You may be asking yourself ‘what is metal decking?’ and wondering what it can do for your project. In construction, this phrase covers the steel sheeting in varying profile designs that is used as the structural element that creates a composite floor or roof system. The two usual types of metal decking take their name from the shape of their profiles: trapezoidal and dovetail.

Beyond crinkly tin
Affectionately referred to as ‘crinkly tin’, it may not seem like the name does it justice. It’s not quite as simple as shaped metal – plenty of know-how goes into the design and development of each profile.

You can find metal floor and roof steel decking on site in many construction projects, from commercial buildings to car parks, sports stadiums to hospitals. The combination of this ‘crinkly tin’ and poured concrete creates a composite of materials within the structure that meets fire regulations and offers the right strength and load rating required by the designer.

Compared with traditional methods of construction, steel decking saves time in the programme, offers adaptability in structure design and is comparably more budget friendly. With more than 41% of Scottish construction output weighted towards new housing and infrastructure, it comes as no surprise that there’s call for quicker and more effective methods.

Why use metal decking in floor construction?
There’s no need for traditional formwork with props when using composite metal decking. When the combination of metal decking and poured concrete form a slab which is used alongside steel frames, it makes a lightweight floor construction that doesn’t cost the earth and provides tensile reinforcement.
There are many positive reasons to use this contemporary method over traditional ones, some of these are:
– Quick installation so programme time is reduced (even on complicated layouts).
– Reduced materials needed as a lower slab weight means less foundation and steel frame required.
– Provides tensile reinforcement and contributes to lateral restraint of the frame.
– Less site storage needed, as well as easier delivery and logistics.
– 4-hour fire rating for the composite slabs.
– Decking has its own fixing system.

Also, once fixed, the decking acts as a working platform and a cover, so other trades can use it to help complete their tasks quickly and safely. With time savings in place – which is very helpful in the changeable Scottish weather – it comes as no surprise that there will also be reduced costs too. The price of composite decking comes in below that of pre-cast planks or reinforced concrete frames which also means reduced foundation costs (due to less weight from the shallower slab) – not to mention that as it is such a rapid way of doing things, there are also lower staffing costs.

Composite steel decking alongside composite beam construction also reduces the weight of the steelwork frame. What’s more it further proves its versatility as it can be worked into intricate designs with almost no waste. Finally, only minimal storage is needed as steel decking with the same profile can be stacked tidily, which also saves on transport costs.

How far can metal floor decking span?
To obtain superior slab strength in floor construction, metal deck sheets are fixed to steel beams with the concrete slab then cast on top. When compared with pre-cast floor solutions or traditional steel reinforced concrete, this method of flooring is actually relatively lightweight. This is all connected with thru-deck welded shear studs that provide horizontal shear forces between the two components.

What makes this approach even more effective is that the metal deck works with the steel members to further stabilise the existing frame. This lateral restraint and diaphragm action means the walls or columns then take the load.

Having the ability to withstand wide spans, the trapezoidal profiles provide increased areas of uninterrupted floor – which means less intermediate steel supports are needed. No matter whether you’re looking for high strength ribbed reinforced slabs for a car park or open plan office, we’ve got metal decking profiles to suit.

To check how far metal floor deck can span based on your specification, you can download SMD’s mobile app to gain the maximum spans for single and double span situations.

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Alternatively, to run full calculations on your design, download SMD’s Elements Design Software which allows you to print a full report on your design. Ensuring your using the right products for the specification you need is critical!

Visit SMDs website to download Elements Design Software

Working with our experts
Whatever your build requires, we can provide a composite steel decking solution to suit. We can provide decking gauges ranging from 0.7mm to 1.25mm so you’ll be sure to find something to suit in our range of composite steel floor decking. We also have 350 or 450/mm2 minimum yield strength choices and some of our range offer higher protection against corrosion with the enhanced HD coating.

So, as you can see what we provide is quite far removed from ‘crinkly tin’. Our experts have designed and engineered each profile to meet the high-performance needs of our clients. We’re always looking to evolve our range too – so if you’re in need of something that we don’t currently offer, please do let us know.

For more information or to obtain a quote, contact our Sales team today!