4 Different Types of Steel and How They’re Used

Steel is one of the most commonly used materials in the construction industry, mostly thanks to its durability and strength. It is also accessible and affordable, making it even more frequently used compared to many other materials. For civil and structural engineers, steel has been their go-to materials, all thanks to the benefits above. 

That said, there are various types of steel for different uses. Such types include carbon steel, tool steel, weathering steel, and more, all of which have different use cases. Today, we’re going to talk about these different steel types and their primary uses.

1. Alloy Steel

As its name implies, alloy steel is a type of steel alloyed with other metals like titanium, chromium, and aluminum to achieve different properties in the alloyed metal. This is done so that the metal can maximize certain properties for specific uses. For instance, for uses where hardness is a must, materials that are known for hardness can be added into steel to make the alloy harder. This also applies to other things, like strength, weldability, flexibility, and a few other things.

2. Steel Rebar

Rebar is a mesh of wires or steel bar used to reinforce concrete, and steel rebar is simply rebar made out of steel. Steel offers characteristics that concrete is missing, such as tensile strength, while concrete offers other strengths that steel does not have, such as compression strength. This combination of steel rebar and concrete allows many of the buildings we know today to stand. Another reason steel is popular is because steel is similar to concrete when it comes to thermal expansion. This means that both will expand and contract similarly, reducing the risk of issues like the buckling or weakening of the steel rebar and concrete structure.

3. Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a type of steel with a much higher carbon count than any other steel type. This type of steel can have up to 2.5% carbon content which significantly enhances the steel’s strength. It is this percentage of carbon that can affect the carbon steel’s use. For instance, low carbon steel with up to 0.30% carbon content is used to add flexibility in buildings in earthquake-prone areas, while high carbon steel with 1% carbon content or higher is used for things like screwdrivers, hammers, and such.

4. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a type of steel alloy that offers increased corrosion and resistance against weather changes. The reason this isn’t included in the “alloy steel” category is simply that this steel is so prominent in today’s society that it deserves its own. With that in mind, the steel contains high amounts of chromium, giving it the stainless property and is commonly found in things like cookware. In construction, they are typically used for explosion-resistant buildings.


There are many other types of steel out there, such as structural steel, that find many uses. Regardless, steel is a common material in construction, and picking the right type of steel is vital if any builder wishes their project to be a great success. That being said, sourcing steel from a reputable and trustworthy manufacturer is vital to ensure the steel being used is nothing but high-quality. This gives builders the ability to enjoy peace of mind knowing that the steel they’re using is reliable and meets all expectations to create a functioning and safe structure.

KGS Steel is a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service offering quality steel solutions for any needs. If you are looking for a steel service center in Nashville to meet your steel needs, reach out to us today!

Bessemer, AL

3725 Pine Ln,
Bessemer, AL 35022


Mon - Fri7:30 AM–4:30 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed 

Nashville, TN

310 Herron Dr,
Nashville, TN 37210


Mon - Fri7:30 AM–4:30 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed 

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