Structural Steel has evolved over the decades to be the building material of choice for everything from small residential homes to skyscrapers. When architects and contractors make the decision to use structural steel over other materials such as concrete or wood, they do so because of steel’s overwhelming benefits when compared to many other building materials. Even if concrete must be utilized as the building material, it benefits greatly from the addition of a structural steel frame. Brick and wood carry with them a distinct aesthetic appeal, but design flexibility often takes a back seat. For freedom of design, strength of integrity and ease of maintenance, structural steel is the smart choice.
Steel is tensile. It has a high strength to weight ratio which means it has high strength per unit mass. So no matter how large the overall structure is, the steel sections will be small and lightweight, unlike other building materials.
Steel can be easily fabricated and produced massively. Steel sections can be produced off-site at shop floors and then assembled onsite. This saves time and increases the efficiency of the overall construction process.
Structural steel is very flexible. You can mold it into any shape, without changing its properties. You can convert it into sheets or turn it into wires as per the design.
Structural steel is relatively cheap compared to other building materials.
It is very durable. Structural steel structures can withstand external pressures such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, and cyclones. A well-built steel structure can last up to 30 years if maintained well.
Disadvantages of Structural Steel Structures
Steel is an alloy of iron. This makes it susceptible to corrosion. This problem can be solved to some extent using anti-corrosion applications.
It has high maintenance costs as it has to be painted to make it corrosion-resistant
There are extensive fireproofing costs involved as steel is not fireproof. In high temperatures, steel loses its properties.
Buckling is an issue with steel structures. As the length of the steel column increases the chances of buckling also increases.
Steel has a high expansion rate with changing temperatures. This can be detrimental to the overall structure.
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