Cold-formed steel is widely used in buildings, automobiles, equipment, home and office furniture, utility poles, storage racks, grain bins, highway products, drainage facilities, and bridges. Its popularity can be attributed to ease of mass production and prefabrication, uniform quality, lightweight designs, economy in transportation and handling, and quick and simple erection or installation.
In building construction, cold-formed steel products can be classified into three categories: members, panels, and prefabricated assemblies. Typical cold-formed steel members such as studs, track, purlins, girts and angles are mainly used for carrying loads while panels and decks constitute useful surfaces such as floors, roofs and walls, in addition to resisting in-plane and out-of-plane surface loads. Prefabricated cold-formed steel assemblies include roof trusses, panelized walls or floors, and other prefabricated structural assemblies. Cold-formed steel possesses a significant market share because of its advantages over other construction materials and the industry-wide support provided by various organizations that promote cold-formed steel research and products, including codes and standards development that is spearheaded by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).