| About Us
- Understanding how REIDsteel was founded
English Engineer, John Fleetwood Baker, invented the theory and
developed the practise of Plastic Design of steel frames. In 1946, at
Cambridge University, he built and tested the first portal frame
designed by the Plastic Method, and followed this with 2 buildings in
Reid and his son Michael Reid were quick on the uptake and by 1956 were
already World leaders in the construction of the Archspan Portal Frame
was hard to buy in those days, and the 20% or so saving in steel
content achieved by Plastic Design, together with the reduction in
labour content of these frames, allowed REIDsteel
to thrive. Not only at home in England, but all over the world, the
economy, durability and low maintenance of REIDsteel
portal framed building quickly found a market.
first, we were building small spans - 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet (9, 12,
15 metres). As the availability and size of hot rolled steel sections
increased, so the spans increased, 120', 150', 200' became possible.
the spans were increasing, the use of hot rolled angle or channel
purlins and rails were being revolutionised by the practice of making
these members using cold rolled Zed shapes. Using relatively thin flat
sheet, and bending it into more complex, deeper shapes, REIDsteel
Portal framed buildings made further leaps forward into bigger bays,
bigger spans and greater economy. The new shapes were stiffer,
stronger, lighter, and easier to incorporate into buildings, more
compact to pack into containers, and cheaper, too. REIDsteel
worked with Manufacturers and Universities to advance the theory and
the testing of the sections.
Meanwhile, several developments were helping REIDsteel
stay ahead of the opposition. The introduction of propped portals and V
braced propped portals gave more economy. The use of portal framed main
frames for plastic design joists, mezzanines and multi-storey buildings
gave more advances in strength, stiffness, hurricane and earthquake
resistance together with more economies.
another significant factor was the introduction of computers. Fresh
from instructing theory of structures and computer programming at the
Royal School of Military Engineering, Rollo Reid joined the Company and
set about writing programs: design of portal frames for different spans
and loadings, artic shows, tropical hurricanes, earthquakes. Then,
coupling these with purlin, side rail, bracing designs, enabling
optimisation to try out almost every possible arrangement of the steel
in a building, all this at a time where the computer had a memory of
one kilobyte and a screen 2 inches across. The computer was then coaxed
into drawing a perspective sketch of the building, using a tractor
driven type writer banging out asterisks to give a vivid picture of the
building; and of typing out a quotation and even punching out a paper
tape for immediate telex transmission, rat.at.tat.tat.
those early computer days, REIDsteel's ability to
send out complete quotations and sketches for a huge variety of
building sizes and styles was world beating; and curiously, still is.
advances, by our own staff, have enabled us to keep up to speed in the
IT age. Sending out e-mail quotations, realistic drawings, cost
effective quotations and calculations at the drop of a hat, all have
enabled REIDsteel to stay at the forefront and to
continue to export worldwide as well as compete in the UK steel framed
websites are also effective and bring in trade.