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What is RHS, SHS and CHS? Applications and Types of Hollow Structural Sections

Hollow Structural Section Malaysia

Hollow structural section (HSS) is one of the most popular types of structural steel. They are manufactured from cold-rolled steel and made into a hollow section. This creates a gaping unfilled edge that runs through the whole steel bar and that is the reason why we named them ‘’hollow sections’’. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes for use in different industries such as construction, manufacturing, architectural design, etc. In this article, we will discuss the benefits, types, purposes, and uses of hollow structural steel in more detail.

The purpose of Hollow Structural Sections (HSS)

The hollow structural section is a versatile steel product for fabrication, building, and mechanical purposes. They have a flat and smooth surface along the edges which makes them much easier to connect to other metal sections. The most common uses of HSS are for building columns, frames and beams due to its high strength to weight ratio and the ability to handle high temperature and pressure in a harsh environment.

Some other common applications of hollow structural steel are staircases, bridges, trusses, gates, platforms, storage facilities, fencing, guardrails, decking, building facades, roof purlins, protection panels, architectural designs, and many more.

Types of Hollow Structural Sections (HSS)

There are three main forms of hollow structural sections which are rectangular hollow sections (RHS), square hollow sections (SHS), and circular hollow sections (CHS). Each of them has its own properties, purposes, and benefits.

1. Rectangular Hollow Sections (RHS)

Rectangular Hollow Sections Malaysia

Rectangular hollow sections are the most popular types of structural steel. They have a flat surface that is more suitable for construction applications, especially where there is a need for extensive welding and joining. This is because they only require a straight cut when joining to other flat surfaces and only need minimal edge preparation for joining. Since the rectangular hollow sections are designed in a clean and sleek form, they are also ideal to be used for architectural aesthetics.

2. Circular Hollow Sections (CHS)

Circular Hollow Sections Malaysia

Circular hollow sections are also called round steel tube. They are the first type of hollow structural section which have clean, consistent lines and without sharps or protruding edges. Since CHS is lack protruding edges, this design has greatly reduced the risk of dust and material build-up inside the steel. CHS is also common to be used in mechanical, structural, building purposes, and other high-profile applications.

3. Square Hollow Sections (SHS)

Square Hollow Sections Malaysia

Square hollow sections are in between the rectangular hollow sections and circular hollow sections in terms of their structural behavior, properties, and aesthetics. They have a flat surface design that is suitable for welding and joining. SHS is also similar to a CHS as they have a symmetrical appearance. Since both CHS & SHS have uniform geometry along two or more cross-sectional axes, they offer uniform strength characteristics and excellent torsion resistance which make them a preferred choice for columns.

Benefits of using Hollow Structural Sections (HSS)

- High strength-to-weight ratio

Hollow Structural Sections are able to provide a high compression performance and greater weight saving as they have a high radil of gyration on both axes. This has made them become the most economical and efficient structural member.

- Less surface area for coating

Hollow Structural Sections require less surface preparation, coating, and painting as they only possess approximately two-thirds of the surface area of the open section in a comparable capacity.

- Closed section

The closed section of hollow structural sections provides higher cleanliness as they have a minimal surface to collect debris and dust. This has made them an ideal choice for food processing factories or other clean facilities. Closed sections are also good for torsional loads resistance.

- Low project costs

Hollow structural sections are manufactured with lesser steel material when compared to solid steel products as HSS has an unfilled core. Their high strength-to-weight ratio also allows them to span at a greater distance than solid steel products. This has reduced the number of steel required throughout the whole project. In this case, you can enjoy a lower material cost when using hollow structural sections.

- High aesthetic appeal

Hollow structural sections have a high aesthetic appeal and are favored architecturally due to their smooth surfaces, closed sections, and rounded corners.

- Flexible & Highly customizable

They can be modified easily into desired shapes and manufactured in various sizes to match your requirements. The material of HSS also can be recycled easily.

- Utilized interior space

The interior space of a hollow section can actually provide improvement to the building structure. For example, you can put components of a ventilation system inside the beams or fill the space with concrete to improve their bearing capabilities and be more fire-resistant.

MecHero Malaysia supplies different types of hollow structural sections that meet your project requirement. You can always contact us at +6011-7000 7687 or email us at for an inquiry about square hollow sections, circular hollow sections, and rectangular hollow sections in Malaysia. As a steel and online hardware store in Malaysia, we also supply a wide range of steel materials, general hardware, or mechanical components. Tell us your requirements now and we can advise you accordingly.

Hollow Sections Steel Structure Malaysia

Photo credit: vallourec, indiamart, reganindustrial, hemat

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