One of the most prominent features in the Handbook of Steel Construction, 11th edition, is the addition of availability data for wide-flange or W-shape sections. In Parts 4, 5 and 6, W-shapes that are commonly used and readily available are highlighted by the colour yellow, as shown on the accompanying figure.

The design tables in which readily available sections are indicated include the following:

Part 4 – Compression Members
▪  Factored Axial Compressive Resistances (ASTM A992 and A572 Grade 50)

Part 5 – Flexural Members
▪  Beam Selection Tables
▪  Beam Load Tables
▪  Composite Beams – Trial Selection Tables

Part 6 – Properties and Dimensions
▪  W-Shapes

The decision as to which W-shape sections to highlight was made on the basis of a CISC survey conducted in September 2013. The survey was intended to assess the supply of W-shapes across Canada. Selected steel service centres were asked to indicate which sections they considered to be “commonly stocked and readily available”.

A particular W-shape section was highlighted in the 11th Handbook if all the following criteria were met:

▪ The section is produced by at least two North American steel mills.
▪ The section is stocked by at least one major steel service centre in both eastern and western Canada.