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Grade S355 Tube launched in February 2010 in the major centers in South Africa by ASTPM and SAISC

Grade S355 Tube, or often know as Structural Hollow Sections, was launched in February in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. This project was a joint venture between the Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers (ASTPM) of South Africa and the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC). Over 450 Architects, Engineers, Fabricators, Merchants and Manufacturers of steel and steel products attended the launch. Colin Shaw, the Executor Director of the ASTPM, introduced the background to the launch. Franco Mordini, chairman of the technical committee of the Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers, introduced the S355 size range and presented the benefits of this move forward in the market development of tube in South Africa. Guest speaker was world renowned tubular expert Professor Jeffrey A Packer. Professor Packer presented the many benefits and advantages of Tubes and encompassed technical aspects such as fabrication and design to the architectural aspects.  Spencer Erling introduced the various speakers.

ArcelorMittal, Macsteel Tube and Pipe, Robor and Trident Sterling actively promoted the launch in the various centers. The improved technology that users’ laser and plasma to cut tube was also promoted as an opportunity to make Tubular fabrication simpler and more attractive. Highveld also took the opportunity to promote S355.

An important part of the day for the Design Engineers was devoted to the Tubular Design course also presented by Professor Jeffrey A. Packer. 160 candidates countrywide attended the design course. The highly successful course included very important Golden rules when designing in Tube.  Part of the course was devoted to the currently under-utilized method of concrete filled columns. Benefits of this form of construction include increased load capacity of the member and very importantly the increased fire rating of the composite member.

Spencer Erling presented important welding and fabrication consideration when using tubular members. 
The launch of Grade 355 tube introduces another chapter in the Development of Tubular construction in South Africa. The ASTPM looks forward to the opportunities the new grade will present. The tips shared by Professor Packer at the course will assist Design Engineers to optimize designs that will result in both more efficient structures but importantly simplify the fabrication thereof.

For more information contact Colin Shaw on (011) 823-2337 or on email  

For technical information Franco Mordini can be contacted at (011) 897-2137 or on email

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A representative of the welded carbon steel tube and pipe manufacturers in South Africa. Our members account for 70% of the installed capacity for conveyance, mechanical and structural tubular products which are supplied to international specifications.

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