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How is Structural Steel Created?

structural steel

Structural steel is all around us. The chances that you are sitting in a building composed of structural steel are quite high. That’s because steel is one of the best materials in construction. It’s recyclable, it’s durable, and it’s versatile. Using steel as the foundation of buildings has provided builders all over the world with the strongest backbone possible.

As structural steel suppliers, we know the amazing benefits of steel and our love for this construction material comes from a sincere place. But as someone who may not work with steel every day, understanding the importance of steel is imperative to working with it safely and appreciating its long-term benefits.  

First, a Basic Definition of Structural Steel

Structural steel is defined as “strong mild steel in shapes suited to constriction work,” according to Dictionary.com. In the most basic terms, structural steel is construction materials in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common shapes include I-beans, angle or L-shape, T-shape, HSS-shape, and wide angle or WF and W-shape, just to name a few. Together, these various shapes form the structure of a building.

How is it Made?

Creating structural steel involves heating iron and adding a specific amount of substance to achieve the right properties. Raw iron is the key component here. It is, however, rarely found pure, which means it may contain carbon. Some of this carbon will need to be removed. The manufacturing process of steel may include removing carbon.

Here’s a glimpse of what the process looks like:

  1. Raw iron is crushed and sorted. The idea is to sort out the best grades of iron. Ideally, this would be 60%.
  2. Next, ore is loaded into the furnace while hot air is blown in from the bottom. During this reaction, all the impurities are removed and the pure iron will sink to the bottom of the furnace.
  3. As the molten iron is drawn off, heat will allow other substances such as manganese to finish the production of steel.
  4. Now that steel is created, it can be formed into various shapes. The shape it takes includes beams, channels, angles, plates, and tubes, all of which depend on how its use.  

What Makes it Unique?

There are a variety of foundation materials that can be used in construction so what makes steel so special? For one, you can’t beat its components: iron and carbon, which gives it the highest strength possible and improves its ductility. Additionally, manganese improves the machinability of steel, which makes it resistant to cracking and splitting. With a ratio of low weight to high strength, steel is deal for construction of all type, including:

  • Large commercial buildings
  • Industrial buildings
  • Residential spaces such as apartments and lofts
  • Any construction project looking for a fast turnaround time

In Need of Structural Steel in El Paso?

For all of your structural steel needs in El Paso, contact Steel Specialties. With unmatched experience in welding and fabricating steel, you can’t go wrong with our services and expertise. Connect with us today for questions on estimates.


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