Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What is Galvanized Steel?

When you need steel, there are many different options that you can choose from, and getting the right one is a matter of knowing what the benefits are of each different type. One such type of steel that you may come across at Wasatch Steel is galvanized steel, and here’s a brief overview of what it is and why you might use it in your steel projects.

What Does Galvanized Mean?
The process of galvanizing steel means to apply a coat of zinc oxide, which serves the purpose of preventing it from corroding or rusting. The name comes from the man who discovered this process, Italian Luigi Galvani.

Galvanization Methods
Hot-dipped galvanization, one of the most popular methods, is a process that involves submerging steel in zinc that has been melted, which allows them to bond permanently through a chemical reaction. It’s more than just a coating or a cover on the steel, it’s a permanent part of the new galvanized steel. On the outer layer you find zinc, the innermost layer is pure steel, and the layers in between are a mix of the two.

Other galvanization methods include continuous sheet galvanizing, where steel is run through molten zinc to create a very thin layer of protection; painting or spraying on the zinc, which doesn’t have as strong a bond; or electrogalvanizing, which uses electricity to bond the two metals. To find out what kind of protection the galvanized steel has when shopping at Wasatch Steel, you will often see a measurement of the zinc’s weight per surface area, so you know how thick it is coated on the steel.

Why Choose Galvanized Steel?
The main reason that many people use galvanized steel is for its durability and resistance to rusting. Iron, which makes up a significant portion of many types of steel, reacts when it is exposed to oxygen and moisture by disintegrating. A layer of zinc on the outside keeps the oxygen and moisture from getting to the steel as quickly as it would without the coating. The patina that it creates on the outside of the steel offers another layer of protection that makes it resistant to scratching, particularly hard, and gives it a shiny satin finish, which is why many people like the look of galvanized steel.

Where is Galvanized Steel Used?
Because it is so versatile and durable, galvanized steel is extremely popular and can be found in many different places throughout the world. Steel-framed houses and commercial buildings are often made with galvanized steel, metal roofing, vehicle parts, marine applications, and more. Like all steel, galvanized steel can be recycled and reused indefinitely without losing its strength, which makes it a popular choice for being “green” as well, and helps to keep the costs low.

While not all steel at Wasatch Steel is galvanized, you can find a wide selection at the steel supermarket to meet your needs. Come talk to use today about what you plan to do in your next project and we can help you find the right galvanized or non-galvanized steel to meet your needs.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Benefits of Buying from Steel Wholesalers

There are a couple of different ways that you can purchase steel, and whenever you are in the market for any kind of steel, you can decide whether you want to buy from a steel mill (often just called a mill) or a steel wholesaler like Wasatch Steel. Here are some reasons you might prefer to buy from a wholesaler over the mill.

Steel Mills
Steel is made in mills in large quantities every day, and if you are in the market for a really big order of steel, this might be your best option for purchasing it. Going directly to the mill means you can cut out any “middleman” in the process, which might save you some money.

However, since they do produce a significant amount of steel every day—even small steel mills ship about 1 million tons of steel every year, which amounts to about 150 truckloads every day—you better be ready to buy it in big quantities. For the most part, steel mills only allow you to buy steel by the truckload, which will be the equivalent of about 20 to 24 tons, or 40,000-48,000 pounds of steel.

You will also need to plan ahead, since a steel mill often requires at least four weeks of lead time, and sometimes as long as 10 weeks to fulfill your order. Finally, mills often have only a small range of sizes available, which means you will need to be able to cut the steel to your preferred sizes.

Steel Wholesalers
Most people who aren’t buying steel for commercial construction purposes will instead purchase from a steel wholesalers, like the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel. These wholesalers often carry a wide range of sizes and shapes to choose from, including some odds and ends that you might never find at a steel mill. In fact, large wholesalers like Wasatch Steel have a product line with several thousand different options available.

Along with a wide range of basic steel, such as sheet metal, beams, pipes, and more, places like Wasatch Steel offer additional services such as balusters for your next staircase project, ornamental steel, and tools that you might need when working with steel. Wasatch Steel also offers customers the opportunity to get any piece of steel cut to your exact specifications, and can often do it while you wait.

Finally, at places like the steel supermarket there are also plenty of opportunities to find special deals. Customers can often find excess prime and used steel in addition to brand new steel, giving you a choice of different price ranges and different aesthetic appeal for whatever your needs. These advantages give you many reasons to consider purchasing from a wholesaler instead of a service center or a steel mill.

Next time you are in the market for steel, consider the benefits that you get when purchasing from a wholesaler like Wasatch Steel. Not only can you find one of the largest selections of different shapes and sizes, you’ll also get top-notch service from the friendly staff at the steel supermarket.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shopping for the Right Steel Beams

Steel is one of the most common materials used for creating structural support in buildings today, helping to create everything from small single-story offices and residential homes to the tallest skyscrapers in the world. If you are in need of steel beams for your next construction project, here are the basics that you should know about steel beams and what to look for when shopping at Wasatch Steel.

Types of Steel Beams
The most common types of steel beams that you can purchase today include I-beams and H-beams.
  • I-beams are named for their shape as a capital “I”, which short flanges and a longer cross-section through the middle. These are one of the most common beams used in construction today, helping to build tall skyscrapers, offering support for highways and freeways, and creating the backbone for heavy machinery like industrial cranes. 
  • H-beams, like I-beams, resemble the capital letter “H”, with longer flanges and a shorter cross-section. This type of steel beam from Wasatch Steel is often used when you need to minimize the side-to-side bending that occurs. 
Getting the Right Grade
Steel comes in many different grades, which is a measure of how steel is manufactured with metal alloys. The different metals mixed with steel create many different properties, and the steel grade that you need will depend on what you are using the steel beams for, the specific structural needs of your building, and any building codes or requirements that are in place.

Building Adequate Support Structures
Steel beams help you create the “backbone” for your construction project, whether it’s a tall building that will house thousands of offices or a freeway that will support the weight of thousands of cars every day. The strength and durability of steel make it an ideal material for a wide array of different projects, but it’s important to calculate the strength requirements in order to get the right steel for each different kind of job, whether it’s heavy duty, light duty, or even prefabricated steel. You have to identify what kind of compressive, tensile, and shear stresses a beam will encounter when a load is applied in order to find the right beam and the right specifications to withstand bending and breaking.

Get Help on Your Analysis

If you’re not sure what kind of steel beams will work best for your next project, there are a wide variety of tools that you can use for analysis. There are structural analysis software tools available that allow you to plug in the information for your design and layout and discover which steel beams are right for the project. You can also work with a building engineer before you get started to ensure you have the right beams to support your construction project.

When you need to find the right I-beams or H-beams for any construction project, whether it’s a do-it-yourself weekend adventure or you are working on it as part of your day job, you can find the biggest supply and lots of great people ready to help you at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Benefits of Steel-Reinforced Concrete

Steel has long been a popular material for use in various different types of construction because of its strength, durability, and affordability. When you’re building with concrete, steel can also play a big role by helping to strengthen the concrete through the use of reinforcing bars (also called rebar) embedded throughout the concrete structure. Concrete has a relatively low tensile strength and is not generally very ductile, but steel helps to create higher tensile strength and better ductility to allow the use of concrete in a variety of different construction settings, from roadways and bridges to buildings and homes. Here are some of the benefits steel-reinforced concrete offers.

Increased Flexibility for Designs
By adding rebar from Wasatch Steel to a design, it enables architects to create better and more flexible spaces. Steel-reinforced concrete allows for open designs and long-span layouts so building owners have the flexibility to change and update space as needed based on their tenants. This is particularly helpful in the construction of large office spaces and other similar buildings—the ability to install equipment quickly, change and update space as needed to meet the demands of each unique tenant can make a big difference in a landlord’s ability to lease empty space.

Energy Efficiency
When you design buildings using Wasatch Steel rebar to reinforce the concrete, you can create more energy efficient floor designs that allow you to fit more space into each building without worrying about zoning restrictions. Since steel is a lightweight material, it also improve the efficiency of delivery, cutting transportation costs and reducing the carbon footprint of your construction project.

Buildings with Benefits
There are many benefits that steel offers to the occupants of buildings—everything from increased fire resistance to lower vibration levels and reduce noise transmission from the outside in. These comfortable, secure, and safe buildings are ideal for tenants in a wide variety of industries. Steel-reinforced concrete also allows you to improve indoor air quality and reduce wind resistance for a comfortable and quiet office environment. These environmentally-friendly buildings help boost employee productivity and boost your “green” credentials.

Minimized Costs

Using steel-reinforced concrete instead of more expensive stone means you can save money on transport and materials costs without giving up any of the aesthetic benefits or strength that you would get from more expensive materials. If you are working toward LEED certification but also need to keep costs down, finding steel reinforcing bar fabricators nearby (such as Wasatch Steel, which is conveniently located right in Salt Lake City) is an important step is reducing material transportation costs, which can help build up LEED points. Steel is also beneficial in these cases because it is often made from 100% recycled material, which lowers energy costs to produce the steel and increases your LEED score.

When you need a material to help you build strong, durable, and long-lasting structures, look at the benefits that steel-reinforced concrete can provide.