Trusses are the framework of rafters, posts and struts that support roofs, bridges and other structures. One of the big questions in construction though is whether there is a best material from which to make a truss. Are steel trusses better than wood?
Wooden trusses have commonly been used in residential construction. However, there are some important considerations when using timber.
The moisture content of the timber being used is important because care needs to be taken to allow for shrinkage movement as the timbers dry out. Waiting for moisture content to drop before fabrication begins can cause delays. Shrinkage movement can cause ugly gaps at joints.
Moisture can make timber trusses more susceptible to termite damage and warping. They can also cause time delays in construction if the site is hit by bad weather.
These are not issues with steel trusses.
Lightweight steel frame technology has been used in Australia for around 50 years. However it is the recent advances that computer aided design and manufacture bring that has revolutionised manufacturing accuracy and speed.
Steel trusses can be used in poor weather reducing construction site downtime and are not susceptible to rotting, warping or termites.
There are both reduced labour time and costs when using trusses made from steel because they come pre-constructed, only requiring a battery operated screw driver for assembly.
There are many advantages to using steel framing in construction projects whether commercial or residential.
The two main ones already mentioned are in time and cost but there are several more advantages in using steel:
It is easy to see why steel trusses are becoming more popular in construction and infrastructure projects. They are strong, lightweight and are free from the issues traditional timber trusses pose.
Steel trusses are the ideal construction framework.