Supply of W-Shapes - Letter #2 Apr 1999

    27 April 1999

    To: Structural Engineers, Architects, Fabricators, Building Officials and Educators

    Re: Supply of W Shapes in Canada- Letter #2

    In a letter dated February 26, 1999, we informed you that Algoma Steel Inc. had announced a decision to close, by the end of 1999, their mill that produces W shapes. We have now been informed that the production of W shapes by Algoma Steel Inc. will cease at the end of April, 1999.

    As mentioned in the February 26th letter, other steel mills, in the United States and Europe in particular, have supplied W shapes used in Canada for many years, and will continue to do so. Thus there will still be an ample supply of high quality W shapes available, at competitive prices, in Canada. In particular, Chaparral Steel, British Steel Canada Inc. and TradeARBED Canada Inc., all of whom are member companies of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), and other mills such as Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. and North Western Steel and Wire Co. are reliable and long established suppliers of W shapes for use in Canada.

    Designers should continue to specify CSA Standard G40.21, grade 350W for W shapes for structures in Canada, in general. In certain instances, a designer may wish to specify an ASTM Specification, such as ASTM A992, to meet specific design criteria.

    Algoma Steel Inc. will continue to produce steel plate, welded wide flange shapes produced from steel plate, and steel sheet which is used in the production of hollow structural sections - products which are used in conjunction with W shapes in structures, or instead of W shapes in some structures. Other Canadian steel mills, such as Stelco Inc. and IPSCO Inc. also produce steel plate, and IPSCO and Copperweld Canada, Sonco Steel Tube Division, produce hollow structural sections. Dofasco Inc. and Ispat Sidbec Inc. produce steel sheet and other steel products for use in structures in Canada.

    Thus, there will continue to be an abundant supply of W shapes and other steel products available for use in structures in Canada. However, the seven W shapes and three HP shapes, identified in Part 6 of the CISC Handbook of Steel Construction as being produced by Algoma Steel Inc. only, will no longer be available when present stocks of these shapes have been used. If other mills decide to produce any of these shapes, you will be notified.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or other members of the CISC staff.

    Yours truly,

    Hugh A. Krentz, P.Eng.