Key Issues

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Standards and design

Standards and the regulatory framework

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  • The ASI and its members are aware of situations of inferior or non-specified product substitution for critical applications resulting in product qualities not being commensurate with the appropriate standards or design expectations.
  • The ASI’s key program for ensuring compliance rests on the regulatory framework provided among others by the Building Code of Australia and the relevant Australian standards.
  • Recent modifications made to Australian material standards AS/NZS 1163 Cold-formed structural steel hollow sections, AS/NZS 3678 Structural steel. Hot-rolled plates floorplates and slabs and AS/NZS 3679 Structural steel. Part 1: Hot-rolled bars and sections and Part 2: Welded I sections provide for more transparency regarding test certification and product marking.
  • The ASI Structural steel fabrication and erection Code of Practice (COP) has been accepted by Standards Australia as a project for codification. The new Australian Standard has been designated AS/NZS 5131.

Key Australian steel materials and design standards

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AS 4100 and AS/NZS 4600 rely on guaranteed values for chemical composition, mechanical properties, tolerances on dimensions, method of manufacture and quality control provisions for all material used in a steel structure and are based on the building blocks of material standards like AS/NZS 1163, AS/NZS 1397, AS/NZS 3678 and AS/NZS 3679 which have been calibrated based on known Australian steels, testing statistics and work practices.

Material and welding standards:

Are you getting the bolts you specifed?AS/NZS 1163 Cold-formed structural steel hollow sections
AS/NZS 1252 High strength steel bolts with associated nuts and washers for structural engineering
AS/NZS 1397 Continuous hot-dip metallic coated steel sheet and strip - Coatings of zinc and zinc alloyed with aluminium and magnesium
AS/NZS 1554 Structural steel welding
AS/NZS 3678 Structural steel. Hot-rolled plates, floorplates and slabs
AS/NZS 3679.1 Structural steel. Hot rolled bars and sections
AS/NZS 3679.2 Structural steel. Welded I sections

Design standards:

AS 4100 Steel structures
AS/NZS 4600 Cold-formed steel structures

Guidance on material compliance from AS 4100:

Clause 2.2.2 Acceptance of steel
Certified mill test reports, or test certificates issued by the mill, shall constitute sufficient evidence of compliance with the Standards referred to in this Standard.

Clause 2.2.3 Unidentified steel
If unidentified steel is used, it shall be free from surface imperfections, and shall be used only where the particular physical properties of the steel and its weldability will not adversely affect the strength and serviceability of the structure. Unless a full test in accordance with AS 1391 is made, the yield stress of the steel used in design (f subscript y) shall be taken as not exceeding 170 MPa, and the tensile strength used in design (f subscript u) shall be taken as not exceeding 300 MPa.

Guidance on material compliance from AS/NZS 4600:

1.5.1.5 Acceptance of steels
Certified mill test reports, or test certificates issued by the mill, shall constitute sufficient evidence of compliance with the Standards referred to in this Standard.

1.5.1.6 Unidentified steel
If unidentified steel is used, it shall be free from surface imperfections and shall be used only where the particular physical properties of the steel and its weldability will not adversely affect the design capacities and serviceability of the structure. Unless a full test in accordance with AS 1391 is made, the yield stress of the steel used in design (fy) shall be 170 MPa or less, and the tensile strength used in design (fy) shall be 300 MPa or less.

Regulatory framework for building design

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The Building Code of Australia seeks to ensure acceptable standards of structural integrity, safety and durability. It sets out the technical requirements that building design professionals need to meet in order to achieve these goals. The BCA calls up AS 4100 Steel Structures as the overarching Australian Standard for the design of structural steel in buildings.

AS 4100 relies on guaranteed values for chemical composition, mechanical properties, dimensional tolerances, methods of manufacture and quality control provisions for all materials used in a steel structure. AS 4100 is based on Australian Standards including AS/NZS 1163, AS/NZS 3678 and AS/NZS 3679 which have been calibrated based on Australian manufactured steels, testing statistics and work practices.

The BCA calls up AS/NZS 4600 Cold-formed steel structures for the design of cold-formed steel in buildings. Like AS 4100, AS/NZS 4600 relies on guaranteed values for chemical composition, mechanical properties, dimensional tolerances, methods of manufacture and quality control provisions for all materials used in a cold-formed steel structure. AS/NZS 4600 is based on Australian Standards including AS/NZS 1397, AS/NZS 1595 and AS/NZS 2728 which have been calibrated based on Australian manufactured steels, testing statistics and work practices.