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Structural steel is a category of steel encompassing various shapes, strengths, and chemical compositions specified by standards.

Structural steel is used in construction, and is characterised by a high second moment of area, which means that it is stiffer than other steels, or less likely to bend. This is particularly important since structural steel is often manufactured with extended lengths, and so excessive bending could cause one end of a structure to be significantly displaced.

structural steel

Structural steel can often add greatly to the strength and reliability of a construction project. These steel components can bear significant loads and weigh less than alternative materials. This is partly due to the standard shapes that structural steels are cast into: H beams and C sections, for example, are designed such that performance to weight ratio is maximised. Another reason for the high performance of structural steel is the preparation process – iron is alloyed with carbon and other elements and heat treated for strength.

The use of structural steels, however, demands expertise in order to inspire confidence in the structure being built, to accurately calculate loads, and to therefore be able to choose appropriate safety margins. This is true for the choice of structural steel material and shape, and additionally for the erection of the steel structure.

structural steel

Firstly, different steels are fit for different purposes – for example, a higher carbon content means more strength but less ductility. Additionally, carbon content can affect melting temperature (which relates to the severity of need for fireproofing) and ease of welding. Furthermore, the cross-sectional loading of a section (the distribution of forces in a beam) varies with respect to both the shape of the section, and the overall arrangement of steel (lengths, joints, etc).

Secondly, the erection of the steel structure requires expertise, since (for example) welded joints can become the weakest part of a structure, and rivets can experience higher than usual shear stresses. Companies such as Melsteel offer both manufacture and erection services.

structural steel

To safeguard construction workers and end users of a facility, it is essential that a reliable manufacturer of structural steel is consulted. Melsteel offers high quality materials, manufacturing standards and reliable expertise, which is an asset in an area of construction as foundational as the use of structural steel.

Contact us today at Melsteel for your structural steel supplies.