Atlas Tube, a Division of JMC Steel Group

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HSS Hollow Structural Sections Steel Tube

Hollow Structural Sections (HSS)

HSS is used as a structural element in buildings, bridges and other structures, and in a wide variety of manufactured products. It's produced in round, square and rectangular shapes in a broad range of sizes and gauges.

HSS has many benefits: aesthetic appeal, high strength-to-weight ratios, uniform strength, cost effectiveness and recyclability. The advantages for designers, specifiers, fabricators and end users are outlined on the following pages.

Availability of Design Aids

The Steel Tube Institute offers a wide variety of technical publications, load tables and design aids. They are available on the HSS area of the STI website. Additional information about HSS is available on the AISC website, and CIDECT website. The Steel Tube Institute employs a Technical Consultant who is available to answer questions and assist with technical data.

For complete information download the Atlas Tube HSS brochure.


HSS-brochureResistant and Consistent
HSS is fire resistant and does not warp, twist, split, swell or shrink. It resists dry rot and mildew, termites and carpenter ants. For increased fire resistance, the exterior of the product may be sprayed with a fire retardant material, or boxed in with drywall. The interior can be filled with concrete.

Fabricator/Contractor Advantages
HSS can be readily bent, formed, punched, and drilled. New and improved methods to fasten HSS to itself or to other materials are making its use simpler and fabrication faster.

  • Easier, faster and cheaper to paint or coat (22.3% less surface area)
  • Easier to weld in both the shop and field (due to restricted chemistries) no preheating or post-heating is required
  • Easier to fit mating parts together (no notching or copying of joints as with beams or channels)
  • Reduced weight means additional savings in erection and shipping costs

Architectural/Design Advantages

  • High quality surface finish
  • Appearance in exposed applications can become an exciting and visual part of the design of buildings and other structures
  • Cost effective in relation to other building materials
  • Ability to conceal essential services

Engineering Advantages

  • Greater design properties in both axis (moment of inertia, section modulus and radius of gyration)
  • High resistance to torsional loading
  • Particularly suited for compression column applications
  • Less weight-per-foot
  • Diversity: strength, formability, toughness and corrosion resistance
  • Less resistance to air and water flow

Core Advantages

  • HSS is widely available throughout North America from a large number of steel service centers
  • HSS has greater strength-to-weight ratios than wide flange W and HP shapes. So, with HSS you need less steel, by weight, to do the job. And less weight equals less cost.
  • Excellent compression and support characteristics and superior torsional resistance make HSS particularly well suited to all types of column applications
  • HSS is made from steel, one of the world’s most recyclable and recycled materials
  • Torsional strength makes HSS an excellent choice for bracing and perimeter members
  • Less surface area than open sections allows for reduced clean up and painting
  • Connection information is now widely available for use throughout North America
  • Wide variety of shapes and wall thicknesses are available
  • The uniform shape of HSS makes it easy to fabricate and well suited for architecturally exposed applications