Types of steel – the most common types used in construction

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When it comes to construction, steel has an ability like no other material to change shape, but also to boast with potency and durability. One of the most preferred choices when it comes to construction are the structural steel types, as buildings require various structural frames in construction process. 

Structural steel types are very resistant, and are not as costly as some of the other materials – such as concrete, but there are also countless other benefits of using steel over other construction materials. 

For one, steel buildings are more environmentally friendly and able to endure even the most destructive natural calamities like earthquakes, and here we present some of the most common types of steel used in construction.

Structural steel types and shapes

Structural steel types are made from steel formed out of precise cross-section, while following the defined standards when it comes to chemical composition and mechanical properties. Structural steel types are very durable, strong and flexible when it comes to transforming them into any shape, depending on is it a steel construction type or some other construction type.

Structural steel types come in various shapes, but the standard structural steel can differ in countries where steel specification is unique to them.

Structural steel shapes

Like we already mentioned, structural steel types are categorized by many shapes with their own compositional properties, that allow them to be used for different types of construction. 

  • Angled sections – Angled structural steel section comes in two forms – equal and unequal. Both are right angled, but unequal sections have a different sized axis, which makes them L-shaped. Angled sections are very strong and durable, and have high strength to weight ratio. This particular structural steel type is used in infrastructure, residential construction, mining and transport, and is available in many sizes and lengths.
  • Circular hollow sections – These have tubular cross sections, and have a much higher resistance to torsion than tapered flange beams for instance. The wall thickness is uniform everywhere, which makes this steel shape perfect for multi-axing loading applications.
  • Flat sections – Flat sections, often referred to as plates,  are known as the most versatile steel section, which is no wonder since they have to be attached to another section, even as a strengthening tool. 
  • Parallel Flange Channels – Parallel Flange Channels are U-shaped channelled beams with right angled corners, that come in many different sizes. The two sides of parallel flange channels are always the same length, and offer a high strength to weight ratio. They have a similar usage like angled sections.
  • Rectangular Hollow Sections – These are similar to circular hollow sections, with the main difference being the rectangular cross section. Their flat surface makes them perfect for joining and metal fabrication, as well as mechanical and construction steel applications.
  • Square Hollow Sections – This structural steel type also known as “box sections”, is usually used for columns and posts, however, they are unsuitable for beams having in mind that their shapes are incredibly difficult to mold into different shapes.
  • Tapered Flange Beams – Tapered flange beams are available in various sizes, and often used for cross-sections of girders. Even though they have a high resistance ratio, they are not usually recommended when the pressure is present of along their length, as they are not resistant to twisting.
  • Universal Beam – Also known as I-beams and H-beams, universal beams are shaped like the first letter of their name – I-beams stand upright, while H-beams stand on the side. They are mostly used in civil engineering and construction, among other industries.
  • Universal Column – Much like universal beams, columns are also used for structural purposes, mainly for columns, as they have remarkable load-bearing capabilities.

Rebar steel type in construction

Speaking about common types of steel in construction, rebar steel is also known as reinforcing steel. It is commonly used as a tension device to reinforce concrete structures. 

Different types of steel used in construction have different usages, but rebar steel, being made from carbon steel, is most commonly used as a device that will help hold concrete and other masonry structures in compressed state.

When it comes to a grade of steel used in construction, this particular type is available in various types of grades, found in varying specs in tensile strength, yield strengths, chemical composition and elongation percentage. 

Rebar steel provides durability, stiffness and resistance that spreads through a wider area that some other types of steel used in building construction are usually not equipped in. 

Mild steel type in construction

The most common among the most common steel types in construction is definitely mild steel type, also known as plain carbon steel. 

Carbon steel is a type of steel that contains between 0.12 and 2% of carbon, which is the main alloying constituent. When it comes to steel-making, the purpose of carbon is hardening, whereby the greater level of carbon, the final product is harder and stronger, with a lower melting point. 

Mild steel composition is very popular due to its’ low price and great versatility across a number of applications, and is often used when large quantities of steel are needed. Just like structural steel, a mild steel frame construction is very flexible, and doesn’t crack when bent, which completely supports its’ popularity and common usage.

Stainless steel types in construction

Stainless steel types are very common in the construction industry, due to their great properties such as high resistance to corrosion, high and low temperatures, and the fact that majority of stainless steel types are easily fabricated. 

Stainless steel is used within the industry to provide support and strength to a certain structure, but in regards to style, it is ideal due to a range of different surface finishes that are easy to maintain. 

Apart from the building enhancements that can be done with stainless steel, some of the other popular uses are: 

  • architectural cladding
  • drainage and water systems
  • fixings
  • handrails
  • roofing
  • structure
  • wall support products

These were some of the most common types of steel used in the construction industry, soon taking over the entire field due to its’ flexible and durable properties. Our fabrication service is fully capable to deliver and manufacture any type of mild steel, different types of stainless steel or aluminum fabrication, whatever the size of your project, so be sure to contact us for any additional information or help with your project.