What Type of Steel Can Be Used for Buildings?


Steel is a popular modern building material due to its good appearance and earthquake resistant attributes; amid all construction materials, steel has the highest strength to weight ratio. Steel is termite, warp, split and waterproof. Steel’s flexibility is ideal for truss-free, beamless, on-site or prefabricated building construction. Steel fiber reinforced concrete building beams are compression and fire resistant.

Galvanized Steel

  • The grayish galvanized steel with a tensile strength of 50,000 psi is zinc-coated steel. A “hot dip galvanizing” procedure of immersing steel in a molten zinc bath coats steel with hard, uniform, impervious gamma, delta and zeta zinc iron alloy layers and a pure zinc eta layer offering steel that is corrosion resistant.

    Paint, weld- and join-friendly, weatherproof, stain proof, long-lasting, cost-effective and almost maintenance free, galvanized steel is suited for residences, commercial buildings, bridges and airports.

Aluminum Steel

  • Type 2 pure aluminum coated low carbon steel has a steel substrate, a middle gray aluminum-iron alloy layer and a topmost pure aluminum and aluminum-iron particles layer.

    Used for building panels, awnings and roofs and even marine environments, this bright metallic, strong malleable steel preserves building integrity and accepts welding and various finishes. More lasting than equally thick galvanized steel, its atmospheric corrosion resistance exceeds Type 1 aluminum-silicon coated steel’s resistance.

Galvalume Steel

  • Galvalume steel is steel coated with 55:45 aluminum-zinc alloy layers and a clear resin top coat. Corrosion, weather and fire proof like aluminum steel and strong and protective like galvanized steel, galvalume steel accepts galvanized steel compatible paints, provided it is free of moisture, dirt and grease before painting. As of 2011 its price level equals galvanized steel costs.

Stainless Steel

  • Austenitic alloy is stainless steel grade 304, 304L and 316 with ferric carbide, steel.

    Grade 304 is sturdy, lasting, flexible, maintenance-free and corrosion resistant. It is fire and snow proof, easily welded, bent and shaped.

    Grade 304L, a variant of 304 steel has a lesser 0.03% carbon content but higher intra granular corrosion resistance despite welding and truss elimination.

    Grade 316 rust resistant stainless steel with Molybdenum is ideal for harsh corrosive coastal constructions.

    Ferrite stainless steel grade 430 with iron and steel content, high flexibility, rust resistance and low thermal expansion rates is used in buildings.

    Stainless steel has tensile strength 80,000plus psi; it has silvery lustrous appearance, and accommodates mirror and polished finishes.

Terne Metal

  • Terne metal or thin gauge steel is carbon steel or stainless steel coated with an 80:20 tin-zinc alloy through a hot dip process. Terne has mild steel equivalent tensile strength and a low shine light grey satin texture.

    Terne metal does not require painting. Terne is weatherproof, solder friendly, formable, durable and maintenance free. The highly corrosion resistant Terne metal roofs, sidings, downspouts, fascias and gutters are used in buildings in harsh coastal and industrial conditions.

Chromium Plated Steel

  • Chromium plated steel is low gauge steel, about 0.14-0.49mm thick, it is also called Tin Free Steel TFS. It is coated with chromium and chromium oxide through an electrolytic process. It can be cut and joined, formed and deep drawn; it has ductility for beading and embossing treatments.

    It requires organic coating before use; it can be lacquered, printed and finished in fine stone, stone and matte finishes. Hence, it has building trade uses such as space bars and false ceiling rails.

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  • Photo Credit a construction worker welding steel image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com
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