5 Reasons Why Steel is Used For Construction

Steel for construction is a desirable and affordable option for building structures of all shapes and sizes. Steel frame buildings, for example, have countless advantages over other materials like timber and concrete: affordability, decreased risk and safety, quality and dependability, speed of construction, architectural flexibility, and exposed steelwork, as well as its sustainability, futureproofing, lightweight construction, reduced waste, and ease of transportation. Thanks to these incredible attributes, there is an array of structural steel for construction, like universal beams and columns, steel sections, plates, and so much more. 

Discover the benefits of structural steel for construction and why steel frame buildings are the builder’s material of choice. 

Common Types of Structural Steel For Construction

The steel used for constructing buildings and other structures is known as structural steel. There are many different types of structural steel products, each split into a range of categories with various compositional characteristics that make them perfect for particular applications in construction. 

Universal Beams: referred to as I-Beams when upright and H-Beams when horizontal.

Universal Columns: similar to Universal Beams, Universal Columns also feature a similar I and H shape, except that all three sections of the column are of equal length. 

Tapered Flange Beams: I-shaped sections available in various sizes. Tapered Flange Beams are used for sections of girders (a support beam used in construction and the primary horizontal support of a structure that supports smaller beams).

Angled Sections: these L-shaped support sections can have either equal or unequal sized axis’.

Circular Hollow Sections: hollow tubular cross sections have much higher resistance to torsion than tapered flange beams, thanks to the uniform thickness of the circular walls.

Rectangular Hollow Sections: similar to circular hollow sections, except with a flat rectangular cross-section that makes them ideal for joining and metal fabrication.

Square Hollow Sections: square cross-section, used in smaller applications.

Flat Sections: also referred to as steel plates, these versatile structural steel components can be attached to other sections for added strength. 

Another essential structural steel for construction is Rebar Steel. Also known as reinforcing steel, these carbon steel sections are used as tensioning tools for structural reinforcement in concrete and other masonry structures, with ridges that ‘grip’ onto materials.

5 Reasons To Use Steel For Construction

1. Steel Frame Buildings and Structures

These incredibly sturdy steel frame buildings can bear enormous weights, providing load-bearing support across large areas. The use of universal beams in modern CAD design enables exact beam design, with consideration given to loads, stresses, dimensions and location. Steel frames revolutionised the building industry, pushing the envelope and facilitating the construction of larger, taller, and higher-quality structures than was previously possible with timber frames. Steel frame buildings are also significantly lighter than concrete buildings, reducing loads on foundations without limiting strength and stiffness.

2. Prefabricated Steel Reduces Overall Labour

Steel fabrication enables builders to produce specific structural steel products thanks to precision cutting, welding, and high-quality steelwork. Fabrication allows steel sections to be made off-site using 3D technology and other construction-relevant technologies. 

Thanks to prefabrication, overall on-site labour can be focused on installation, reducing the number of workers needed to install steel frame buildings and the need for ongoing maintenance, repairs or renovations. Despite the increased cost of steel compared to concrete and timber, these efficiencies make steel for construction more affordable, giving you more bang for your buck.

3. Predictability Equals Safety

Steel is notable for its isotropic properties that give it the same level of strength everywhere. Timber, on the other hand, is anisotropic. Its density varies along and across the grain, making it difficult to determine its overall strength and durability. This density variation makes steel far more predictable building material and less susceptible to corrosion and damage. 

Moreover, steel production is a highly-regulated industry worldwide with strict quality assurance processes that ensure steel products are verified for their ductility, tensile strength and overall strength from production to on-site installation. 

4. 100% Recyclable

Recyclability is a feature of the steel industry that is frequently disregarded. Most steel frame buildings are constructed from 100% recyclable steel. Builders can use all steel products again and again without any denigration of quality or appearance. 

As a result, the steel manufacturing industry relies heavily on scrap metal, which often makes up a significant portion of all steel products on the market. Steel is a near-infinite resource compared to concrete, which requires sand and stone. Additionally, steel doesn’t need to be treated against risks and pests, which reduces the requirement for hazardous chemicals often used on structural timber products.

5. Space and Time-Saving Building Design

Did you know that a standard steel column takes up about a quarter of the space of a regular concrete column, enabling spacing building designs with much larger open spaces? Moreover, the increased dimensional accuracy from 3D fabrication techniques that produce a wide range of steel products in various shapes and sizes ensures efficiency with little wastage, enabling faster construction lead times.

Reliable Structural Steel Construction Supplies

Steel frame buildings require an array of structural steel for construction–lintels, T-bars, angle bars, and much more. With so many structural components, finding a one-stop shop for all your building needs is crucial to completing your project on time and under budget. 

Local Australian suppliers are ideal for ordering high-quality building materials, especially when they offer 24-hour lead times and reliable courier dispatch. Access a wide range of reliable structural steel construction supplies, all at affordable prices, when you shop online with Australia’s trusted building supplier since 1957.