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Understanding SMMA Designations

For steel customers across VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, and Washington D.C.

The Steel Stud Manufacturers Association (SSMA) is committed to helping support the development of quality cold-formed steel products. It endeavors to bring to market only those steel products that have met or exceeded the standards set by industry associations, national code bodies, and state or local code bodies.

Capitol Building Supply, Inc. (CBSI) is a trusted leader in the distribution of quality steel products to construction professionals across the Mid-Atlantic region. Through our yards in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., we offer and deliver steel products from the industry’s leading manufacturers to commercial or residential jobsites. CBSI is committed to helping our customers source the highest quality, most reliable steel products available.

SMMA – Setting the Standard for Steel Excellence

SSMA has worked in collaboration with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) to develop a standard designator system to help industry professionals identify structural and nonstructural cold-formed steel framing members. This system provides useful clarity amidst a number of varying manufacturer designations.

Understanding the Product Identification Code

All SSMA products carry a four-part identification code. This unique code identifies the depth, flange width, style, and thickness of each steel member.

A typical SSMA code will display like this: 600S162-54

Every SSMA code can be read by breaking it into its four distinct parts. The letter and dash help to separate the parts of the code. Therefore, the four parts of the code above are:

  1. 600
  2. S
  3. 162
  4. 54

Each of the parts of the SSMA code can be read as follows:

  1. Member Web Depth – the first number represents the depth of the member in 1/100 inches. So, the number “600” in the example above represents a depth of 6”, because 6” = 600 x 1/100 inches.
  2. Style – the letter represents the style of the member. So, the letter “S” in the example above indicates a stud or joist section. There are four letters that can be used here: S (stud or joist sections), T (track sections), U (channel sections), or F (furring channel sections).
  3. Flange Width – the numbers between the style (the letter) and the dash represent the flange width of the member, in 1/100 inches. So, the number “162” in the example above represents a flange width of 1 5/8” (which can also be written as 1.625”), because 1.625” = 162 x 1/100 inches.
  4. Mil Thickness – the number after the dash represents the minimum base steel thickness, measured in mils (the minimum base thickness is 95% of the thickness of the piece). So, the number “54” in the example above represents a minimum base thickness of 0.054”, because 0.054” = 54 mils, and 1 mil = 1/1000 inch.

Sometimes a code may have some extra information at the end in parentheses. A code of this nature would display like one of the following: 600S162-54 (33 ksi) or 600S162-54 (50 ksi). The numbers in parentheses represent the yield strength of the member. All SSMA codes must indicate the yield strength used in the design if the number is greater than 33ksi.

Builders in VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, and D.C. Trust CBSI

Need more information about SMMA steel designations, or other advice or product recommendations for your Mid-Atlantic construction jobs? The expert staff at Capitol Building Supply is here to serve you.

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About Capitol Building Supply, Inc.

Capitol Building Supply is a proud member of the GMS family of companies. Serving both commercial and residential customers, we offer the largest inventory of construction supplies in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Whether you need drywall, insulation, acoustical tile, tools, or other construction accessories in the Mid-Atlantic region, CBSI has you covered.

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