Cast your eyes toward the skyline the next time you are walking around the city. You’ll notice that there are buildings of all shapes, sizes, and heights. What you probably don’t realise, right off the bat, is that each building might be constructed by using incredibly different framing mechanisms. Here at A+ Steel Fabrication, we understand the power that knowledge and education can have with our potential customers. So, in order to learn a little more about the industry, we are going to focus our discussion on the different types of structural steel framing systems used when erecting a building. Are you ready to learn a little more about this fascinating industry?

Different Types of Structural Steel Framing Systems

When a building is erected, builders must use the correct type of framing system so that their work can progress in a safe and efficient manner. There are a variety of different structural steel framing systems that are used in the construction field and most of them are relatively obscure to the casual reader. Let’s break down the most common types of structural steel framing systems so that you can get a better understanding of the job that we do

Types of Structural Steel

Universal Columns

Also known as “H” beams, universal columns are used to provide structural support, and they are normally used to carry vertical loads. Steel is famous for its compressive and tensile properties, and universal columns are designed to withstand heavy compressive loads. Universal columns can be found all over Australia within warehouses, bridges, factories, residential developments and more. Structural steel has many uses within a wide range of industries including engineering, mining, transport and storage, residential construction, commercial construction and the manufacturing industry.

We stock structural steel in a wide range of sizes to suit all applications, and we provide a range of processing services including cut to length, drilling, mitre cutting and more to meet your needs.

Universal Beams

Universal beams serve a dual purpose. They provide structural support; however, they also serve to hold the building together in the event of severe force/shock. Universal beams are used in horizontal applications (i.e. roof support), and they are often used in conjunction with columns. Offering strong resistance against bending/twisting, Mascot Steel stock universal beams from high-quality steel in all the most popular sizes, enabling us to provide fast turn-around times that keep your project on track for success.

We supply both light and heavy steel beams from modern rolling mills. All products are designed to meet or exceed Australian Standards (AS), and where possible we are more than happy to assist with custom requests.

Steel is a versatile metal used commonly in modern buildings due to its unique aesthetic appeal. There are several types of structural steel sections used for various purposes. Let’s look at some of the most common types of structural steel and their features.

Angled sections
Angled section or a steel angle is a type of structural steel with an L-shaped cross-section. The L shaped sides can be equal or unequal. The most common steel angles come at a 90-degree angle. Steel angles are used in many modern buildings, building frames, factories, and in many everyday applications like shelves, bed frames, chairs, benches, etc.

Types of steel structures-steel angle

Parallel flange channels
Parallel flange channels or C-channels are U-shaped with its two sides parallel to each other and of the same length. They have high strength and durability and are essential components of many structural applications.

Tapered flange beams
Tapered flange beams look similar to I-shaped universal beams, but with tapered flanges. They are commonly used in residential and non-residential construction.

Rectangular Hollow Section
RHS is one of the most common types of structural steel used in the steel industry. Rectangular hollow section or RHS is a metal profile type with a rectangular hollow cross-section. They are commonly used in construction projects and handyman projects like gates and posts.

RHS-structural steel

Square Hollow Section
Square hollow section or SHS is a metal profile type with a square hollow cross-section. They are ideal for a wide variety of domestic, industrial, agricultural, or commercial applications.

Flat bar
A flat bar is a flat rectangular section with its edges in square shape. They are one of the most useful and versatile steel structures. They are used in support braces, gates, latches, heaters, refrigerators, ovens, etc. They can easily be cut and molded into different shapes due to its flat and sleek structure.

Steel plate
The steel plate is formed by compressing many layers of steel sheets to form a plat of steel. They come with higher thicknesses than sheet steel and so they are used in applications where very high levels of durability are required. They are often used in construction, marine, offshore and military applications.

Checker plate
A checker plate or chequered plate is a type of steel plate with a regular pattern of projections like diamond or other shapes on one side while the other side being smooth. Checker plate sheets provide grip for pedestrians and can protect heavy traffic areas from abrasion.

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Benefits of Structural Steel


The ability to mould and bend steel into different shaped sections means that steel is one of the most structurally sound materials used in construction. The mechanical properties of steel are derived from an array of constituents, including its chemical makeup and its manufacturing process and heat treatment.

A major element in the composition of construction steel is iron; however, the strength of steel can be markedly increased by the addition of various alloys, such as manganese and niobium. While these elements may ultimately strengthen steel, they can also have negative effects on other properties like ductility and weldability.

Mechanical working of steel also plays a part in its overall strength – generally, the more steel is ‘rolled’, the stronger it becomes. Steel also has an extremely high strength to weight ratio, meaning that structurally it is lighter – this has a massive impact on overall building costs.


In most instances, structural steel is the most cost-effective option in construction. In the past 30 years, advancements in steel production processes have seen productivity rates increase exponentially. The time that it takes to produce a single tonne of steel is significantly lower, meaning that as a base material it is much cheaper.

Advancements in steel fabrication and detailing processes have also meant that structural steel is ultimately becoming much cheaper. Grab a steel fabrication quote from us here and see the results yourself. To be cost effective also look for steel fabrication in Melbourne and find experts like Austeel.