Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » August 2010

Archive for August 2010

Back to all posts

BIM Awards Voting Opens
Posted by Alison Trost on August 9, 2010 at 9:56 AM.

Voting opens today for the annual North America BIM Awards, sponsored by Tekla, and goes through Thursday, August 12. To check out this year’s entries and cast your vote for your favorite in categories 1-3, click here.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: What We Did on Our Summer Vacation, Part 2
Posted by Alison Trost on August 6, 2010 at 11:15 AM.

Steel Shots: What We Did on Our Summer Vacation, Part 2

Steel rail sections begin to take shape as they drop from the continuous caster and turn onto the rolling line. Although already beginning to cool and transition to a solid state, the ductile and glowing steel bloom still registers a balmy 1800 *F.


Passing by a steel mill and stealing a glance from the road, it’s hard not to notice the massive size of the buildings and overall complex. Even so, it was still awe-inspiring to enter the Steel Dynamics Inc. mill in Columbia City, Ind., in mid-July and see the cavernous expanse of equipment and intricate machinery. The sheer size and complexity of this industrial operation is impressive to say the least.


At any one point in the mill you may find a multi-ton piece of machinery with pipes, compressors, nozzles, and more, choreographed in an intricate ballet of technological mastery. As filtered daylight streams through windows high above, dimly illuminating hundreds of linear feet of similar machinery, a latticework of stairs, and several control “pulpits,” cranes and gigantic ladles maneuver overhead and you begin to get a sense of how extraordinary this operation really is.


We were also struck by how little material requires rework compared to the overall volume of steel sections being produced. Day in and day out, these steel shapes are rolled and sent out for fabrication, and we’ve already seen how much work goes on there. Looking around us, it’s easy to see how reliable a steel solution is.

– Liz Rehwoldt and Zack Stutts, AISC Interns


Bookmark and Share

Student Bridge Contest 2011 Rules Available
Posted by Alison Trost on August 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM.

The official rules for the 2011 Student Steel Bridge Contest, sponsored by AISC and ASCE, have been released. They are available as a PDF download at


As usual, the Problem Statement lays out an interesting and challenging steel bridge project for students to design, fabricate and build. Notable changes in the 2011 specifications include (but are definitely not limited to):


  • a longer length
  • inclusion of a cantilever section at one end of the bridge
  • a change from specific footings to foundation easements
  • modified member size requirements


 As is customary, entries will be designed and built as 1:10 scale models of the proposed structure.


To learn more, visit


To view photos on the Modern Steel Construction website from the final round of 2010 competition, click here.

Bookmark and Share

Where Does Steel Come From?
Posted by Tom Klemens on August 5, 2010 at 8:09 AM.

In 1959 U.S. Steel released its 22-minute animated industrial film “Rhapsody of Steel.” Made by John Sutherland (who got his start working on Disney’s “Bambi”), the film explained not only the origins of steel and how it’s made, but also looked ahead to the role steel would play in the future (i.e., today). It featured the Pittsburgh Symphony playing an original score by Oscar-award winning composer Dmitri Tiomkin.


We had a copy of the soundtrack recording when I was growing up. One side had the narration, the other was just the music. I played that record over and over, flipping through the pages of the read-along storybook that came with it. My dad had worked at U.S. Steel for several years, so I’m sure we went to see it in the theater, too.


I thought that was nothing but a bunch of memories until I recently came across the Animation Archive on the International Animated Film Society: ASIFA-Hollywood website. You can view the film there by visiting


Incidentally, The American Iron and Steel Institute also has posted several videos showing actual footage of mill operations. They include the older two-part series “Steel – The Metal Giant” and the more recent three-part series “New Steel – The Strength of the Future.” You can view the AISI videos on its YouTube channel by clicking here.

Bookmark and Share

Thermal Isolation for Steel Connections
Posted by Jim D'Aloisio on August 3, 2010 at 3:44 PM.

Building designers who take advantage of the versatility of structural steel frequently design steel elements extending across the insulated building envelope, from the interior to the exterior of the building. This can cause the building to incur significant heat loss in the cool winter months and heat gain in the summer months, since steel conducts heat  so well, compared to other materials. This phenomenon is called thermal steel bridging.


One way to address this problem is to employ proprietary structural connection systems that provide a barrier to heat transfer, while transferring shear, bending, and axial forces across the interface, maintaining the continuity of a steel beam as it passes through the building skin. This is the description of the Schock Isokorb system - It has been used in Europe and other countries for many years. They have recently published data on the capacities of their systems in Imperial Units, which makes them much easier to use in the U.S. Contact Area Manager Alexander Krenczik for


Meet the MSC contributing web editors 

Bookmark and Share

SteelDay Expands to Italy
Posted by Tom Klemens on August 2, 2010 at 12:34 PM.

AISC has named the Italian organization Promozione Accaiaio an International SteelDay Partner. The group, which includes the Zinco Global Network, will host the inaugural Italian SteelDay event in Brescia. Scheduled this year for September 24, SteelDay has become a worldwide event that encourages architects, engineers, contractors, and specifiers to learn about steel design and construction by visiting steel facilities for free educational programs and networking activities. To read more about this partnership on the AISC website, click here.


The musical group VULCANICA Percussionisti su bidoni Industriali, which features “Music and emotions drawn from steel, naturally!” (”Musica ed emozioni tratte dall’acciaio, naturalmente!”), is scheduled to perform. For a preview, visit and select Video.


To learn more about SteelDay Brescia 2010, visit (Hint: This is a good opportunity to investigate your browser’s translation capabilities.)


For more information on U.S. events as well as links to partner sites and photos and videos from SteelDay 2009, go to

Bookmark and Share