Is cold-formed steel the same as light gauge steel?

Time: 2022-06-16 From: Xiamen Sinotok Machinery Co., Ltd.

We’ve recently discussed cold-formed steel and how it can be utilized with Industrialized Construction. With lumber prices soaring, developers are looking for steel solutions. The term “Steel” is one of those broad terms that gets thrown around a lot. Today we are going to take a deep dive into what we mean when we say “Cold-Formed Steel”.

Steel has an outstanding strength-to-weight ratio and flexes with force, which is why it’s frequently used for large construction projects like high-rise buildings. When using steel framing, there are two main options to consider: Cold-Formed Steel and Structural Steel. They are very different in both production and framing methods.

  • Cold-Formed Steel (CFS)—also called Light Gauge Steel or metal studs—is cold-formed into “C” or “Z” shaped members, capable of holding heavy loads. “Cold-Formed” means the sections are shaped at room temperature by guiding the steel through a series of rollers.

These light-framed steel members are similar to wood-framed construction in principle. These thin members are used to frame out walls, floors, and roof systems in much the same way as 2x wood studs. Due to their strength, light gauge steel also requires fewer studs because they can be placed further apart. In general, light gauge will produce less waste, which is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than wood alternatives.

  • Structural Steel is hot rolled, much thicker, and considerably stronger and heavier. “Hot-rolled” means the member is shaped while the steel is molten hot. Structural steel projects are framed out with heavy, large members and used for framing out large open spaces and buildings, bridges, and industrial sites.

Used in conjunction with concrete, the most durable structures employ structural steel. Because it is thicker and heavier than light gauge steel, the best fastening methods employ welding, bolting, or riveting.