Cold-formed steel framing is an offsite manufacturing process that uses light steel sections to produce pre-fabricated infill wall panels and load-bearing walls that are used in light steel-framed buildings and modular construction. Common light gauge products include C-sections, purlins, side rails, walling, composite panels and built-up cladding solutions.
Lightweight components are produced by cold forming thin gauge strip material to specific section profiles. In most cases, galvanized steel strip material is used. Light steel components are produced in high volumes by cold rolling and in low volumes by press braking. Thicknesses typically vary from 1.2 to 3.2 mm.
Light steel components are widely used as secondary structural steelwork in single storey industrial buildings. Other common uses for light steel framing are residential type buildings of 4 to 10 storeys e.g. apartments, hotels and student accommodation. It is also used in housing, particularly 2 and 3 storey houses with habitable roof space, and applications where its light weight is beneficial such as mixed-use buildings, including residential space over supermarkets.
William Worthington, Metframe Sales Manager, Metsec, says: “The general interest in offsite construction is at an all-time high, with several reports and research being published focusing on this method of building.
“With the residential construction market under pressure, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the construction industry is currently unable to meet the housing demand, and government-backed publications and professionals are highlighting problems with quality and capacity.”