There are a wide variety of steel shapes available.  The most common shapes are listed below; however, many manufacturers have special shapes.

The nomenclature for steel shapes follows two standards:

  1. For wide flange, bearing pile, S-shapes, channels, and tees: the letter indicates the shape, the first number indicates the nominal height, and the second number indicates the weight per 1 foot of length.  For instance, the W12x36 listed in the table below is a wide flange shape that has a nominal height of 12" and weighs 36 pounds per foot of length.
  2. For steel tubes, pipes, plates, and angles: the 3 numbers indicate the height, width, and thickness of the steel. 

ImageDesc.Nomen.Notes
Wide Flange Wide Flange W12x36 Flange surfaces are parallel; flange thickness is not necessarily equal to the web thickness.
Bearing Pile Bearing Pile HP14x73 Flange surfaces are parallel; flange and web have equal thicknesses.
S-Shape American Standard Beam S15x50 The inner flange surface is sloped.
Channel Channel C12x30 Standard AISC flanges have sloped inner flange surfaces.
Tee Tee

WT12x38

ST12x38

MT12x38

WT shapes are cut from a wide flange.

ST shapes are cut from American Standard Beams.

MT shapes are cut from non-standard I-shapes.

Steel Tube

Hollow Steel Section

Steel Tube

HSS12x6x0.5

TS12x6x0.5

Either nomenclature is acceptable; however, HSS is more common.
Angle Angle

L2x2x0.5

L6x3x0.5

Angles come in equal leg or unequal leg sizes.  The diagram at left shows an unequal leg.
Pipe Pipe Pipe 4 STD
Plate Plate PL 0.5x12"x30" Very small plates can also be called bars.
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CSI MasterFormat Divisions

Structural Metal Framing: 05 10 00
Metal Fabrications: 05 50 00

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