Why Closed Hollow Sections May Be Better Than Open Hollow Sections

Posted on: 8 June 2017


People who are planning to construct extensions to their homes need to select the structural hollow sections that will offer extra benefits beyond what the alternative types of hollow sections can offer. This article discusses why closed structural hollow sections may be a better option when compared to open structural hollow sections in DIY home extensions.

The Load-Bearing Strength Can Be Increased

Aesthetical considerations usually dictate that the same size of hollow sections should be used as columns on different parts of a structure. However, this can present a serious challenge because the columns may be subjected to different loads. Closed hollow sections provide a simple way to address the load-bearing differences without compromising the aesthetic considerations. For instance, the load-bearing capacity of the hollow sections that will be subjected to the heaviest loads can be increased by filling their voids with concrete. This will make them stronger without increasing their external dimensions. This option cannot be exercised if you opted for open hollow sections.

Fire Protection Can Be Integrated

Closed hollow sections also provide an easy way to protect structures against the ravages of fires. The voids in the closed hollow sections can be linked to a water supply system so that the steel sections remain cool during a fire. This can prevent the building from collapsing in case a fire breaks out and intense heat weakens the support columns. Special additives can be added to the water in the voids so that freezing and corrosion are kept at bay.

HVAC Installation

The voids in closed hollow sections also provide an opportunity to have neater structures. This is because the piping for heating and ventilation systems can be installed within the voids of these closed hollow sections. Floor area can then be maximised since no space will need to be set aside for the installation of ducts, heat exchangers and the other pipework needed in HVAC systems.

Corrosion Protection is Easier

It is more affordable to protect closed hollow sections against corrosion as compared to providing the same degree of protection to open hollow sections. This is because one only needs to cater for the external surface of the closed sections. Open sections require corrosion protection for both internal and external surfaces because both will be exposed to agents of corrosion, such as acid rain.

Always get the opinion of a structural engineer before you select the type of hollow sections to use for your application. His or her expert advice will then enable you to enjoy the benefits of closed hollow sections that are in the discussion above.