NSC Archives


AD 409: Recent Blue and Orange Book developments

Recent restructuring within the UK steel industry has led to new developments in the provision of structural steel design information produced by SCI; traditionally known as the ‘Blue Book’. This AD note explains these changes.

The first version of the ‘Blue Book’: Steelwork Design Guide to BS 5950-1: 2000, Volume 1, Section properties, Member capacities (SCI publication P202) was published in 1985, based on BS 5950-1. Seven editions were published; the most recent in 2007.

In 2009, the Eurocode version of the Blue Book was published (SCI publication P363). Minor revisions and corrections were made in reprints published in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Both of these publications (P202 and P363) are still available; hardcopy from the SCI shop or electronically to SCI members only, from

The first electronic version of the Blue Books was released by Corus in 2006. Since then, several downloadable versions of the Blue Books have been developed by SCI.

All downloadable versions of the electronic ‘Blue Books’ are no longer supported by SCI and users are encouraged to use the new, up-to-date, ‘Blue Book’ and ‘Orange Book’ websites as described below.

A web-based version of the ‘Blue Book’, known as the ‘Tata Steel interactive Blue Book’, was released in 2008. This website was withdrawn in March 2017.

Recent electronic ‘Blue and Orange Book’ developments
Recent ‘Blue Book’ user surveys revealed that many users were unaware of the additional functionality offered in the downloadable products. Where they were aware, they generally did not value these features. Furthermore, with increased company IT security, it was becoming problematic for users to download, install and update the software on their company PCs or laptops. The web-based versions also had the added benefit of enabling section ranges to be easily updated without the need for any software updates.

It was therefore decided to develop a new suite of ‘Blue and Orange Book’ websites. As at June 2017, the following products, developed by SCI, are available:

  1. Users of the IHS Construction Information Service (CIS) are able to access a dedicated ‘Blue Book’ website from Data are provided for the BS4 product ranges and commonly available European section ranges. British section resistance data, to the Eurocodes (UK National Annex), are provided for grades S275, S355 and S460 steel and the European ranges for grades S355 and S460.
  2. The Steel for Life ‘Interactive Blue Book’ website,, is essentially the replacement for the previous Tata Steel interactive Blue Book. The Steel for Life Blue Book provides comprehensive design data; both Eurocode (UK National Annex) and BS 5950-1 for open section ranges to EN 10365:2017 and for structural hollow sections; hot finished to EN 10210-2 and cold formed to EN 10219-2.
  3. The new Tata Steel ‘Blue Book’ website,, replaces the recently withdrawn ‘Tata Steel interactive Blue Book’ website and provides data on Tata Steel’s Celsius and Hybox structural hollow section ranges. Eurocode resistance data are available for S355 and S420 steel sections both in English (UK National Annex) and German (German National Annex). In addition, for the Celsius 355 range, resistance data to BS 5950-1 are provided.
  4. The ArcelorMittal Orange Book website,, provides member resistance data for S355/HISTAR355 and S460/HISTAR460 steel. Eurocode data (UK National Annex) are provided for the European open section ranges produced by ArcelorMittal and for the British section ranges according to EN 10365:2017.

With the exception of the IHS product, all websites are freely available and allow users to print information directly or export the data to their own computer.

Contact: Michael Sansom
Tel: 01344636555

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this post

Related Posts


Click on the cover to view this month's issue as a digimag.