Every day, thousands of drivers trust their lives to hot-rolled steel products as they travel across many types of infrastructure designed to ensure optimal longevity, strength, and safety. Hot-rolled steel offers superior strength-to-weight performance, ductility, and durability. These properties, combined with its relatively low cost, make hot-rolled steel an effective and economical option for various bridge components such as decking and expansion joints.

Hot-rolled steel shapes for bridge applications generally have more rigorous performance requirements than shapes used for building and other structural applications. At McDonald Steel Corporation, we work with your performance requirements in mind when designing and manufacturing our bridge construction products. Our hot-rolled steel shapes regularly find application as grid decking and expansion joint components for bridges. For almost 100 years, McDonald Steel products have been used to build America’s infrastructure and are used in many roads and bridges across the United States, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Ambassador Bridge, Peace Bridge, and Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

Hot-Rolled Steel Products for Grid DecMcDonald Steel Bridge Product king

The decking of a bridge is the surface on which vehicles travel. Cast-in-place concrete is commonly used to create decking for short-span bridges, or those requiring a quick turnaround due to the significant amount of time spent preparing the framework for the poured concrete. In these cases, bridge builders generally rely on prefabricated deck systems. The design consists of grid deck welded together and secured to steel framing, which provides strength and support and facilitates even load distribution across the system.

Our hot-rolled steel components add reliability to steel deck bridges at major river crossings and other large spans.

Hot-Rolled Steel Products for Expansion Joints

Bridges experience a number of conditions that can cause them to move out of place, such as varying loads, material shrinkage, and temperature fluctuations. Expansion joints allow the structures to expand and contract to accommodate these conditions so they can avoid compromising their structural integrity. Additionally, the components provide enough vertical movement for bearings to be replaced without completely dismantling the assembly, making them convenient for highly trafficked spans.

There are two main types of expansion joints:

  • Open Joints. Open joints allow water and debris to move through them. This design makes them susceptible to buildup and blockages as material accumulates in them, which can render them ineffective. Examples of open joints include butt joints, sliding plane joints, and finger joints.
  • Closed Joints. Closed joints prevent water and debris from entering the joint. They must be carefully designed to accommodate the size and movement requirements of the joint. Examples of close joints include asphalt plug joints, compression joints, and strip seals. Strip seals are widely used in bridge and highway structures to accommodate structural movements of 1 to 4 inches. They are a simple, cost-effective, and durable joint solution when designed, installed, and maintained properly.

Some of the factors to consider when deciding between using

A photo of a steel expansion joint for a bridge.

open joints or closed joints for a bridge construction application include:

  • Joint sizing
  • Anticipated movement
  • Substrate preparation
  • Climate conditions
  • Lane closure requirements
  • Manufacturer requirements
  • Joint material properties and limitations

We offer hot rolled steel for use in cast-in-place bridge expansion joint systems. They serve as an economical solution for bridge construction applications across the globe.

Hot-Rolled Steel Products for Bridge Construction at McDonald Steel

Many bridge components are made from steel, such as beams, decking, and joints. While these components can be fabricated or rolled, rolling offers numerous advantages, such as greater strength and durability. If you’re looking for a supplier for your hot-rolled bridge component needs, turn to the experts at McDonald Steel.

At McDonald Steel Corporation, we offer field-proven hot-rolled steel bridge products for use in bridge construction applications across North America. To learn more about our grid deck and expansion joint offerings, contact us today. For pricing details, request a quote.