Influence of Steel Section Price Fluctuation to Cost Effective Design of Steel Frame Structural System in Malaysia

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Tan Hean Seong, Rosli Zin , Shek Poi Ngian


Steel material price fluctuation has been a problem for Malaysia steel construction industry. The price fluctuation is influence by economy policy, administrative order and macroeconomic volatility, steel industry supply and demand react to market steel price fluctuation, and the market's self-correction mechanism. With the increasing of global demand for flat steel section, the cold-formed hollow section price in Malaysia has been increasing and becoming significantly more expensive compare to I-beams. Based on the current scenario, hollow section is 19%-24% more expensive compare to I-beam. The significant price different has led to the preference of using hot-rolled beam portal frame in Malaysia. I-beam has been widely used in portal frames while hollow section is the preferred section used in truss frame. This paper objective is to find out the influence of hollow section and I-beam price fluctuation to the structural system material cost. Hot-rolled beam portal frame and truss frame weight will be compared and material cost will be calculated based on the current price of steel section. The optimize truss frame will be compared with preliminary portal frame section in ‘‘Design of Steel Portal Frame Buildings to Eurocode 3’ published by The Steel Construction Institute (SCI). The weight saving of truss frame compare to the hot-rolled beam portal frame ranging from 30%-64% depending on the building span. Structural weight saving of 30% for truss frame compare to hot-rolled beam portal frame may not necessarily give the overall saving in material price and overall steel structure cost. If the price saving of I-beam is 24% compare to hollow section, hot-rolled beam portal frame may be the best choice.

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