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Steel has a number of uses in today’s world, the application most associate with it is construction.  It is one of the most important materials used in building, preferred for several reasons, one of them being versatility, relatively low production cost, high strength, sustainability and availability.

Structural steel is divided into shapes, each with their own compositional properties regulated by standards that differ between different countries.

 Benefits of structural fabrication

Strength

The ability to mould and bend steel into various shaped sections means it is one of the most structurally sound material used in construction.  The motorized properties of steel are a result of a series of constituents, which include its chemical makeup, manufacturing process and heat treatment.

One of the biggest elements in the composition of construction steel is iron; nevertheless, the strength of steel can be increased by the addition of a series of alloys, like manganese and niobium. Along with strengthening steel, these elements could have a negative impact on other properties like ductility and weld ability.

Mechanical working of steel plays a part in its overall strength- the more the steel rolled, the stronger it becomes. Steel has high strength to weight ratio, which means that it is lighter- it has a massive impact on the overall cost of the building.

Cost

In several cases, structural steel is the most cost effective option in construction. In the last 30 years, the advancements in the production of steel have seen the productivity rats increase exponentially. The time it takes to construct a single tone of steel is lower which means that as base material, it is cheaper.

 Aesthetic Versatility in Construction

The resourcefulness of structural steel allows a great degree of expression and creativity for architects and designers without neglecting functional demands.  Modern applications of steel have seen it take a prominent place in the aesthetic and structural makeup of a building. Steel can be fashioned, bent and shaped in several ways unlike wood and concrete.

Steel is beautiful and several architects have taken to exposing steel and favoring its modern look, aesthetic compatibility with concrete, glass and overall transparency.

 Sustainability

Even though, it may not seem like it, structural steel is one of the most sustainable materials used in building and construction.  Steel can be re-used with minimal degradation and processing.  Over the last 30 years, the consumption of energy along with water in the production of steel has been reduced and continues to decrease.

 Types of Structural Steel Fabrications

Parallel Flange Channels

The channeled beams are U- shaped with right angled corners- similar to a stick of staples.  They are accessible in various sizes; nevertheless, the two sides are the same length and are parallel to each other.  They provide a high strength to weight ratio.

 Tapered Flange Beams

Taper flange beams are I- shaped sections and accessible in a range of sizes. They are often used for cross-sections of girders in construction.

Universal Beam

 Universal beams, known as I-beams or H- beams, look like their namesake; an “I” when standing upright, and an “H” on their side. They are made off structural steel and used in construction and civil engineering.

Angled Sections

Angled structural steel sections can be equal or unequal.  These sections are a lot stronger with a lot more strength to weight ratios.  They are used in infrastructure, mining and transport.

Circular Hollow Sections

Circular Hollow Sections have hollow tubular cross sections along with a high resistance to torsion.  The thicknesses of the walls are uniform around the circle which makes the beams perfect for multi-axis loading applications.

 

Rectangular Hollow Sections

The Rectangular are popular in several mechanical and construction steel applications. Their flat surfaces make them useful in metal fabrication.

Square Hollow Sections

They are similar to the hollow section brothers but with square cross sections. They are used in smaller applications like columns or posts.  They are not suitable for beams due to their shapes, which become difficult to bolt into other shapes.  They are often known as box sections.