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HSS Market Map: Awareness, Availability and Applications

on October 24, 2013

All information is derived from the recent HSS market map summary from the Steel Tube Institute and Frank Lynn & Associates.

To gain a thorough understanding of the HSS marketplace, the Steel Tube Institute (STI) recently commissioned Frank Lynn & Associates to evaluate not only the HSS market, but the people and industry segments within it. They started with a cross section of geographies and titles to include influencers and decision makers from the following market segments:

  • Architects/Engineers
  • Fabricators
  • OEMs
  • Service Centers

Market map 1The study looked at 2.04 million tons of HSS and found that 63 percent was used by the construction market and 37 percent by the OEM market, with both markets containing a wide variety of applications.

market map 3 market map 2

Using both qualitative and quantitative measurements, the various market sectors, professional titles and geographic locations led to data that both challenges and confirms many long-held opinions about the decision making process of HSS end-users and the role of channel partners.

Here are the top ten highlights you should know:

  1. HSS is found everywhere and awareness is high; however, it is often found in small amounts and has high-usage variability within applications
  2. There are commonly understood applications and other applications/market segments which have discrepancies of success
  3. Domestic is strongly preferred; little differentiation between brands4.HSS is used most often in columns and is consideredarchitecturally exposed applications, farm equipment and construction equipment
  4. 63% of HSS used inis in education, manufacturing, retail/wholesale, healthcare and office
  5. 72% of HSS used in OEM/end-user applications are in farm equipment, construction equipment, transportation, and hoist/crane and aerial applications
  6. The growth of HSS tonnage has outpaced the growthall other structural steel by over 50%
  7. In construction, education and highway spending in the public sector hasgrowth
  8. Engineers utilize the AISC Manuals to determine viability of HSS in an application; word of mouth and success stories improve comfort level in applying new applications
  9. Fabricators can only influence the structural steel decisions if involved at the beginning of the project. Otherwise, fabricators follow specifications

The insights and trends surrounding this HSS research help to identify where the market currently stands and the framework for growth. What variables in awareness, availability and applications do you see playing a role in the future marketplace?