Steel structures are becoming increasingly popular during last decades both in residential and tall commercial buildings. Due to the unique properties of steel, architects, civil engineers and contractors decide to benefit this exceptional material. Nowadays, conventional structural materials such as wood or concrete started lose their popularity due to the fact that steel presents better possibilities for decision makers when compared to these old fashioned materials. Even if a building is decided to be constructed mainly from concrete, steel is intensively used for constructing the frame. Still today, the sophisticated appearance of wood and brick is irresistible, yet these material does not offer practical solutions in terms of design options. Steel is an excellent choice for design freedom, safety requirements and durability.
• Steel, as a structural material, offer higher strength values and it has a longer service life when compared to other structural materials.
• Better strength to density ratio and ultimate tensile strength makes steel a wise selection for being a structural material.
• Structural steels are made out of weathering steel, a special type of steel which is naturally protected from corrosion by forming an oxide layer on the surface. Therefore, one does not need to concern about physio-chemical aspects of this structural material.
Adaptability to Construction
• Options are limitless in shaping of steel due to its high toughness, ductility and stiffness. So, design options are plenty thanks to the flexible nature of steel.
• Unlike concrete, there is no need to wait for several weeks for structural steel parts to be ready. Concrete should be cured before construction goes on but steel parts can be assembled on site in a short time.
• The load of whole building is carried by strong steel beams. Since higher strength values are achieved, architects move more freely in their design decisions. They become a lot more comfortable and creative.
• Usage of steel as a structural material is very well standardized and regulated. This enables steel construction projects to be easily managed. They also help to save money and time by speeding up the returns on investment as well as reduced payments of interest.
• Steel constructions can be finished in a shorter time than constructions with any other structural material. Shorter construction times mean less harm induced to the people living nearby. There is no doubt that construction hassles are always unbearable and no one wants construction sites around for a long period of time. This is another benefit of using structural steels.
• As the newer metallurgical technologies are discovered, pricing of steel decreases day by day. Decreasing costs of steel making makes the structural steel even more appealing than ever. They are becoming reachable, logical and applicable.
• The International Building Code mandates that steel used in buildings must be coated to be resistant against fire even if steel is not a flammable material since it threats the integrity and strength of the building.
• To ensure that steel is protected from corrosion, water-resistant coat application is recommended. After all, fireproof coatings are generally resistant to water.
• Mildew and mold cannot grow inside the steel. This makes steel an excellent option especially for residential houses.
• Pre-assembly of steel structures enhances the speed of the construction project.
• All metals and alloys, including steel, are 100% recyclable. It is friendly for environment.
Disadvantages of steel as a structural material exist like everything in life, however, its unique advantages outweigh these drawbacks. Major problems about steel such as behavior in extreme conditions are being solved by newly developed technologies and standardizations of related organizations. In the future, surely the advantageous sides of structural steel will grow in numbers. Steel will continue to manifest itself in extraordinary pieces of fine architecture.