The Steel Supply Company provides shims to a variety of construction trades. Solid or Slotted, Plastic or Steel. It should be noted that by solid we mean non-slotted, or what is sometimes called "Plate Shim." The plastic version of these plate shims is still solid throughout. This is differentiated from some plastic shims on the market that are actually hollow in the core. Shims that are not solid cannot deliver the compressive strength required for most construction projects. The plastic shims shown in Fig. 1 are all solid throughout. Note the slotted plastic shim on the left of the image. It's actual dimensions are 4" x 6" x 1/2" thick, solid throughout, and is compression rated to support 90,000 lbs. before permanent deflection occurs. Based on its surface area, that is approximately 4,500 psi.
Steel Manufacturing Blog: Keeping it Steel
When shims are required to be angled, wedge shaped, or anything other than flat squares and rectangles, specific steps have to be taken to offset the difficulty these angles create.
As discussed in previous blogs The Steel Supply Company uses several methods of making slotted steel shims. These are confined into two main groups; hard tooling and soft tooling. Click here to view that discussion.
To suit their purpose, Slotted Steel Shims need to be produced as flat as possible. The Steel Supply Company can manufacture perfectly flat shims with literally zero practical deflection by cutting the shims from plate stock on a laser table. The problem with this method is higher costs, which escalate even further as the shim thickness increases.
The Steel Supply Company uses a variety of processes when manufacturing Slotted Steel Shims. For stock sizes Punch and Die Stamping is the most effective. For made to order sizes or multiple slot shims laser cutting produces very accurate results. Heavier material like 1/2” thick or thicker tends to be more economical using a High Definition Plasma table. Regardless of the process our customer, the steel fabricator and erector, requires the same thing, i.e. accurate, flat shims that can be installed with no hesitation or interruption and that provide 100% surface contact.
The Steel Supply Company produces Slotted Steel Shims that get used across a variety of industries, but primarily in the construction trades. They are used in everything from Moment Connections and Relieving Angles, to concrete shoring forms. For many construction industry applications, the surface of the shim is not an issue. Among the most common uses for these shims are Relieving Angles or Lintels, where they are typically Hot Dip Galvanized so surface features are not an issue. In more specialized cases, the eventual use should be considered when ordering.
In selecting shim material, an important consideration is Fire Rating. For Concrete Contractors, shims often are used in the forms prior to pouring concrete. Since they will not be a permanent part of the structure any material that provides the necessary spacing should be acceptable. For steel Fabricators and Erectors, the shims are more often permanent and required to last the life of the structure. This requires proper material selection not only for Compressive Strength and Durability but also for Fire Rating.
Whether Slotted Shims or Solid Shim Plates, common selections for shim material include Plastic, Carbon and Stainless Steel. Each has a specific benefit and when used properly, can provide adequate service for the entirety of the structure’s life.
One of our primary product lines, Slotted Steel Shims, just got bigger. We’ve added 10” long and 12” long to our inventory.
Often our Steel Fabricating customers require shims and choose them without considering material options. Slotted Steel Shims are the default selection. Typically stamped from grade A-36 or grade 50 steel they offer tremendous compressive strength.