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Building With Structural Steel: All You Need To Know

May 12, 2023
Building With Structural Steel: All You Need To Know

The world of today is difficult to imagine without structural steel. Construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding, oil and gas, all these industries heavily rely on structural steel. It is the material structural steel fabricators use to build residential and commercial structures. Much like there are different types of concrete or wood, there are different types or grades of steel. In this blog, we will talk about what structural steel is, cover different steel grades and discuss why it is a preferred material in construction. Read on.


What is structural steel?


Structural steel is a type of steel primarily designed for use in building construction. It is different from steel used in engineering tools and equipment and the stainless steel used in consumer products. 


Structural steel contains carbon, which is what essentially makes it suitable for use in construction. The carbon content in structural steel reaches 2.1%. The higher the carbon content, the lower the ductility of steel, meaning it is less likely to bend or warp under pressure. However, ductility isn’t the only factor that determines the quality of steel. In fact, mild steel with a carbon content between 0.04% and 0.3% is the most widely used type of steel in residential and commercial construction.


What are the different grades of steel?


Below are the different grades of steel used in construction:


  • Carbon steel is an alloy of carbon and iron with other elements added for oxidation. As mentioned above, the higher the carbon content, the less ductile and weldable steel becomes. Carbon steel is widely used in structural pipes and tubing. 


  • Forged steel is a type of steel that is processed by applying heat and/or force to it. The process of forging removes voids and gas bubbles from the steel, improving its strength and overall quality. 


  • Low-alloy steel is fabricated with the addition of other elements to improve its mechanical and corrosion resistance properties. Common applications include steel plates and structural shapes. 


  • Quenched and tempered steel is a type of steel alloy that is heated and simultaneously cooled using different substances such as water, oil, nitrogen or forced air. This type of steel treatment produces stronger, less brittle structural steel.

Building With Structural Steel: All You Need To Know

Why is steel a preferred material in construction?


Structural steel is known for its high weight-to-strength ratio, meaning it can support loads that are larger than its weight. This feature makes it an ideal material for use in construction.


Aside from being strong, steel is also very ductile, meaning it will bend rather than break when physical force is applied to it. Its ductility allows it to support heavy loads without sagging. This is another reason why steel is so commonly used in construction and other heavy industries. 


Structural steel is more affordable and long-lasting than other materials, such as concrete or wood. It is also relatively easy to produce in large quantities. 


Although very minor, steel has some drawbacks, the main one being its susceptibility to corrosion. However, steel fabrication is a constantly improving industry. Thus, corrosion no longer poses a problem for steel fabrication.


To Sum Up


As you can see, structural steel is highly valued in construction and other heavy industries for many reasons. It is a material that has been in use in construction for a few centuries now and is set to be the leading material in construction for many years to come. 


Choose Weld Rich & Steel As Your Structural Steel Fabricator

If you are looking for reputable structural steel fabricators in Toronto, look no further than Weld Rich & Steel. Experts in structural steel fabrication, welding, and steel erection, we can handle any project with ease. Our years of experience and commitment to quality have made us a leader in custom steel fabrication in Toronto. Contact us today and learn how we can meet your custom steel fabrication needs.