Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why is Steel Used in Construction?

Why is Steel Used in Construction?

Steel products one of the most widely used building materials in construction today, mainly because they are versatile, durable, and affordable. No matter what kind of project you are working on, chances are you will be using steel in one form or another in order to complete the project. Here are some of the most common reasons steel is a favorite for construction.

What’s it Used For?

We use steel for a myriad of different projects, including construction of roads and rails, building infrastructure such as bridges and buildings, construction of modern architecture from skyscrapers and airports to residential homes and parks. Even buildings that are constructed using some other material (such as concrete) are often reinforced with steel beams. Inside our homes and in our daily lives, we use steel for appliances, furniture, and vehicles, as well as tools, bolts, screws, nails, and other basic building supplies.

Building Benefits

One of the main reasons steel is used in so many construction projects is its durability—it has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any other building material, making it ideal for buildings both large and small. It is also very consistent, since steel supermarkets like Wasatch Steel must follow national standards in steel production for various grades, there is no variation from one steel to another—you can get consistently straight walls, square corners, and functioning doors.

Many companies and homeowners also like that steel is fire-resistant; it will not burn, and thus will not provide fuel in the event of a fire. It is also not an organic material like wood, so it doesn’t rot, split, crack, warp, twist, or break. All of these benefits mean it is one of the most low-maintenance materials you can use to build, which enhances the value of property where steel is part of the construction.

Environmental Benefits

In addition to being one of the most durable materials available, steel products are also good for the environment. It is one of the few metals that is continuously recyclable, and any steel product that you use likely contains at least 25% recycled steel. The recycling process does not break down or weaken steel, making it an ideal candidate for continuous reuse. Just take your old steel to a recycling facility, and chances are it will end up at a steel supermarket like WasatchSteel very soon to be reused.

During the manufacturing process, steel also produces far less waste than wood, at just 2% versus 15-20%, and almost 2/3 of all steel is recycled, making it the most recycle product in the U.S.

Cost Benefits

These many benefits contribute to steel being a very affordable option for construction projects. Because it is often made of partially recycled materials, and it is built to last, any project that uses steel will often be more cost-effective than one that uses other metals, or wood. That savings translates to a construction company being more competitive in the bidding process, which can mean more profit and more success.

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