Metal railing systems are a typical solution for applications that include stairs, ramps, drop offs and uneven walkways. Metal railings utilize the same basic structural components as wood railings; a top handrail, a bottom rail or track, balusters or newel posts for main load transfer to the walking surface, and infill panels, pickets or spindles.
Items Tagged with: Div05
Metal stairs are an important component of most multi-story buildings and provide a variety of design options. Typical design configurations are straight run, L-shaped, and switch-back. Spiral stair systems fabricated from metal components are also common and offer many design options. A metal stair system can be designed as a multi-story self-supporting structural unit, independent of the building structure, or as a single flight of stairs that is structurally supported at each floor or landing. One of the biggest benefits of a self-supporting stair system is that it can be installed independently of the floor structure. More commonly, stair systems are designed in single flight segments and require structural support through a connection to a floor structure or vertical columns. Metal stair systems are fabricated at a metal shop or facility based on job-specific shop drawings and are delivered to the site in segments to facilitate erection.
Decorative metal can be defined as metal that provides architectural decoration but has no structural value. Metal can be formed into countless shapes while still retaining many advantageous properties. A wide variety of metals and alloys can be used, including aluminum, brass, steel, tin, silver, gold, and wrought iron. Examples of decorative metal uses are countless but include spiral staircases, guardrails, handrails, gates, decorative brackets, and cornices. For certain projects, designers may specify metals that will react to the elements, resulting in a modified surface appearance called a patina. Other projects may call for painting or factory finishing to protect the metal or add aesthetic detail.
Formed metal fabrications include column covers, metal panels, and other metal fabrications that are used in the building industry. Through a variety of different processes, most metals can be formed into virtually any shape. Metal forming processes include roll forming, stamping and brake forming. All processes begin with sheet metal of varying gauges – a higher gauge corresponds to a thinner sheet. Aluminum, stainless steel and galvanized steel are all common materials used to fabricate formed metal components.
Metal casting is the process in which metal is melted and poured into molds, where it is allowed to solidify. Metal casting is one of the world’s largest industries, with over 2000 metal casters producing 13 to 15 million tons of castings annually. Metal casting is often used for making complex shapes which would otherwise be difficult or more expensive to produce.
Metal railing systems are a typical feature of design elements such as stairs, ramps, drop-offs and uneven walkways. Metal railings utilize the same basic structural components as wood railings: a top handrail; a bottom rail or track; balusters or newel posts for main load transfer to the walking surface; and infill panels, pickets or spindles. While the design of railing systems must meet stringent code requirements for safety and structural support, metal railing systems offer a broad range of design options from a basic picket rail to an industrial wire mesh panel to custom artistic designs. The structural capacity, durability, and ease of fabrication of metal railing systems provide some advantage over wood railings, but they are generally more expensive.
Cold formed metal trusses, or lightweight metal trusses, are used in commercial and residential construction and have similar profiles, pitches and applications as wood trusses. Cold formed metal trusses are commonly fabricated from heavier gauge cold formed c-channels and are mechanically fastened to a structure using clips.
Cold formed metal joists can be used for residential and commercial floor and roof construction. Metal joists are relatively lightweight, relatively easy to maneuver, and have a high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing the joists to span long distances.
Structural metal stud framing refers to the construction of walls and planes using cold-formed steel components. There are two main components of metal stud framing, a stud and a track. Heavier gauge metal studs are used in load bearing walls and structural applications such as exterior walls. Lighter gauge metal studs are used in non-load bearing applications such as some interior walls, half-walls, and partitions.
Cold formed metal framing consists of structural and non-structural elements that are shaped using press braking or roll forming. No heat is used in either formation method. Cold formed metal framing includes structural metal stud framing, slotted channel framing, and cold formed metal roof and floor joist framing, as well as all metal support assemblies. Over the past several decades, the use of cold formed metal framing has increased in the residential and multi-family market. Cold formed metal framing provides designers with as much, if not more, flexibility as wood framing.