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How to calculate structural steel weight

How to calculate structural steel weight
Photo by Danist Soh on Unsplash

Calculating steel weight is crucial to get the most accurate results when constructing, arranging building projects and budgeting material. Since there are a huge number of steel materials (about 1500), it is essential to know the constructional weight of each steel material. 

Based on the characteristics of the steel, it is possible to distinguish the basic values of steel which can help in calculating steel weight.

They are density, linear expansion coefficient, elastic and shear moduli. By chemical composition, there is doped and carbonaceous steel. In the latter, along with the addition of iron and carbon, manganese (0.1–1.0%) and silicon (up to 0.4%) are also added to the mix.

In order to add special properties to steel, manufacturers sometimes add harmful impurities: phosphorus gives brittleness at low temperatures, and when heated to certain temperatures, it reduces ductility; sulfur forms small cracks (red brittleness) at high temperatures. I can be used in some projects. 

At the same time, when calculating construction and other structures, and parts, to solve other problems and issues, it is necessary to know the weight of the structural steel. When paying, shipping accounting of this material, the values are in kilograms and tons.

In addition, in order to choose the right delivery method required for this type and the type of vehicle, it is not enough to know the length, and dimensions of a steel batch, it is important to have data on its mass.

There are two ways how you can calculate structural steel weight: by applying the formula of calculation and using a special calculator of weights online. 

First off, you can calculate the specific weight of steel using the following formula: y=P/V, where P is the weight of a homogeneous body, and V is the volume of the combination.

The resulting parameter is constant and works only when the steel is of an absolutely dense state and non-porous structure.

There are some tables in the reference books which allow you to know a meter-long product’s weight. They allow you to find out the weight of a running meter of metal products, based on the available dimensional characteristics and do it quickly, and without calculations.

Opposite to the diameters of the bars, round product mass is indicated in 1 m of length, the cross-sectional area and the number of meters in 1 ton. The weight of a steel circle is calculated by multiplying its total length by the mass of 1 m. 

But what if the steel is not round and it comes in steel plates? The easiest way to calculate the mass are special calculators and tables that can be easily found on the Internet. If such tools are not available right now for you, you can use the following formula:

M = H * A * B * 7.85

The number 7.85 in it implies the average density of carbon steel. As a rule, this indicator corresponds to the weight of a metal sheet having a thickness of 1 mm and an area of 1 m².

The value is averaged, so if you need to make a more reliable calculation, you should find out the exact density data from the metal reference book. As for the other indicators in the formula, they are:

B is the width of the metal sheet;

H is the thickness;

A is the length.

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