Many different kinds of steel are manufactured for various purposes, and the mix of materials in the steel will change the properties of the final product. Steel that is referred to as structural steel is just one of those varieties, and it has some unique properties and uses of its own.
1. Structural Steel Makeup
All steel is made from iron and a mix of other components. Structural steel is high carbon steel made from iron, carbon, and magnesium, with the carbon content being nearly 2.1 percent. The higher carbon content in the steel makes the material strong, while still having the ability to be shaped into many different shapes.
Often structural steel is forged or shaped into custom shapes for use in the construction of buildings, bridges, or other large structures where the steel will need to carry a load. Structural steel can last for hundreds of years, especially if the steel is well maintained. A bridge that is exposed to the weather will stand strong and stable for many years of the steel is painted to seal out moisture and slow the oxidation process.
2. Shapes and Configurations
Structural steel can be made into almost any shape that the builder or engineer needs for a structure. Often I-shaped beams are used in the framework of large buildings, and these beams can be very long because the shape combined with the properties of the structural steel creates a ridged beam that can hold a very heavy load. Often, I beams will run horizontally to create the frame of a roof or a floor above another story of a building. Their shape gives the builder a flat surface on the top and the bottom of the beam with a strong verticle section to stand up under a load.
Angle or L-shaped steel is also common in construction because it is very versatile and is available in many different sizes. The two legs of the L do not have to be the same either, so if the builder needs one side of the L to be taller than the other, the steel can be custom-made to fit those needs.
Structural steel pipe is also commonly used as verticle support in many different situations. The cylindrical shape of the pipe makes it very strong vertically but is not as strong in a horizontal configuration. The structural pipe can be used to run water, gas, and other product through if the project requires a durable steel pipe as well.
Contact structural steel companies to learn more about your options.
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