In post-frame construction, the most common exterior sheathing is pre-painted, corrugate steel panels. These panels form the walls and roof of the typical post frame building and end up making up a large part of your building. Since the steel panels play such an integral role in your building’s structural integrity, it’s important to make sure you have good, strong steel. There are two main measurements used to indicate the strength of steel: Gauge & Yield Strength.
Understanding Steel Gauge as an Indicator of Strength
Gauge is a standard unit of measurement referring to the thickness of the steel. Many people use the gauge of steel as the definitive measurement for the strength of steel and while gauge is an important factor, it’s not the only factor to consider when it comes to determining how strong steel is. Even within specific gauges of steel, there is fluctuation between the minimum and maximum thickness to the point where a sheet of 29 gauge steel and a sheet of 26 gauge steel that actually have the same thickness! The gauge of steel alone is not the best indicator of the strength of steel on your building.
Understanding Yield Strength – the Most Important Indicator of Strength
The more important measure of steel is yield strength, which refers to the amount of force required to cause permanent deformation to your steel. Simply put, yield strength is the hardness of the steel. The higher the yield strength, the heavier wind and snow loads your building can handle, ultimately giving you a stronger building. High yield strength also allows for your steel to be more resistant to denting from hail, rocks, etc.
Get the Strength and Quality You Deserve!
When you’re considering a new pole barn or re-siding your existing building, it’s important make sure you are getting the best steel to ensure structural integrity. Make sure not to be enamored by the Steel Gauge alone. Ask your builder about their yield strength as well as the gauge of their steel to be sure you’re getting the highest quality.
If you’d like to learn more about what to look for in quality steel siding, download the Structural Integrity Brochure with a list of 5 things to look for!