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Bold Stress for HSS at the Steel Tube Institute Spring Meeting

on May 3, 2012

The Steel Tube Institute’s Spring meeting was informative as it surfaced many potential growth opportunities.

The meeting kicked off with a presentation by Dr. Packer, (University of Toronto Professor) on “HSS as Compression Member: Advantage and Realities” opening our eyes to the endless possibilities for HSS.

Dr. Packer discussed some of the many dynamic and challenging projects from around the world designed with HSS. He emphasized the need to enhance our current design materials and that improving the strength properties of HSS could be a key to expanding the potential market. He also covered the wide variety of connection methods and bracing application in seismic zones, providing a fresh perspective on the limitless potential of HSS.

A Big Win for HSS

The HSS Certified Producer Program was a logical step for STI to take late last year, and Bill Wolfe’s update on the program was overwhelmingly positive. Most recently, four HSS tube producers have been certified bringing the total number to 10 since the program was launched in November 2011. In addition, Thornton Tomasetti has announced their preference for certified HSS tubing in their designs.

Bill discussed that structural engineers, architects, government contractors, fabricators and end users all benefit from this program because certified producers, including Atlas Tube, meet the nationally recognized manufacturing standards and have passed the program’s audits and product testing.

For more information about the STINA Certified Producer Program, go to STINA’s HSS website at

A New Direction and Bold Leadership

Mark Bula covered the “HSS Strategic Plan” and gave the team an update on year-to-date activities and rolled out the long range plan to drive awareness and growth for HSS. A 30-page comprehensive plan was handed out to all members who entailed key objectives, goals and strategies.

Both Strategic Images & PRISM Insights presented a variety of marketing activities that could lend solid support around the execution of this plan. The committee is very excited about the new direction Mark Bula was taking the HSS committee and is happy to see the bold leadership position he was taking on behalf of the members.

Driving Greater Market Demand for HSS

A proposed new ASTM HSS Specification presentation was put together by Brad Fletcher, John Koschwanez and John Simon. This new specification would yield strong performance properties around HSS tubing, expanding its end use in areas such as seismic applications and bridge construction.

The objective is to develop an HSS product with greater value-add properties while still having a cost-effective solution for designers and fabricators. Again the committee overall was enthused about this new opportunity to help drive greater market demand for HSS products.

The Bottom line

In closing, the consensus from the HSS committee is extremely positive, as the HSS group is shifting into a very aggressive offensive position (compared to years past). The results are yet to come, but it looks like Mark Bula and company have a solid game plan that will help deliver meaningful results for the industry.