press) or bending operations.
The material thicknesses for such thin-walled steel members usually range from 0.0147 in. (0.373 mm) to about ¼ in. (6.35 mm). Steel plates and bars as thick as 1 in. (25.4 mm) can also be cold-formed successfully into structural shapes (AISI, 2007b). The use of cold-formed steel members in building construction began in the 1850s in both the United States and Great Britain.
In the 1920s and 1930s, acceptance of cold-formed steel as a construction material was still limited because there was no adequate design standard and limited information on material use in building codes. One of the first documented uses of cold-formed steel as a building material is the Virginia Baptist Hospital, constructed around 1925 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Cold-formed Steel framing:
Cold-formed steel framing (CFSF) refers specifically to members in light-frame building construction that are made entirely of sheet steel, formed to various shapes at ambient temperatures. The most common shape for CFSF members is a lipped channel, although “Z”, “C”, tubular, “hat” and other shapes and variations have been used. The building elements that are most often framed with cold-formed steel are floors, roofs, and walls, although other building elements and both structural and decorative assemblies may be steel framed.
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