In architecture and engineering, there is a term called rectangular hollow section. This term refers to a particular metal profile in which structural steel forms a hollow tube that is shaped as either a rectangle, square, ellipse, circle or other shape. Steel hollow section is also referred to as hollow structural section.
The corners of rectangular hollow sections are rounded heavily to provide a radius that is completely uniform and approximately twice the thickness of the wall. This term is used only in American engineering as other countries follow the metric system for measurement.
These steel hollow sections can be seen in many different uses. When there are many different directions of a load being experienced by a frame, it is very common to use a rectangular section. Different shaped hollow sections such as squares or circles are more often seen when there are multiple axis’ because they will provide a more uniform strength. Rectangular hollow sections are great choices for columns and provide above-par torsion resistance.
There are also some less common applications of a rectangular hollow section such as beams (including I-beams and wide flange). This is considered less common because there are more efficient shapes for this application from a structural perspective. The reason that the rectangular hollow section might be used is because it has a lesser likelihood of buckling due to lateral torsion.
Square hollow sections boast aesthetically pleasing surfaces which are flat and square in nature. This makes them more likely to be exposed because they are more attractive to be seen.
The rectangular hollow sections are manufactured in the same way that pipe is manufactured. The process involves a flat steel plate which has a shape that is gradually altered so that it will become round by the edges and be ready for welding. Once this is complete, the edges are then welded together which will for the main tube. During this lengthy process of manufacturing, the main mother tube will withstand a series of shaping stands before it finally is formed into the last rectangular shape. American manufacturers continue to use the standards for manufacturer, while Canadian and European manufacturers have worked to update their process.
Because of both their function and their attractive look, rectangular hollow sections are often used in many different types of buildings. They can be found in skyscrapers, on bridges, and in many different types of buildings.