What’s The Best Quality Steel For Construction?
Steel is an important material that can be used in the construction of many different types of buildings. There are many different qualities and types of steel, which makes it difficult to choose just one. As a matter of fact, the variety in steel can confuse beginners in construction. Hence, making their construction projects that much more difficult.
In this article, we will discuss what the best quality steel for construction is based on a few factors. Not only that, we will discuss why there are different types of steel. Whenever you’re ready to learn more about the world of construction metals, get your notes handy and keep reading.
Why There Are Different Types Of Steel?
For instance, there are low-carbon steels, which have a high level of carbon and iron. These types of steel are usually harder than mild steel but also more brittle. Some people refer to these as “lower quality” because they dent easily.
Then there is stainless steel, which typically contains chromium and nickel to make it corrosion resistant. This type of material can take on some additional load-bearing weight without bending or breaking like other metals may do under pressure (though this depends on the specific grade).
Mild Steel is another common metal used in construction projects, though not necessarily for its resistance properties—it’s very cheap! Mild steels require minimal heat treatment before use because most varieties contain less than 0.25% carbon.
Quality of Steel
No matter the type of steel, its quality is determined by three factors: carbon content, alloying materials, and heat treatment.
The more carbon a particular metal has in it, the stronger and harder that material will be. Generally speaking, higher carbon steels can withstand more stress before they deform or break than lower-carbon steels without sacrificing any ductility.
However, this isn’t always true because there are other varying alloys within these types of metals that make them different from one another. For example, stainless steel contains less carbon but also contains chromium to give it corrosion resistance properties as we discussed above. So while mild steel may not have as many benefits as stainless steel does when considering strength vs cost, it is cheaper and easier to form than stainless steel.
Steel is made by passing iron through a furnace where the gas burns up with oxygen, producing heat in the process. This heated air then oxidizes (or rusts) any exposed metal before being blasted back into the hot zone of the furnace chamber for more oxidation or “burning”. The amount of time this cycle takes determines how much carbon gets deposited onto each piece as well as its quality.
Steel can be hardened via annealing which involves heating the material to a certain temperature. Then allowing it to cool slowly so that internal stresses are relieved. So much that they keep from breaking under tension while also giving it strength due to continued cooling processes. However, this process does not change the metal’s chemical composition and thus it is less expensive to produce.
The best quality steel for construction will often undergo more than one heat treatment. For instance, tempering involves heating a piece of iron. Primarily to remove some of its internal stresses while also maintaining ductility or toughness. This process can be rather costly. But it is worth it due to better strength retention under tension.
The Different Types of Steel Products You Can Use For Your Project
Along with having the best quality steel for construction, you need to know what kind of steel products you can get to serve your needs better. Here’s a look at some of the most popular steel products.
Expanded Metal and Grating: Industrial-grade expanded metal and grating are made of either carbon or stainless steel. They are made from durable and high-quality steel that ensure that no matter what the load or volume is, your steel won’t buckle. It is usually made from one sheet, which ensures that there are no welds or joints present, creating a seamless grating. When you’re looking to construct durable stairs, platforms, and ramps that fit industrial requirements, this is ideal.
Rebar: Formally known as a reinforcing bar, it is a common steel product used to increase the tensile strength of any structure. It can help aid and strengthen concrete that is under significant pressure. It can be used in both new and old structures, making it a highly versatile item that most constructors love. It is more flexible than most steel products and non-corrosive.
Steel Bars: These can be referred to as the big siblings of rebar. They are the bigger and heavier version of reinforcing bars used when there is a higher requirement to support high load and volume. Since they are made of pure steel, they can also be heavier than your average rebar.
Steel Beams: Steel beams are the ideal choice when you’re looking to find beams that can support various structures and handle high volumes. You can several different types of beams depending on your requirements, like I-beam, H-beam, etc. Because they are offered in different varieties, they are highly versatile and can be used in both new and old structures. Beams are also used in truck and trailer frames, bridges, platforms, etc.
Steel Decking: When you’re in the business of constructing composite concrete floor slabs, you must already be familiar with the utility of steel decking. They are a sheet of high-performance galvanized steel. They are also useful in roof construction. It can also be used for insulating membranes in a structure. They are multi-purpose steel products that can be molded per your requirements.
Steel Tubing and Piping: For industrial applications, steel tubing and piping are ideal. They are not corrosive and highly resistant to various external elements, making them an ideal choice that is durable and functional. It can be used for the transportation of water, gases, and other various liquids. Presently, they are commonly used in conveyor belts, mills, and many other machines. They can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures, making them ideal for many factory and industrial applications.
Steel Plates and Steel Sheets: Whether you’re in the marine construction business or commercial construction business, you might have used steel plating before. They are highly durable and high-performing, which makes them ideal for a variety of industrial construction purposes. Many military and pressure vessel equipment is made from steel plates due to their durability against high temperatures and pressures.
You can also consider getting additional value-added services like plate processing, section bending and cambering, custom toll-formed floor and roof deck, and more with the right distributor and supplier.
What Is the Best Steel for Construction?
When it comes to construction, the best steel is often the most durable. It is important to take into account the practicality of the construction process when choosing a steel grade.
Some steel, such as low carbon steel, is used mainly for production purposes. They get heated quickly without too much oxygen so that the material doesn’t become brittle. As it would from oxidation caused by high-temperature exposure. Hence, these pieces don’t need any additional steps before use.
Typically though, carbon content (which determines how strong and hard it will be) plays an essential role in deciding which type of steel is best. The higher the carbon percentage in a piece of metal like steel or iron has, then this means that less heat treatment needs to occur and more strength retention can happen under tension.
More often than not though with lower grades of metal, there is the need for further heat treatments. This is to remove some of the carbon molecules from the surface. A higher grade steel (such as high-carbon steel) can be produced by several processes. But one example is through casting followed by carburizing.
This process will strengthen and harden it with three major steps in this order.
First heating up while exposed to pure oxygen at 900 degrees Celsius. Then soaking in the molten salt bath until second heated again at 850 degrees Celsius. This also leaves just enough carbon on the outside. The third step involves tempering where temperature needs only to rise back up. This around 300 degrees Celsius before cooling down quickly.
The best construction steels often have both low and high percentages of carbon. This is so that they are strong and durable yet still flexible. It is important to always use the right type of steel for your project. Be aware that different grades will make a difference in cost, performance, usage, longevity, and safety.
Best Steel for Your Project
Now that you know what determines the best quality steel for construction, you are that much closer to having it integrated into your project. Steel is easy to come by, but it’s not all made the same. If you’re interested in the highest quality of steel with full-scale customer services, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.