For many centuries, the world has relied on steel structures for many of its needs, with construction being one of the major ones. The majority of modern buildings are built with steel, making the demand for this material high like never before. Such high demand also spurs the research and development of new and more efficient types of steel and alloy steel to meet the ever evolving needs of the construction industry. But what are the types of steel commonly used in construction? We explore them in the blog below.
Steel is an alloy of iron and a small amount of carbon (up to 2.1% in weight). It is classified into grades, and the use of a particular grade of steel depends on the design requirements of the structure. Before we get to the review of different steel types, it is important to note that the grade of steel directly affects its mechanical properties. Read on to learn more about the different steel types.
Carbon steel is a type of steel with carbon content from about 0.05 up to 2.1 percent by weight. Depending on the content of carbon, carbon steel can be categorized as low-carbon (< 0.3%), medium-carbon (0.3-0.6%), high carbon (0.6-1%) and ultrahigh carbon (1.25-2%) steels. This type of steel is mostly used in structural pipe and tubing.
High-strength alloy steels are more resistant to corrosion due to the content of additional elements, like manganese, in them. Other elements, like chromium, nickel, molybdenum, nitrogen and others, are added to promote other properties in the steel.
Weathering steel is a sub-type of high-strength alloy steel that boasts enhanced corrosion resistance thanks to the rust-like oxidized layer formed on the surface of the material. This layer acts as a protection from the effects of rain, fog and snow. This type of steel is often used by steel structure fabricators to build structures that are subjected to different elements for a prolonged period of time.
Forged steel is a type of steel created through the process of forging, which involves application of mechanical and thermal energy. The benefit of forging is that it helps achieve a uniform grain structure of the steel by removing the voids and gas bubbles and increasing the material’s overall strength.
As the name implies, this type of steel undergoes quenching and tempering treatment with heat. Quenched and tempered alloy steel is often used in building construction.
Steel is known to be one of the strongest and most durable materials in the world used by steel structure fabricators. These features combined with the corrosion-resistance properties make steel the most preferred material for construction of all types of structures.
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