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Why is steel used in construction?

Posted on December 05, 2016 by admin

For this blog we wanted to take a look at some of the facts around steel and what makes it such a great structural material for building.

Steel has huge tensile strength

Concrete is probably the most commonly used building material. It is in nearly every building you see in an average street. Concrete has low tensile strength however, and for jobs where the concrete is going to be under huge strain it has to be reinforced. Steel makes a great complement to the concrete because it has high tensile strength. Combining the concrete and the steel makes an incredibly strong, durable and relatively inexpensive building material. Steel is often used as a structural support in itself as well. A little fact for you – steel has the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material. When you install a properly specified box frame or beam for example, you can be sure that the steel is going to last many lifetimes, even if the timber and brick around it needs work, the steel should last the test of time with very little maintenance.

Steel is cheaper today

Steel prices have come down over the last few decades, as many people will be aware. The wholesale price are at incredible lows at the moment, which makes it an even more obvious choice for a building project. Where it once might have made sense to convert a loft using timber alone, steel is now a much better alternative as the price has dropped.

Steel is recyclable

Whilst it is true that making steel is an energy intensive process, steel has some great qualities that actually give it some environmentally friendly qualities. Steel is 100% recyclable, and unlike some materials like paper it does not degrade at all when it is recycled – it can be kept in a closed loop indefinitely without degradation. Around 25% of steel in an average steel product is made from recycled steel. There are also very few waste products from the steel manufacturing process. There are plenty of benefits to using steel – but we would say that wouldn’t we!

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