The Purpose of the Steel Deck

April 29, 2020 4:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The steel deck is a type of cold-formed corrugated metal sheet that is supported by steel beams or joists. Its purpose is to hold up concrete or the insulating membrane of a roof. This form of deck was designed to create a more structurally efficient solution in both roofing and flooring systems of varying types.

The properties of steel as a material are taken advantage of in a steel deck in Indiana to create a system that has a remarkably high strength with a relatively low weight. This results in a construction process that has lower erection and material handling costs, but doesn’t give up anything with regard to the durability you’d want in a roof.

Another main benefit of steel decking is that despite it being a primarily structural component, it can still be quite attractive when left exposed, especially if you take advantage of the wide variety of metal coatings that now exist on the market. It is also widely used due to its fire-resistant properties, which makes it a common component of UL and ULC approved fire-rated assemblies.

Here’s a quick overview of the several most common types of steel decking:

  • Architectural deck: Architectural deck generally features the dovetail shape for both structural and aesthetic reasons. It is frequently used for both floor and roof deck situations. Architectural deck has a very smooth, linear plank look with concealed fasteners and a wide variety of finish paint options. This, combined with the prettiness of the dovetail feature, makes it a more aesthetically-pleasing option than other types of steel decking. It has high fire resistance properties, long clear span capabilities (FM approved) and enhanced acoustic properties.
  • Roof deck: Steel deck sheets can be used for roofs and floors alike and offer outstanding support for loads between joists or beams. The sheets can also be used as a horizontal brace, which allows the deck to, in a sense, act as a sort of diaphragm for the roof or floor.
  • Form deck: Also referred to as “stay in place form deck,” this type of deck is used with structural concrete or with light insulating fill to be used in either roof or flooring applications. Its lack of mechanical embossments in the webs prevents it from developing composite action, meaning other types of reinforcement will have to be used in the concrete. Its purpose is merely to create a platform for concrete or fill over what are otherwise open web joists, masonry walls, structural steel or light gauge framing.
  • Composite deck: Composite deck is designed to be used with structural concrete, and unlike form deck, it does have mechanical embossments in the webs. This results in strong chemical and mechanical bonds between the deck and the concrete. As such, the deck is able to act as a tensile reinforcement for any positive bending in the slab that occurs, cutting down or entirely eliminating the need for rebar to be used in the slab, and thus creating lower material and labor costs.

For more information about the various types of steel deck in Indiana, contact Benchmark Fabricated Steel today.

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