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Glossary of Terms – A

Steel industry glossary of terms

Terms in BLUE and their definitions come from the AISC AND AISI STANDARD Standard Definitions for Use in the Design of Steel Structures, 2004 Edition, First Printing April 2005.

* These terms are usually qualified by the type of load effect, e.g., nominal tensile strength, available compressive strength, design flexural strength.

** Term usually qualified by the type of component, e.g. local web buckling, local flange buckling, etc.

4D
Schedule simulation.
5D
Cost accounting simulation.
A & D
Abbreviation for 'Analysis and Design'.
AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
A regulatory organization which governs the design and specifications of highway bridges.
Accessories
Structural components related to the design, fabrication and erection of steel joists (bar joists) and Joist Girders including, but not limited to sloped end bearings, extended ends, ceiling extensions, bridging and bridging anchors, headers and bottom chord lateral bracing for Joist Girders.
ADL
Abbreviation for 'After Dead Load is Applied'.
AEC
Abbreviation for 'Architecture, Engineering and Construction'.
AECbytes
AEC newsletter – www.aecbytes.com
aecXML
Term for a specific standard format used for BIM electronic data exchange.
Aesthetic
Having the sense of beauty or pleasing to the eye.
AFF
Abbreviation for 'Above Finish Floor'.
AGA (American Galvanizers Association)
A non-profit association representing the post-fabrication hot-dip galvanizing industry.
AGCA (Associated General Contractors of America)
ACG of America is a national trade organization of qualified construction contractors and and industry related companies dedicated to skill, integrity, and responsibility. The AGCA is the voice of the construction industry and is dedicated to improving the quality of construction and protecting the public.
AGC BIM Guide
Published by AGC.
Agility
A word used when describing New Millennium's flexible and responsive approach to steel joist and metal decking design, production and delivery.
AIA (American Institute of Architects)
An organization to unite in fellowship the members of the architectural profession in the United States.
AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.)
Is a non-profit technical specifying and trade organization for the fabricated structural steel industry in the United States. It was founded in 1921 with headquarters located in Chicago. One of their best-known manuals is the Manual of Steel Construction.
AISE (Association of Iron and Steel Engineers)
Abbreviation.
AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute)
An institute to promote the interests of the iron and steel industry.
Alignment Chart for Columns
A nomograph for estimating the effective length factor, K, of columns in an unbraced frame. Note that the chart is based upon assumptions of idealized conditions, which seldom exist in real structures.
Allowable Strength*
Nominal strength divided by the safety factor.
Amplitude
A measure of floor vibration. It is the magnitude or total distance traveled by each oscillation of the vibration.
Amplification Factor
A multiplier of the value of moment or deflection in the unbraced length of an axially loaded member to reflect secondary values generated by the eccentricity of the load.
Anchor Bolt
A long 'L' shaped bolt, which is set in concrete and used to anchor columns or other members to a foundation or other support.
Anchor Bolt Plan
A plan view showing the size, location, and projection of all anchor bolts.
Anchorage
The process of fastening a steel joist or joist girder to a masonry, concrete, or steel support by either bolting or welding.
Angle
A hot rolled shape called an Angle with symbol L, which has equal legs or unequal legs.
Angle Unit
A member used as a steel joist substitute, which is intended for use at very short spans (10 feet or less) where open web steel joists are impractical. They are usually used for short spans in skewed bays, over corridors, or for outriggers. It can be made up of two or four angles to form channel sections or box sections. Tube and channel sections are also used. See Joist Substitute.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
A nonprofit organization, which promotes the use of U.S. standards internationally.
Apex
The highest point on a steel joist or joist girder where the sloped chords meet. See also Peak.
API
Abbreviation for 'Application Programming Interface'.
Applicable Building Code
Building code under which the structure is designed.
Approval Plans
Plans sent by the steel joist manufacturer to the buyer, engineer, architect, contractor or other person for approval. The plans may include a framing plan, elevations, sections, and a material list.
Arched Joist
A non-standard type of steel joist where both the top chord and bottom chord are curved parallel with each other.
ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
Founded in 1852, is the oldest national professional engineering society in the United States. It is dedicated to the advancement of the individual civil engineer and the civil engineering profession through education.
ASD (Allowable Strength Design)
Method of proportioning structural components such that the allowable strength equals or exceeds the required strength of the component under the action of the ASD load combinations.
ASD Load Combination
Load combination in the applicable building code intended for allowable strength design (allowable stress design).
Aspect Ratio
For any rectangular configuration, the ratio of the lengths of the sides.
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)
An organization that has developed over 10,000 technical standards, which are used by industries worldwide.
Atrium
An opening or skylighted lobby through two or more floor levels other than an enclosed stairway, elevator, etc.
AutoCAD
The world's most popular computer-aided drafting software product for the personal computer in both DOS and windows by Autodesk, Inc. Anything that can be drawn on a drawing board can be drawn by AutoCAD.
Automatic Welding
A welding procedure using a machine to make a weld.
Auxiliary Load
Any dynamic live loads such as cranes, monorails, and material handling systems.
Available Strength*
Design strength or allowable strength as appropriate.
AWI (American Welding Institute)
An organization established in 1984 to bridge the gap between the findings of basic welding research and the needs of the industry.
AWS (American Welding Society)
A non-profit organization whose major goal is to advance the science, technology, and application of welding and related joining disciplines.
Axial Force
A force tending to elongate or shorten a member.
Axial Compression
An axial force causing compression in a member.
Axial Load
A load whose line of action passes through the centroid of the member's cross-sectional area and is perpendicular to the plane of the section.
Axial Strut Load
A structural member designed to transfer axial tension or compression load only.
Axial Tension
An axial force causing tension in a member.