Three Distinctive Attributes of Structural Steel

Although steel is ubiquitous in the construction sector, its use as a structural component deserves special mention. Steel is an invaluable structural material for use in the construction of large structures. Users of structural steel, should, however, keep in mind that not all steels are created the same. As a result, not every steel type is suitable for use as structural components. 

For a specific type of steel to be used as a structural material in construction, there is a unique set of attributes that it must have. Outlined below are some distinctive properties that set structural steels apart from other steel types.

1. Structural Steels Have a High Carbon Content for Maximum Strength 

As the strength of steel is a huge concern in the construction of steel structures, structural steels need to be exceptionally strong.

The strength of different grades of steel varies depending on their carbon content. Steels with a higher percentage of carbon are generally sturdier than those with lower amounts of carbon. This explains why carbon steels are the favoured choice of steel for structural components.

It should, however, be understood that steels with a high carbon content have low ductility. In construction applications where more ductility is desired for the distribution of stresses in structural elements, low-carbon steels may be used but at a strength penalty. 

2. Structural Steels Have Good Formability

In structural steel fabrication, formability refers to the ability of structural steel to be turned into different shapes and sizes without losing its structural integrity. Formability is an essential attribute of structural steel because construction professionals require different types of structural steel shapes to build unique structures.

The main uses of structural steel in construction include beams, sections and columns. There are several structural steel types available for builders to choose from.

3. Structural Steels Provide Excellent Fire-Resistance

When building steel structures that are susceptible to fire damage, it is important to use a steel type that offers maximum protection against fire. This is where structural steels come in. 

This type of steel can endure high temperatures in a fire. In such cases, structure owners can rest assured that there will be something worth salvaging.

Structural steels are generally specified depending on their intended construction purpose. You will, therefore, need to have a sit-down with your chosen steel fabricator to determine the steel specifications that are right for your project. Contact a steel fabrication company to learn more.