The traditional process for steelmaking resulted in blocks of steel known as ingots or billets, which then needed to be processed into useful forms.
Cables are manufactured from individual wires which themselves are made by drawing the end of a rolled rod through a tapered hole. Wire can be galvanised or sheathed to prevent corrosion. Stainless steel wire can also be produced.
For complex shapes, which may be too expensive or impractical to fabricate, or where there is sufficient repetition of details, steel castings may be an appropriate solution.
Steel members of any standard section can be curved. The curve can be about the major or minor axis; reversed curves and hoop shapes are also possible.
Non standard steel sections can be fabricated where architectural or structural solutions dictate standard sections inappropriate.
Most structural sections used by architects and engineers are formed by hot-rolling in a range of standard sizes.
Designers can select from a wide range of standard steel sections to determine the profile, size and weight appropriate for the majority of situations; the following figure illustrates some of the most common sections used for structural steelwork.
The two principal ways of making structural hollow sections are the seamless method or by welding.