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Steel Shots: Heat!
Posted by Jennifer Jernigan on May 28, 2010 at 9:40 AM.

Steel Shots: Heat!

Heating the flange of a steel girder has predictable effects that can be used to introduce curvature in a very controlled way. Temperature-indicating materials show when enough heat has been applied to the area.


Heat curving is a common process used on bridge girders to obtain a specified curvature needed for construction. Two common methods of curving are Continuous and V-type heating. Heat is applied to both the top and bottom flanges of the girder to achieve uniform curvatures.


Special temperature-indicating materials are used to insure the steel is not heated to a temperature above the maximum allowable. One option is to use crayons that have a calibrated melting point and only leave a mark when that temperature has been reached. Another option is to apply a swatch of a lacquer-like liquid, that is similarly calibrated. Once the specific temperature is reached, its appearance changes from dull and chalky to a shiny wet-look.


To learn more about using heat on steel members consult Section 5 of the Steel Bridge Fabrication Guide Specifications, a standard developed by the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration. The standard is available as a free PDF download from the National Steel Bridge Alliance website,, in the Collaboration area. To go straight to the Guide, click here.


A program offered on the Steel Detailers Inc. website can be helpful in planning V-heat locations and temperatures to obtain a desired curvature.

One source of temperature-indicating materials and information about the technology is


Meet the MSC contributing web editors

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June MSC Preview: Play Ball!
Posted by Alison Trost on May 27, 2010 at 8:12 AM.

image-2_courtesy-mortenson-construction-and-blue-sky-aerial-photography.jpgSummer is here, which means hot dogs at the ball park and the arrival of the June issue of Modern Steel Construction. Enjoy the long weekend, then check out the new home of the Minnesota Twins along with Steel Bridge News in the issue which goes live online next Tuesday, June 1, at

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You’re Invited to a Software Launch
Posted by Alison Trost on May 26, 2010 at 11:38 AM.

AceCad Software has issued an open invitation for members of the structural steel industry to attend the North American launch of its new evolution suite on June 23 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at Chicago’s Navy Pier. The launch will include a demonstration of the evolution suite and a discussion about the future of the industry. In addition to enhancements of earlier components, the evolution suite features redeveloped solutions including StruWalker, a collaborative 3D project review tool and StruConnect, a load calculation program based on the latest AISC code.
For more information and to register for the launch event, visit and scroll to the information panel at the bottom of the page.

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Updated Seismic Standard for Cold-Formed Steel
Posted by Alison Trost on May 25, 2010 at 9:50 AM.

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has published an update to its S110-07-S1-09, Standard for Seismic Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Systems—Special Bolted Moment Frames With Supplement No. 1. The standard addresses the design and construction of cold-formed steel seismic force-resisting systems (SFRS) in buildings and other structures, with focus on the special bolted moment frame (CFS-SBMF) system.

Cold-formed steel special bolted moment frames have been widely used in industrial platforms, and the system is potentially suitable for a broad range of construction applications. Revisions and additions were made in Supplement No. 1 to ensure that the application of the design provisions remains within the configurations used in the initial research of special bolted moment frames. The commentary on the standard is also included, which provides important background information. This standard should be used in conjunction with AISI S100-07, The North American Specification for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members. All of these publications are available for purchase online at AISI’s Publications Bookstore at

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Online Edition of AISC’s Engineering Journal Debuts
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 24, 2010 at 10:17 AM.

ej1.jpgThe current issue of AISC’s popular technical quarterly, Engineering Journal, is now available to all AISC members in digital edition format. Members can access the First Quarter 2010 issue of Engineering Journal by clicking here. Members can read, print, and search the current issue online until the subsequent issue becomes available.


“We think the digital edition enhancement will make EJ even more accessible to our readers,” said Keith Grubb, editor of Engineering Journal. “Currently, each member firm receives one printed copy of EJ. A recent reader survey told us that the firm’s copy wasn’t being circulated as widely as we would like. The digital edition format allows all members to browse the latest issue of EJ in a timely fashion.”


Article searches remain available at Downloads of current and past articles remain free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers. Non-members may download individual articles for a nominal fee.


AISC will continue to mail paper copies of the journal to member firms and will continue to offer personal mailed subscription copies to individual members at $20 by clicking here


We welcome your feedback on this enhancement. Feel free to e-mail your comments to Keith Grubb at

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Steel Shot: Capturing the Moments
Posted by Alison Trost on May 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM.

Steel Shots:Capturing the Moment

This poster showing the winning photos in the 2009 AISC Student Photo Contest was on display at the SteelDay event in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Jennifer Jernigan’s winning set of photos was subsequently published in the November issue of MSC.


In conjunction with SteelDay 2010, AISC is again sponsoring a Student Photo Contest. The contest is designed to capture the essence of SteelDay and is open to any student currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program at an accredited domestic college or university.


Each entry should include a set of three photographs that together pictorially demonstrate the combination of structural steel and the theme “Interact. Learn. Build.” A brief explanation, completed application form and signed release form also are required. There is no entry fee.


Deadline for entries is Saturday, September 18, 2010. The winner will be announced on SteelDay 2010 (September 24). The winning photos will be published in Modern Steel Construction.


For more information, click here.

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Entries Sought for 2010 N.A. Tekla Structures BIM Awards
Posted by Alison Trost on May 20, 2010 at 3:17 PM.

The annual North America Tekla Structures BIM Awards (formerly Tekla Model Competition) program is now accepting entries. All participants will receive a special gift and winning projects for each category will receive a Tekla Structures Viewer and two tickets to the 2011 Tekla User Meeting.


Award categories are:

Category 1 – Industrial/Civil Model – Steel and/or Concrete

Category 2 – Commercial/Institutional Model – Steel

Category 3 – Commercial/Institutional Model – Concrete

Category 4 – Collaborative Project


All North America BIM Award winners are automatically entered into the Tekla Global BIM Awards. All Tekla Structures users are encouraged to participate. There is no fee to enter. Submit your project on or before July 23, 2010.


Download the full rules and regulations here.


For more information visit

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Steelmaker Recognized for Environmental Responsibility
Posted by Alison Trost on May 20, 2010 at 8:32 AM.

Gerdau Ameristeel continues to take a leadership role in environmental efforts and has been included in the Standard& Poor / Toronto Stock Exchange’s new Clean Technology Index, which measures the performance of TSX-listed companies on their involvement in developing and using green technologies. The index was compiled according to a methodology focused on screening companies’ strategic commitment to areas ranging from renewable energy and energy efficiency to waste reduction and use of low-impact materials.


The requirements also went beyond environmental efforts. To qualify, a company must have been listed on the TSX for no less than a year, have at least $100 million in float-adjusted market capitalization, and its shares must pass a minimum liquidity test.


Gerdau Ameristeel has a long-standing commitment to environmental efforts and is one of the largest recyclers in Canada and the U.S., using scrap metal to produce steel products. According to Ron Watkins, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), Gerdau Ameristeel’s inclusion in the index is an example of how the industry has become environmentally responsible.


More information about the Clean Technology Index (CTIUS) is available at


To learn more about Gerdau Ameristeel, go to

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Student Steel Bridge Competition Just 9 Days From Now
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM.

Congratulations from AISC to all of the schools and teams that participated in the 2010 Steel Student Bridge Competitions. This year 198 teams competed from throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and China. Good luck to the 46 teams that have qualified to attend the National Student Steel Bridge Competition at Purdue University on May 28 and 29.


California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California State University, Northridge
Clemson University
Colorado School of MinesThe MSU team scrambles to erect its entry at the March 27 North Central regional competition at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich. Photo: Nancy Gavlin
Cooper Union
Drexel University
Florida International University
Howard University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Kansas State University
Lafayette College
Lakehead University
L’Ecole de technologie superieure
Louisiana State University
Louisiana Tech University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan State University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
North Dakota State University
Purdue University
Rowan University
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Texas A&M University
The Citadel
The Ohio State University
Universite Laval
University of Akron
University of British Columbia
University of Buffalo
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of Central Florida
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Hawaii
University of Idaho
University of Illinois
University of Kansas
University of Michigan
University of Texas, San Antonio
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wyoming
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Washington State University
Youngstown State University


To learn more about this year’s national finals on the Purdue website, go to The bridges will be on display Friday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. on the Engineering Mall. The main competition is Saturday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Armory. Visitors are welcome!


To view a recent MSC article about the Student Steel Bridge Competition, go to (and scroll to the third page).

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Large Scale Shrink Wrapping
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM.

Fast Wrap is a national mobile shrink wrapping franchise that is serving the construction industry by wrapping everything from half finished projects and idle equipment to foreclosed homes.


The plastic wrapping material is recyclable, fire-retardant, and comes in four colors, all while providing protection from hazardous elements such as mold, mildew and algae.


Learn more about the process and the company at


To watch a 3-minute video of the process in action, click here.

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