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    Table of Contents

    Rectangular hollow steel sections are widely used as a raw material in the construction industry. They are commonly used to make columns and shafts during construction of buildings and bridges.  Determining the weight of a rectangular hollow section of steel helps to save the amount of steel used for a purpose and in turn the cost of the project.

    Calculating the weight of rectangular hollow section of steel

    To determine the weight of a rectangular hollow section of steel you would need to measure the length, breadth, height/depth, and density of the section.  Once you have all these measurements you can simply apply the formula to calculate weight of rectangular hollow section.

    Let us see how to calculate the weight of a rectangular hollow section of steel with an example:

    L (length) = 1000 mm (1m)

    h (height) = 200 mm

    b (Breadth) = 180 mm

    d (Density) = 8000 kg/m3 

    The formula to calculate the weight of a hollow rectangular section is

    Weight (W) = Volume (V) x Density (d)

    To calculate the volume of the steel section we must first find out the area of the steel section. For this you would need to calculate the area of the outer rectangle and the inner rectangle separately and then subtract them to get the total area of the rectangular hollow section.

    The dimensions of the outer rectangle are as given above which is:

    h = 200 mm

    b = 180 mm

    Therefore, area (A) = h x b

    = 200 x 180

    = 36000 mm2

    Here are the dimensions of the inner rectangle:

    h = 190 mm

    b = 170 mm

    A = h x b

    = 190 x 170

    = 32300 mm2


    Total area (A) = Area of outer rectangle – Area of inner rectangle

    = 36000 – 32300

    = 3700 mm2

    Converting 3700 mm2 to m2 = 0.0037 m2

    Now we must find the volume of the section:

    Volume = A x l (length)

    = 0.0037 m2 x 1 m

    = 0.0037 m3


    Therefore, weight of the pipe, W = Volume (V) x Density (D)

    = 0.0037 m3 x 8000 kg/m3

    = 30 kg


    Calculating the weight of the steel section is important for the overall calculations of your engineering or construction project. Accurate calculations can avoid wastage of your steel raw material and lead to cost savings.

    Also read: Steel angle basics – Sizes, types, applications and rates

    Standard sizes of rectangular hollow sections of steel

    As per IS 4923, specifications for hollow steel sections for structural use, there are standard sizes that steel sections must follow while being sold in the market. Given below are a few standard sizes according to IS 4923:

    Standard specification (lxbxt*)

    Weight (kg/m) Area (cm2)
    50.0 x 25.0 x 2.9 2.98 3.80
    60.0 x 40.0 x 2.9 4.12 5.25
    66.0 x 33.0 x 4.5 5.95 7.58
    70.0 x 30.0 x 3.2 4.50 5.73
    96.0 x 48.0 x 3.2 6.71 8.54
    100.0 x 50.0 x 3.2 7.01 8.93
    145.0 x 82.0 x 4.8 15.92 20.28

    *t – thickness

    For a full list of standard specifications click here

    Rectangular steel sections can easily be attached to other flat surfaces as it offers a level surface that is easy to cut and requires only minimal edge preparation. This makes for cost-effective joints and welds. 

    Also read: What are the different types of steel channel? 

    Steel round bar: Types, advantages and uses 


    How do you measure a rectangular hollow section?

    You need three main measurements the length, breadth, and height of the section. Measuring the entire section horizontally from end to end will give you the length. Breadth is the width of the rectangle at the end of the section and height is the length of this rectangle.  

    What is the size of steel rectangular hollow section?

    Standard sizes are specified by the IS 4923 where there are over 20 standard sizes with varying length, breadth, thickness, area and weight.

    How do you calculate section weight?

    The weight of a section of steel can be calculated by finding the volume of the object and then applying the formula Weight = Volume x Density

    Priyanka Babu

    Priyanka is a seasoned content marketing professional with more than 6 years of experience crafting various forms of business and technology sector content. Her insightful writing tackles critical issues faced by small-scale manufacturing businesses. Priyanka’s clear and concise communication empowers businesses to make informed decisions and thrive in today’s dynamic business environment.