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University of Louisville Wrapping Up Papa John’s Stadium Expansion
Posted by Rob Kinchler on June 17, 2010 at 2:44 PM.

Increasing capacity from 42,000 to 57,000, the new expansion is supported by a steel frame.  Check out the pictures in the link below.  Steel columns are partially wrapped in concrete for architectural considerations.  Raker beams, lateral bracing, and gravity supports are all framed with steel.  Built by Abel Construction out of Louisville, the east side entrance includes a new gate with two massive 50 to 75-foot columns supporting the stadium name.  It has a new jumbotron video screen added at the south end of the stadium at the rear of the new walkway connecting the east and west sides. The Louisville football stadium expansion is almost complete.   


To see photos and read more about the stadium from the Card Game web site, go to

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Steel Supports High-elevation Project
Posted by Alison Trost on June 17, 2010 at 8:07 AM.

Stiffness of the framing components is one of the key criteria for the structure that will house the world’s largest optical telescope now under construction on the big island of Hawaii. Constructing the observatory for the Thirty Meter Telescope, dubbed TMT, also poses another significant challenge: the construction site is at 14,000 ft.

An article from the Journal of Commerce describes the project – read it at

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Steel Makeover Under Way in Toronto
Posted by Daniel Popp on June 16, 2010 at 9:48 AM.

The Maple Leaf Gardens ice rink in Toronto is getting a steel makeover. It was home to the city’s NHL team from the time of its construction in 1931 until 1999, and has been used very little since then. However, a conversion is under way that will see it become a new athletic facility for Ryerson University built over top of a Loblaw supermarket.


 To see photos and read more about the structure’s unusual steel truss roof support from the Daily Commercial News and Construction Record, go to


Meet the MSC contributing web editors

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NAAMM Issues Warning on Chinese Metal Bar Grating
Posted by Alison Trost on June 15, 2010 at 2:58 PM.

The National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) is advising manufacturers, fabricators, specifiers, and end-users of metal bar grating that there is reason to believe some Chinese steel used in grating does not meet the ANSI/NAAMM standards for such products.  This advisory is based on the United States Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s “Certain Steel Grating from the People’s Republic of China:  Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value” and the accompanying “Certain Steel Grating from the People’s Republic of China:  Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination,” both dated May 28, 2010. 

The U.S. Commerce Department’s “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination” states:  based on the mandatory respondent’s “own admission and the statement of its suppliers,” its “supporting documents defining its consumption of steel inputs (i.e. , hot –rolled steel strip and wire rod) for the merchandise under consideration, clearly contain false information.”  Further the memorandum states, “When comparing the suppliers’ mill test certificates from our (U.S. Commerce Department) verification exhibits to mill test certificates we obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, we found material mismatches.”    Further, in the U.S. Commerce Department’s “Certain Steel Grating from the People’s Republic of China:  Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value”, it states the mandatory respondent “creates its own mill test certificates that it admits are unreliable, and that it has no ability to determine with its own analysis the chemical properties of any steel that it purchases.”   We encourage all interested parties to read the Commerce Department documents to which links are provided below.


To read the United States Department of Commerce “Certain Steel Grating from the People’s Republic of China:  Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination,” visit

To read the United States Department of Commerce Final Determination, “Certain Steel Grating from the People’s Republic of China:  Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value,” visit

NAAMM is issuing this notice to interested parties wishing to purchase or specify grating manufactured to NAAMM standards, to make them aware that when selecting grating, they should take appropriate measures to verify the grating is manufactured to NAAMM standards.  


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Willis Tower Ledge, UAE Pavilion Impress Structural Engineers
Posted by Alison Trost on June 14, 2010 at 3:41 PM.

No surprise: the glass-floored and -walled visitor observation bump-out at the 103rd floor of Chicago’s 1450-ft-tall Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) was one of the jury’s favorites in the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois 2009 excellence in engineering awards program.  The winners were announced June 6.
Also honored was the Shanghai Expo pavilion for the United Arab Emirates, designed by Chicago-based Halvorson and Partners.
Chicago Tribune columnist Blair Kamin was one of the jurors, and you can read his take on these and other SEAOI winners at
Want to know more about the Ledge? Go to
To read more about Halvorson and Partners’ sand-dune inspired UAE pavilion, go to

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Derivatives and Daylight
Posted by Tom Klemens on June 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM.

Sunset in Door County, Wis., August 2009

Because an engineering view of the world includes a combination of respect for, and curiosity about, physical phenomena, we offer this timely (although not directly steel-related) item for your consideration.


When is the longest day of the year? For those in the northern hemisphere, it is the summer solstice, coming up one week from today on June 21. But did you know that this week is when we experience the earliest sunrise of the year? For us in Chicago, on the eastern edge of the Central time zone, sunrise has been holding steady* at 5:15 a.m. since June 10. (Incidentally, without daylight savings it would be an hour earlier. What a thought!) On June 20 sunrise will slip to 5:16 for the next four days including the summer solstice.


Meanwhile, the sun continues to set later. It bottoms out after the summer solstice, between June 23 and July 1, when sunset officially is at 8:30 p.m. (It’s actually far more official to say 1930 Central Standard Time.)


The U.S. Naval Observatory is charged with keeping track of such things and offers a bounty of interesting astronomical information on its website,   


For example, you can generate a printable table of sun and moon rise/set times for your area by going to


While you’re there, click through to “The Sky This Week” for June 8-15. It includes a more complete explanation of the “solstice season” that we have now entered.


Be sure to also visit the Astronomical Information Center portion of the USNO site, which you can reach by going to There you can learn things like why the longest day of the year is longer as you get further away from the equator. (In Chicago, daylight on June 21 is an hour and 20 minutes longer than it is in Miami, for example.)


Welcome to summer!


* For those who want a formulaic approach, this week the second derivative with respect to the time of sunrise is zero. If you prefer a simile, it’s like those last few moments as the roller coaster goes over the top of the lift hill.

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Steel Shots: World Cup Stadium
Posted by Alison Trost on June 11, 2010 at 8:27 AM.

Steel Shots: World Cup Stadium
The 43,500 seats in Mbombela Stadium are painted in a zebra-like pattern while the roof truss supports resemble giraffes. The stadium’s name translates to “many people together in a small space.” Click here to find out more about the Mbombela Stadium.


Mbombela Stadium is one of the 10 different arenas in South Africa that will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup beginning today, June 11. Located in Nelspruit (Mpumalanga Province) this stadium is not only visually stunning but also designed with structural enhancements to mesh with the surrounding environment. (Look for the resemblance to giraffes in the architect’s photos, or click here for the Google Earth perspective.)


For more information on this and South Africa’s other World Cup stadiums read the article from - “The Best Seats on Earth: South Africa’s World Cup Stadiums.”


For more pictures of the Mbombela Stadium visit r+l Architects website.


For more information on the different stadiums, or to find out more about the 2010 FIFA World Cup visit

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Design Guide 24: Hollow Structural Steel Connections
Posted by Alison Trost on June 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM.

AISC’s Steel Design Guide 24: Hollow Structural Steel Connections is now available. This new design guide addresses bolting and welding issues for connections involving hollow structural sections (HSS), as well as providing design provisions for various configurations of HSS connections and the applicable limit states. Some of the topics included are:


  • Moment connections; including W-shape beams to HSS columns, continuous beams over HSS columns, through-plate connections, directly welded connections
  • Tension and compression connections;  including end tee connections, slotted HSS/gusset connections, end plate on round HSS, end plates on rectangular HSS.
  • Branch loads, line loads and concentrated forces on HSS
  • HSS-to-HSS truss connections
  • HSS-to-HSS moment connections


AISC members can download Steel Design Guide 24 for free by logging in to and going to the design guide page, or by clicking here. Non members can purchase the document through the online bookstore by clicking here.

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Steel Camp in Houston: June 24-25
Posted by Alison Trost on June 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM.

If you would like to earn 15 hours of Continuing Education Credit the 2-day Steel Camp in Houston is for you. Topics to be covered:


    * HSS Connection Design

    * Chapter N - Quality Control and Assurance

    * Panel Discussion - Sponsored by the Structural Engineers Association of Texas

    * Effective Steel Design: Step-by-Step Design for Commercial and
Industrial Buildings


To register click here.


To find out more about this event or the other upcoming Steel Camps visit

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Where Did That Load Come From?
Posted by Alison Trost on June 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM.

Find out on July 15 with a live webinar from AISC Continuing Education. The webinar “Where Did That Load Come From? Combining Diaphragm and Frame Forces” will start at 12:30 p.m. Central Time and is presented by Rafael Sabelli, S.E., Director of Seismic Design, Walter P. Moore and Associates, San Francisco. For more information on this webinar or to register click here.

For more information on other webinars and continuing education events click here.

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