Facts About Structural Steel Fabrication and Durability

Jan 10 2017

Steel I-beams being transported

Structural steel is revered across man array of industries for numerous reasons. Chief among these reasons is steel's durability. Steel is as rigid as it gets. It supports an incredible amount of weight, can take a beating from the elements and withstand brute force without compromise. Let's take a closer look at some facts about steel that make it one of the most reliable building materials known to man.

Steel is Omnipresent for Good Reason

Steel spilled into the mainstream as a coveted building material back in the second half of the 19th-century. Builders of that era determined that steel was superior to cast iron thanks to its enhanced rigidity and safety. Steel has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all construction materials. In layman's terms, this means steel is remarkably strong without being saddled by excessive weight.

Today, steel is the top framing material for infrastructure throughout our continent. Take a walk through your city and you will likely be surrounded by numerous structures built with steel. This is a high-grade building material that is proven to provide solid support for all types of structures. All-in-all, steel has nearly half the market share for multi-story residential construction and non-residential buildings.

Steel is Resistant to Fire

Though no building material is completely fireproof, steel is highly resistant to fire. It is certainly possible for a steel structure to burn, however, the fire will pass through such a building at a much slower rate than it would in a building made of wood or other materials. The issue of burn rate is of the utmost importance. It could make the difference between building occupants surviving and perishing. Select steel as your main building material and you might even save on insurance premiums thanks to its fire resistant properties.

Steel is Invulnerable to Natural Threats

If you watch the news on a regular basis, you have likely seen large structures damaged by gusty winds. Yet you will rarely see a building made of steel suffer any sort of wind damage. Steel can withstand strong winds thanks to its malleability. It can bend without cracking as it absorbs significant amounts of energy with ease.

Construct your building with steel and you won't have to worry about termites and other vermin. Steel is completely inorganic so pests aren't provided with any form of sustenance. There is absolutely no need to spray a steel-framed building with chemical treatments of any sort.

Though steel can corrode, it does so at a snail's pace. Steels structures are designed to guard against corrosion in areas that could weaken its serviceability. Steel can be coated with barrier coatings so it is not exposed to the primary causes of corrosion: oxygen and water. If you desire even more protection against corrosion, don't fret! A zinc coating can also be applied to prevent corrosion. If the structure will be exposed to extreme conditions like industrial/marine settings, higher-performance coatings can be applied.

The Sustainable Building Material You Have Been Looking For

Steel is sustainable as it gets. Over 80 million tons of steel are recycled annually, making it the most recycled material in the world. Though steel is recycled quite frequently, it does not become less safe with each re-use. In fact, steel can be recycled many times and maintain its integrity across posterity.

Steel Doesn't Grow Mold

Steel frames are inorganic. This means they do not offer a source of food upon which mold can grow. Furthermore, steel framing is joined mechanically so no cracks are present for mold to grow. This style of design makes the structure that much more formidable as well.

Steel also prevents mold growth thanks to the fact that ventilation can be implemented with ease. There is no way for moisture to breach steel studs. As a result, mold will not grow and the steel won't shrink or expand. Steel stays exactly where it should so leaks do not form around openings such as windows and doorways.

The Moral of Steel's Story: Build it and Don't Worry About It!

Choose steel for your facility and you won't endure nearly the same level of stress or time-consuming maintenance required of other building materials. Though steel suffers gradual wear and tear like every other material, it doesn't deteriorate nearly as fast as alternatives. This is the no-worry building material you have long coveted.

Download Swanton Welding's Structural Steel Capabilities Statement

There is an incredible wealth of technical information available on the various types of structural steel and their various benefits. For more detailed information on them or on the manufacture of basic structural steel and how it can meet the needs of your business in the United States, please contact us at Swanton Welding Company Inc. You can visit us online at SwantonWeld.com or reach us directly at 419.826.4816.
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