Structural Steelwork vs Platework Differences, Ref Australian Standards

Structural Steelwork vs Platework Differences, Ref Australian Standards


This paper compares and contrasts the specific differences between structural steelwork and platework within the context of Australian standards. It highlights the distinct requirements, guidelines, and best practices associated with each type of metalwork, emphasizing their importance in ensuring safety, durability, and compliance with local regulations.


Structural steelwork and platework are two essential components of the metalworking industry, each with unique characteristics and applications. In Australia, these metalwork types are governed by specific standards and codes to ensure quality, safety, and reliability. This paper aims to discuss the differences between structural steelwork and platework, focusing on Australian standards and their practical implications.

Structural Steelwork in Australia:

Rio Tinto Amrun Project
Rio Tinto Amrun Project

Structural steelwork in Australia is primarily governed by the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4100:1998 – Steel structures. This standard provides guidelines for the design, fabrication, and erection of steel structures, emphasizing safety, durability, and serviceability. Structural steelwork involves the design and construction of steel frames, beams, columns, and other load-bearing elements.

Australian standards for structural steelwork focus on material specifications, welding procedures, and inspection requirements. They ensure that steel structures are designed and constructed to withstand various loads, including dead loads, live loads, wind loads, and seismic loads. The standards also specify the use of appropriate fasteners, connections, and fireproofing materials.

Platework in Australia:

Platework in Australia typically refers to the fabrication and installation of metal plates, sheets, and associated components. It is commonly used in the construction of pressure vessels, tanks, and other equipment that require a high degree of precision and durability.

Australian standards for platework, such as AS 1210:2010 – Pressure vessels, provide guidelines for the design, fabrication, testing, and inspection of pressure vessels and other similar equipment. These standards ensure that platework is capable of withstanding high pressures, temperatures, and corrosive environments, thereby maintaining safety and operational efficiency.

Differences between Structural Steelwork and Platework with Respect to Australian Standards:

  1. Design and Fabrication Standards: Structural steelwork and platework follow different design and fabrication standards. Structural steelwork adheres to AS/NZS 4100, while platework complies with standards like AS 1210. These standards address specific requirements related to material selection, welding procedures, and inspection criteria.

  2. Load-Bearing Capacity: Structural steelwork is designed to support and transfer loads efficiently throughout a structure. It must comply with strict requirements related to load-bearing capacity, stability, and durability. On the other hand, platework focuses on withstanding internal pressures and temperatures, requiring a different set of design considerations and material specifications.

  3. Fabrication Techniques and Inspection: Fabrication techniques and inspection criteria differ between structural steelwork and platework. Structural steelwork often involves complex welding and assembly processes, requiring skilled labor and precise measurements. Platework fabrication emphasizes precision cutting, bending, and welding of metal plates to achieve leak-proof and durable structures. Inspection and testing procedures also vary, with structural steelwork undergoing rigorous non-destructive testing to ensure structural integrity.


Structural steelwork and platework, when considered within the context of Australian standards, exhibit distinct differences in terms of design, fabrication, and inspection requirements. Understanding these differences is crucial for engineers, fabricators, and construction professionals to ensure compliance with local regulations, maintain safety standards, and achieve optimal performance in their respective fields. By adhering to Australian standards, both structural steelwork and platework contribute significantly to the safety, durability, and functionality of modern infrastructure in Australia.

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