Steel Tees are not the most common section utilized in construction, but still offer up some good advantages when used correctly. Typically, structural steel tees are not mill rolled. They are produced by cutting the web of W and I shape beams. Cutting the web of mill rolled beams allows us the ability to produce a wide range of standard size and customized tees. This process is better known as “beam splitting”. Performed via flame or plasma cutting, these splitting methods produce a smooth and even edge on the stem of the tee, which is important to avoid any premature cracking of the stem when subject to tensile forces.
Under certain circumstances, structural steel tees can be used in many of the same applications with which you would typically use I or W shape beams. An advantage of using steel tees in place of beams is a reduced height and weight for the assembly. In the stem-down orientaton, a structural tee can be used as a span to support steel decking and concrete floor slabs. Tees can also be used to reinforce concrete T shaped beams and special “bar size” tees can be used to reinforce concrete bars. A good application for curved or rolled steel tees is for track. Anything from a ceiling mounted track to hang a curtain or partition, to a track intended for rides at amusement parks are all good uses for this unique shape.
Tees can be rolled either stem-up, stem-in, or stem-out. Stem-in is the most difficult, followed by stem-up and then stem-out. When rolling structural tees, it is very important to try and keep the stem and flange as square with each other as possible. Length and thickness of the stem or even the shape of the flange are properties of tees that can cause rippling or bending out of square when being rolled. Most bending/rolling companies roll tees to within a max ±5° out of square tolerance (stem relative to flange). Customers should expect an experienced roller/bender to provide a tolerance as tight as ±1.25° or less.