Sunday, August 25, 2013

Building a Modern Economy with Steel

Steel has become one of the most ubiquitous materials in the world today, as an integral part of transportation systems, infrastructure, housing, manufacturing, healthcare, food service, agriculture, energy, and water industries. There are many uses for steel in all these applications, and it is often chosen because it is an extremely strong and versatile material, available in many different forms and grades from steel suppliers to meet different needs. It is also an environmentally friendly material, so as we work toward a greener economy and a more sustainable future, recycled materials from places like Wasatch Steel will likely continue to play a big role.

The Building Blocks of Steel
Steel comes primarily from two ingredients today: iron and recycled steel. Iron is one of the most abundant natural resources available, and has long been used for its strength and durability for construction, weapons, and more. New steel today is also primarily made from recycled steel—it is one of the only materials that can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its quality or strength. For that reason, it is a popular choice because of its almost endless life cycle.

Fueling Economic Growth
A report by World Steel Association shows that the total global production of steel has nearly doubled from 851 million tons in 2001 to 1,581 million tons just 10 years later in 2011. Most of the growth has come from increased production and use in China and other fast-growing global economies. Of those 1,581 million tons produced, the top four uses were construction (51%), mechanical machinery (14.5%), metal products (12.5%), and automotive (12%). The other 10% was divided among other transportation, electrical equipment, and domestic appliances.

In addition to its availability, steel is also helping to fuel growth because it is so affordable and versatile. There are several thousand different types of steel that can be made depending on what it will be used for. By adding other elements to the iron, steel can be designed with specific properties such as ductility, stiffness, and strength. With so many variations available in the chemical composition and the micro-structures (for both nano and sub-nano scales), a very wide range of steel can be made for several different purposes. In addition, manufacturers today continue to come up with new and innovative variations that continue to make steel even lighter and stronger.

A Greener Economy Building with Steel
There are two main things that contribute to steel being so planet-friendly. First, it is one of the longest-lasting materials in use today. By using a durable and long-lasting material for infrastructure, construction, and more, you will have to replace the materials less often. What that means is less energy used to produce and transport new materials around the world. The second reason steel is so green is that it is universally recyclable. There have been over 22 billion tons of steel recycled since 1900 according the World Steel Association, and 98% of raw materials used to make steel are reused to create new products and byproducts, with a goal of zero waste. Wasatch Steel provides a variety of used steel options, as well as “excess prime” steel. Excess prime is new steel that has been exposed to the elements and may not look brand new anymore, but is in great condition other than the aesthetics.

When you need the best building material, steel suppliers like Wasatch Steel can help you find the strength, durability, and versatility you need from a wide variety of products.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cor-Ten Steel: Common Uses and Benefits

Steel is an amazing product, with one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any metal, and a great price that makes it affordable for almost anyone to use on almost any project. When people think of steel, they often think of the sterile, shiny, silver look of “stainless steel”, but did you know there are actually several different looks that you can have when you build with steel? If you’re looking for a metal that has a slightly different appearance than the stainless steel look, check out weathered steel, most widely known as the trademark brand COR-TEN steel, and sometimes abbreviated as Cor-Ten or Corten steel.

The History of Cor-Ten Steel
Cor-Ten steel was actually developed so it could be used without the need to paint the surface, and for added protection from the effects of weather. The exterior takes on a rust-like appearance that steel might form if it had been exposed to rain and weather for many years. It was originally created and trademarked by the United States Steel Corporation (USS), and while they have since sold their steel plate business, USS continues to sell Cor-Ten steel.

Benefits of Cor-Ten Steel
Whenever metal is exposed to the elements, such as rain, wind, sun, and other atmospheric conditions, it can begin to rust. By weathering the steel in advance, as the Cor-Ten process does, the steel develops a protective layer that actually prevents the corrosion process, prolonging the useful life of the steel.

How it is Used
There are many different ways that this weathering technique can be used, from functional to decorative steel, and you can find these types at suppliers like Wasatch Steel. On the functional side, this process is often used for international shipping containers that will be exposed to the elements often as they travel across the sea and land from one destination to another, as well as railway cars that need to hold up for several decades of travel. It has also been used by engineers on roadways and bridges that will have to withstand many decades of weather and elements.

On the more artistic side, weathered steel has been used for buildings, sculptures, and landscapes. The first architectural use was the John Deere headquarters in Illinois, and some of the most famous architectural uses include the Chicago Picasso sculpture at the Daley Center Courthouse, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. Many artists looking for a unique hue and strong material for their artwork also use it.

Drawbacks to Cor-Ten Steel
While it is a great option for preserving and prolonging the life of steel, there are some potential negative consequences of using this material. Aesthetically speaking, if you are using welding, the weld points will not weather at the same rate as the steel without using special welding techniques. In addition, the steel is not impermeable to water or rust, so it may not work well in humid environments, and you still must use caution in the design to avoid water accumulate that can damage the metal. Finally, you cannot really paint weathered steel, because the paint negates the protective effects of the weathering.

To find this unique product, check out the selection and talk to the experts at the best steel supplier in Utah, Wasatch Steel.

Tips for Choosing Quality Steel Suppliers

Steel is one of the most common building materials used in the world today—providing the backbone for everything from landscaping design to tall skyscrapers. If you have never purchased it before, but you need to find a place where you can buy steel, here are some tips for finding good steel suppliers in Utah.

Find Exactly What You Need
With so many different applications for steel, it comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from small ornamental iron pieces that you can use on fences or railings, all the way to massive steel I-beams that are used to build skyscrapers. The key to a good steel supplier is finding one that offers everything you need all in one place—from structural steel, hot rolled steel, piping and tubing, to fencing, roofing and building supplies, and even accessories and tools.

Inspect for Quality
Even though you’re not buying direct from the steel manufacturing plants, you still want high quality. Whether you need brand new steel, or you are planning to buy used or excess prime steel, inspect the products that are available to ensure high quality. Ask about where the steel supplier gets their steel and what quality management or testing it goes through before it hits their shelves.

Comparison Shop for Great Prices
Steel has a fairly standard industry price, but there are some ways that a supplier like Wasatch Steel can offer you a lower price. For example, Wasatch Steel purchases excess prime steel, which is just like new steel but has been exposed to water or other elements that cause some slight oxidation on the surface so it doesn’t look brand new anymore. The quality is still there, but the price is competitive. Be cautious about prices that are so low they seem too good to be true—if that is the case, it’s probably because the product is substandard quality.

Customer Service Matters
Whenever you buy anything, including steel, you want to be able to find the products you need, be treated with respect, and get great service from the supplier. At a place like Wasatch Steel, you can find everything you need for any size steel project, with all shapes and sizes, and everything clearly marked on the shelves; that’s why it’s called Utah’s steel supermarket. Plus everyone in the shop is ready to help, whether you need help finding a specific item, you need something processed and prepared for fabrication (laser or plasma cutting, punching, or bending), or you need help with delivery. As an added bonus, Wasatch Steel can even process the items right after you buy them while you wait, so you won’t have to come to the shop once to buy everything, then come back again later after it’s been processed.

Get it Delivered
The final criteria for a steel supplier is to find one that can deliver the products you need. If you have a large commercial or industrial order that you need delivered to a job site, a place like Wasatch Steel can deliver it externally, or have it ready for pickup whenever you schedule it.

Finding quality steel suppliers in Utah can help you do your job better, or just help you find the items you need for do-it-yourself projects around the house. Check out the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel to find out how easy buying steel can be.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Steel & Our Modern World

Steel is so engrained in our everyday lives today that we probably don’t ever really stop to think about what kind of world we would live in if we didn’t have it. Steel forms a kind of modern “backbone” for the world today, offering us the ability to do everything from build skyscrapers that are hundreds of stories high to transport goods by rail and road, and even eat prepared foods from clean, sterile surfaces. Without it, we would have a much different world today.

The History of Steel
Metal has been around in many forms for hundreds, even thousands of years—in fact, the first known iron in history was used in the Egyptian pyramids more than 5 centuries ago. Prior to the 1800s, though, it was mainly in the form of wrought iron or cast iron. These two metals, while very strong, were also extremely heavy and impractical for many uses where we implement steel today. In addition, the processes used to make iron back then would be astronomically expensive today.

After thousands of years of using metal forged from blacksmith shops, the mid-1800s brought a new method, introduced by Henry Bessemer of England and William Kelly of Kentucky (while they came up with the idea independent of one another, they began working together about 10 years later in the 1860s). By blowing air through iron, they could refine it and the ability to produce large volumes of steel relatively cheaply revolutionized the modern world.

Building with Steel

Through the late 1800s the demand for steel increased with the building of the transcontinental railway. This new method allowed the railroad companies to get steel at almost one-third the price they had previously paid, and they could get 3 times the volume in the same amount of time. A few decades later, the availability of this cheap, lightweight, strong metal fueled the growth of the automobile industry, when Henry Ford dreamed of making cars that were available and affordable enough for every man to own. It has allowed other visionaries to push the envelope on development, design, and inventions ever since.

Steel for Everyone

While steel is a favorite material for large construction projects, automobile, and bridges, it is also a great option for any kind of smaller or do-it-yourself project. The trouble is that it can be difficult to buy in smaller quantities. In fact, many steel mills require that your minimum order is several thousand tons just to get in the door. For the weekend warrior builder, or someone just looking for unique pieces of steel that will be used in an art project, this kind of requirement doesn’t work.

At Wasatch Steel, we know that buying in bulk isn’t for everyone. That is why we offer the ability to find just about every kind of steel you can image, all in one place, clearly labeled just like a supermarket. You can pick and choose your pieces, order in large or small quantities, and get exactly what you need to finish up that item that has been on your “to do” list for quite a while now.

Because Wasatch Steel offers new, used, and excess prime steel pieces (like-new steel that has been exposed to the elements or shows other signs of wear), you can find just what you need at a price point that will make your wallet happy. Don’t miss out on all the benefits that steel has to offer in this modern world—check out the steel supermarket today to start buying steel.

The Basics of B Deck

There are a wide variety of different metals that we use in our daily lives, but none is more prominent than steel. With so many applications, we find it everywhere from our homes to our cars, our workplaces and buildings, transportation, and more. One of the great things about steel is that it is an economical and lightweight metal that has exceptional strength. For this reason, it is the material of choice for b decking when it comes to roofing, flooring, and more.

The B Deck Basics
B deck, or b decking, is the term for the most common type of metal that is used in structural roofing. When it’s used for construction purposes, it usually comes in shorter spans of just 3 to 10 feet, and gauges of 22, 20, 18, and 16, although it is available for special order in other sizes and gauges.

When people visit the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel in Utah, they might refer to metal b deck as corrugated metal, with grooves that are 1.5 inches deep, and about 6 inches from trough to trough. While this is the most common type of b decking, it is not the only kind. This type of corrugated metal is available in several different shapes, sizes, and patterns for the ridges and troughs so you can truly pick one that is perfect for your project.

Common Uses & Benefits of B Deck
One of the great things about b decking is that there are so many ways you can implement it in your next professional or do-it-yourself construction project. It is a favorite for uses in metal roofing of all sorts, canopies, awnings, enclosures (such as those for garbage bins or dumpsters), roof screens, metal fencing, and more. In addition, metal b deck is so strong and economical that it has become a favorite material to use when pouring concrete.

The main reason that people use it for so many applications is it unmatched strength—steel has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any metal—plus its light weight, and also very economical and easy to transport. Since it is so lightweight, it is cost-effective to ship to your home or construction site, and can save a significant amount of money on fuel costs, as well as helping to reduce your carbon footprint and offering a “greener” option by saving fuel on transportation.

Another benefit to using metal b deck from Wasatch Steel in Utah is the ability to customize it for any project. It usually comes in either galvanized or prime painted finishes, with the latter offering some additional protection for metal that is going to be exposed to regular levels of atmospheric elements, such as rain, sun, snow, and similar conditions. While it often comes in a pretty standard gray color, it can be painted to match any building or suit any color palate that you have.

This metal material has become a favorite, which is why we stock it in different sizes and lengths at Wasatch Steel in Utah, your steel supermarket. Come by today to check out our current selecting of b decking.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Different Types of Metal Roofing

You already know that steel is used in just about every aspect of our lives, from the roads and bridges we drive on to the small appliances in our home, but did you also know it makes a great material for roofing? Metal roofing is one of the fastest growing materials that builders are using—and before you think that steel for roofing projects is only used on industrial buildings, here is some information about why it has become such a popular option, and all the different types of metal roofing that can be used on commercial, residential, and industrial properties.

If you’re thinking about building a metal roof, the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel is a great place to start. You can find a variety of different types of metal roofing for all the projects you are working on.

The Benefits of Metal Roofing
One of the biggest reasons that people choose a metal roof is the value over time. Traditional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingle or wood are generally built to last about 20 to 30 years, and may require refinishing (or reproofing) every 10 years or so. A metal roof can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, which is a long time for your home or business.

A metal roof can also be beneficial from a cost standpoint. While it may actually cost more to get the roof initially, it is going to last longer and you won’t have to spend as much over the life of the roof for upkeep, maintenance, and replacement. A metal roof is also good for your monthly utility bills, because it can help boost energy efficiency, keeping warm or cool air in and reflecting the sun’s heat off the roof instead of into the attic. When you purchase supplies from Wasatch Steel, you may even be able to find excess prime steel that will lower costs even more.

Finally, because a metal roof is safer (since it is fire-resistant and does not burn like wood), you can even save some money on your homeowner’s insurance, and avoid costly repairs from fire or other natural disaster.

Types of Metal Roofing
You can find several different options of metal roof today for all different looks and feels, including some metal roofing that can be designed to look like more traditional asphalt, tile, or wood roofing. There are vertical panels, with ribbing from the ridge to the eaves, modular press-formed panels that are interlocking with several shapes and options, water-shedding systems, and granular coated panels. All are fastened with sturdy fasteners that are hidden, and many of the systems offer interlocking panels that allow you to get maximum coverage without any risk of leaks or other similar problems.

When it comes to your home or business, or even another building like an industrial warehouse, farmhouse, and more, metal roofing can provide some of the best protection from the elements while also giving you a great return on investment since it is designed to last so long. Find out what metal roofing is available at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel.

Landscaping with Steel

The landscaping that you do at your home or business can really change the way your building looks, by adding color, texture, and excitement to the space surrounding your building. If you have never considered the ways you can use steel in your yard, here are just a few ideas to get you started. There are so many different looks and feels for steel that this is just a starting list—the true possibilities are endless when you use your imagination for landscape steel.

Steel Edging
When you want to dress up your plant bed, or have areas that you want to set apart from the rest of the yard, steel edging is a great way to make those spots stand out. You can get a wide variety of different steel colors and shades to highlight the best parts of your landscaping. Since it’s a very durable and strong material (one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any metal), steel from Wasatch Steel can withstand years of abuse out in the yard without wearing out. It is much more durable than plastic, wood, or even concrete or brick, which can crack and get damaged over time. In addition, it requires very little maintenance (if any at all), making it ideal for anyone who wants to maximize enjoyment of the yard while minimizing work required to keep it looking great.

Steel Railings
You can also use steel as a great decorative piece for your deck railing. One of the benefits of steel railings, including balusters, spindles, and other parts of your deck railing, is that it will not only look great when you install it right at first, but it will remain looking great for many, many years to come. There are dozens of different designs, shapes, and sizes that you can choose for your deck railing, and Wasatch Steel has all the variety you need at our Utah steel supermarket. We can even create custom designs for your railings, or you can choose from a huge selection of unique designs from our steel designers.

Steel Yard Art & Garden Ornaments
Another place where you can really let your personality shine through in your yard is with steel yard art or garden ornaments. These objects come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from pre-made artwork that you can simply install, to the odds and ends you’ll find at the steel supermarket of Wasatch Steel. We collect all kinds of interesting shapes and sizes of steel pieces so you can have the freedom to create your own artwork. We have everything from small pieces that you can make wind ornaments or place in your flower garden to larger pieces you can use to make a unique fire pit or chairs and benches for the yard.

The beauty of using steel in your yard is that it is limited only by your imagination. If you can think of a way to use steel, Wasatch Steel can help you find just the right pieces to make your vision come to life.