In the modern era, steel structures have become universal, gracing several aspects of our daily lives. From the railways that facilitate our daily commutes to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, steel’s role as a structural material has enabled the realization of these marvels. The distinctive properties of steel underpin the foundations of our modern society. However, a fundamental question arises: What exactly is structural steel, and how does it differ from mild steel? Furthermore, why do people employ it, and what are the methods of its utilization? This article aims to provide comprehensive explanations for all these queries and more.
What is structural steel?
A steel structure refers to a construction or framework that primarily utilizes steel as the main building material. Steel, a strong and durable alloy composed primarily of iron and carbon, is favoured for its high tensile strength and versatility. Steel structures are commonly used in various applications, such as buildings, bridges, industrial facilities, and infrastructure projects, due to their ability to withstand heavy loads, provide stability, and offer design flexibility. The use of steel in construction has become a cornerstone of modern engineering, contributing significantly to the development of robust and reliable structures across the globe.
How does carbon content effect steel?
One might assume that steel used in construction needs a high carbon content to resist bending under pressure. Remarkably, the most commonly used steel in building materials is low-carbon steel, also known as “Mild Steel.” It typically contains between 0.04% to 0.3% carbon, providing a balance of strength and ductility. In the construction of steel buildings, especially tall ones, strength is vital, but a certain level of flexibility is also necessary. Excessively rigid buildings cannot adapt to natural ground shifts caused by nearby construction or earthquakes, nor can they withstand strong winds by bending slightly. Hence, mid- to high-carbon steels with a carbon content ranging from 0.31% to 1.5% – though classified as structural steel – are primarily reserved for mechanical engineering and toolmaking purposes.
Furthermore, various grades of structural steel may contain additional alloying elements, such as tungsten, zirconium, cobalt, or nickel.
Structural Steel Types and Sizes
Structural steel is a key component in construction, known for its strength, versatility, and reliability. It comes in various types and sizes to suit different building needs and applications.
- Mild Steel Angles: Mild steel angles are L-shaped structural elements widely used for framing, bracing, and supporting structures. Available in diverse dimensions, ranging from 40 x 40 mm to 150 x 150 mm, these angles provide stability and reinforcement in various construction projects.
- Mild Steel Beams: Mild steel beams, also known as I-beams or H-beams, are horizontal structural members with a distinctive “I” or “H” shape. They are designed to handle heavy vertical loads and are commonly used in building frameworks and bridge construction. The sizes include 100 x 70 mm, 120 x 58 mm, 125 x 70 mm, 150 x 75 mm, 150 x 150 mm, 175 x 85 mm, 175 x 100 mm, and 200 x 150 mm.
- Mild Steel Channels: Mild steel channels are C-shaped structural components used for supporting and aligning other building elements. They come in various sizes, such as 75 x 40 mm, 100 x 50 mm, 125 x 65 mm, and 150 x 75 mm. These channels are versatile and commonly utilized in constructing frames, ceilings, and partitions.
These structural steel types and sizes are vital in creating sturdy and durable structures, from simple residential buildings to complex industrial facilities. Their inherent strength and adaptability make them indispensable in the world of construction, ensuring the safety and longevity of various architectural endeavours.
Top 5 Reasons Why Steel Structures Are the Best Choice
- Cost Savings: Steel structures stand out as the most cost-effective option for numerous projects, excelling in both material and design aspects. The manufacturing and erection processes are economical, and the structures require minimal maintenance compared to traditional building methods.
- Creativity: Steel’s innate beauty unleashes the creativity of architects, presenting a world of design possibilities. The material allows for long, column-free spans, enabling the realization of diverse shapes and configurations. Additionally, steel structures can be designed to maximize natural light, enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of the spaces.
- Control and Management: The fabrication of steel structures takes place in controlled factory environments, leading to efficient and precise production. Skilled personnel then swiftly erect these structures at the construction site, ensuring a safe and streamlined construction process. Industry surveys consistently reaffirm that steel structures provide the optimal solution in terms of project management.
- Durability: Steel structures exhibit exceptional durability, making them capable of withstanding extreme forces and harsh weather conditions, such as strong winds, earthquakes, hurricanes, and heavy snow loads. Furthermore, they are highly resistant to rust, unlike some other materials, and remain unaffected by termites, bugs, mildew, mold, and fungi. This longevity factor contributes significantly to the long-term sustainability of steel buildings.
- Sustainability: Steel structures align with sustainable construction practices, as steel is recyclable and can be reused in new projects. The recyclability of steel reduces waste and lessens the environmental impact, making it an eco-friendly choice for conscientious builders and developers.
How to Choose the Right Manufacturer for Your Requirements?
Making a decision about selecting a manufacturer can be daunting, especially considering the significant impact it can have on your project’s success. To help you navigate this crucial process, here are some valuable tips:
- Clearly Define Your Requirements: Before meeting potential manufacturers, have a clear understanding of what you need. Determine your priorities and expectations from the manufacturer, and be ready to communicate these during the evaluation process.
- Take Your Time: Avoid rushing into a decision. Take the necessary time to assess and compare multiple companies. Testing different options allows you to make a well-informed choice that aligns perfectly with your project requirements.
- Investigate the Company Background: Research the history and track record of the manufacturer. A company with a solid and reputable past is more likely to deliver reliable results and meet your expectations.
- Consider Hiring Experienced Professionals: The procurement process involves various hidden costs. Engaging experienced professionals or companies for your procurement projects can lead to substantial cost savings. Feel free to inquire about this aspect from Dmsons’s skilled team with expertise in various structural steel projects.
At Dmsons Metal, we possess extensive experience in diverse steel construction projects, including high-rise buildings, roof systems, bridge parts, industrial buildings, and related construction equipment manufacturing. Our compliance with EN 1090-1 EXC2, EXC3, and EXC4 standards ensures the quality and reliability of our work. Additionally, our welding procedures adhere to EN ISO 3834-2 standards.
We offer a comprehensive one-stop sourcing service for construction projects, covering shop drawings, raw material procurement, surface treatment (sandblasting, final painting), galvanizing, cutting, drilling, welding, and finishing.
For more detailed information about our products and services, please visit our product page.