Arch Steel Building
The arch steel building is one of several popular types of steel building designs. Among the most frequently used basic steel building variants are the arch steel building, the clear span steel building and the straight-walled steel building. Generally speaking, the steel arch building is the most cost efficient and structurally safe type, and it is for instance very popular among farm owners. The straight-walled steel building is not as structurally sound as the steel arch building, but it can still be a great choice in certain situations since it offers more usable space.
The straight-walled steel building is also easier to match with existing surrounding buildings inside cities and suburban areas and this type of steel building is often used for office space facilities. While both the straight-walled and the arch steel building have names that refers to the exterior shape of the construction, the clearspan classifications have to do with the internal construction.
In a clearspan building, there is less need for supporting indoor columns thanks to the use of stronger support beams overhead. Clearspan steel buildings are commonly used as sports arenas, commercial aircraft facilities and other purposes where the need for vast open spaces can justify the increased costs.
Arches in Buildings
The arch in a steel arch building is a curved steel structure capable of spanning a space while supporting a lot of weight. By using the natural features of the arch shape, it is possible for steel building designers to minimize tensile stress when spanning open spaces. In a steel arch building, all the forces are resolved into compressive stresses. High-quality steel is capable of handling both tensile and compressive stress, but compressive stress is still to be preferred.
If you were to create a house from cast iron – or stone or concrete – the tolerance for tensile stress would be even lower. Cast iron is famous for enduring immense amounts of compression but be very weak when exposed to tension, shear or torsional stress. When we use the arch configuration in an arch steel building we can create immense spans and wide open spaces without violating any safety measures. In an arch steel building, compressive forces will act to hold the building together in a state of equilibrium. This is true even when forces are acting on the arch in an arch steel building other ways than vertical, e.g. in arched retaining walls or dams.