What are Cast Steel Structural Components

Close up of Cast Steel Structural Component
Cast steel structural components are engineered cast steel products that are designed and manufactured to meet the arduous demands associated with their integration into a structural system – like a building or a bridge.


Cast Steel Manufacturing

All structural steel is cast. Structural steel sections (W-shapes, angles, channels, plate, etc.) are produced via continuous casting and hot rolling through a dye to create lengths of continuous section. In contrast, steel castings are produced through the solidification of liquid metal in a mold thereby enabling the production of products
in a virtually limitless range of geometries.

Cast Steel Engineering

Cast steel structural components intended for use in building or bridge construction must be engineered by qualified and experienced Professional Engineers that are skilled in structural engineering and steel connection design, that are knowledgeable in construction practices, and, most importantly, that are expert in the nuances of casting design and manufacturing.
Image of cast steel structural component used on a bridge
Casting manufacturing enables the production of high quality, geometrically complex and precise steel components.

Cast steel structural components can provide significant performance advantages over those produced via conventional steel fabrication, including:

Cast Steel Structural Components supporting a hallway bridge with people passing byMaterial Optimization Featured ImageEnhanced Strength and Stiffness Featured ImageImproved Fatigue Life ImageSimplified Fabrication ImageImproved Constructability ImageProject Image
Material optimization

Cast steel structural components can be designed to offer material savings over their fabricated counterparts. 

The freeform capabilities of casting manufacturing provides the opportunity to create structural forms that are more directly informed by the forces to which they will be subjected.  

Enhanced strength and stiffness

Castings are well-suited for arduously loaded structural connections, where elevated strength or stiffness may be required.

Cast steel is isotropic, making castings ideal for use in connections that are subjected to complex stress states.

Casting manufacturing allows for the production of components with varying wall thickness, enabling targeted reinforcement of the connection as needed.

Castings are ideal for use in structures that are sensitive to deformations or vibrations as in the design stage their stiffness can be accurately predicted and tuned to suit the overall structural response.

Improved fatigue life

Utilizing cast nodes in the most crucial connections of a structure can substantially prolong the service life of the entire structure.

With cast steel nodes, weld zones are located away from regions of geometric complexity and elevated stress within a connection. Therefore, weld access and fatigue performance are greatly improved as compared with conventional fabricated connections.  

Simplified fabrication

When steel castings are used to replace complex fabrications, they improve quality and allow the steelwork contractor to focus on moving steel tonnage efficiently through their shop. Castings can be used to eliminate complex or heavy weldments and can therefore offer risk reduction and quality improvement to contractors and their clients.

Improved constructability

Bottom line: castings reduce risk in the field and often provide total installed cost savings.

Cast steel components provide precision and accuracy at a level that is unachievable via conventional fabrication, improve site fit-up, and reduce rework costs and the associated delays. Castings can be designed to eliminate the need for field welding or to incorporate field-friendly features like survey or fixturing aids.


Castings enhance the aesthetic appeal of architecturally exposed structural steel in projects of any size and budget.

Designers can leverage casting manufacturing to achieve geometries that are not possible with conventional fabrication techniques, offering a wide range of new design possibilities. Crafstmanship requirements in fabrication are greatly reduced when utilizing cast steel connections in architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS) projects.