Introduction to Cold-Formed Steel Framing

Steel studs are often preferred over wood because of the increased strength and durability offered by this iron alloy. Steel is strong, resistant to moisture and lasts a long time, making it ideal for framing. There are different types of steel, however, one of the most popular of which is cold-formed steel (CFS).

What Is Cold-Formed Steel Framing

Cold-formed steel framing refers to the use of CFS studs to frame a building. Just because two studs are made of steel doesn’t necessarily mean that they feature the same type of steel. CFS studs are made using a special process in which steel materials are rolled – at or near room temperature – into various shapes to create steel products such as studs and joists. These CFS products are then installed to create the frame of a building.

Cold-Formed vs Hot-Formed Steel: What’s the Difference?

The key difference between CFS and hot-formed steel is that the former involves a room temperature production process, whereas the latter involves a heated production process. With hot-formed steel, the steel materials are heated to temperatures of 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. This makes the steel easier to manipulate and bend but at the cost of strength. The high temperatures to which hot-formed steel is exposed causes structural changes, making it difficult to manipulate.

Benefits of Cold-Formed Steel Framing

There are several benefits to using CFS studs to frame a building, one of which is increased strength. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, CFS steel products have an average yield strength of 33 to 50 kilopounds per square inch (ksi). They are stronger than hot-formed steel products, making them a particularly attractive choice for commercial framing.

CFS framing is also cost effective for construction companies. It’s easier to manufacture than hot-formed steel, resulting in a lower price. Furthermore, the standardized specifications of CFS promotes faster installation, allowing construction companies to finish their projects more quickly.

Like all steel products, CFS isn’t susceptible to rot, mold or termites. Since its made of inorganic material, it won’t succumb to moisture damage, nor will wood-boring pests feast on it.

Because of their room temperature manufacturing process, CFS products are limited to just a few basic shapes. The good news, however, is that framing studs, joists and other components are available in CFS.

To recap, CFS framing involves the use of cold-formed steel studs, joists and other components. The CFS components are made by pressing and rolling steel at room temperature. It’s a simple yet effective process for creating high-quality framing components.

As a commercial installer, UBS is a leader in metal stud framing. Contact us for a quote on your next office building, high rise or apartment complex. 303.466.7200.