The versatility of steel has made it one of the most widely used materials in the US and the rest of the world. From manufacturing to construction, steel has earned a reputation as a reliable, malleable, and durable material that most modern structures, pieces of machinery, and products won’t even exist today without it. In the country alone, its applications are almost limitless and are being used by several industries. Let’s discover some of these applications by listing down the common ways that structural steel is used in the US today.
Large Buildings and Skyscrapers
Due to steel’s inherent lightweight and immense strength, it’s one of the ideal materials to use when building high-rise buildings. Aside from its strength, structural steel also allows construction companies to speed up their work because of how easy it is to fabricate steel, allowing for an accelerated rate of production. Most skyscrapers are actually made with steel frames for stability. In fact, the Empire State Building, considered an architectural marvel, is primarily composed of about 60,000 tones worth of steel.
The construction of industrial buildings goes a little differently than high-rise buildings. However, what they have in common is that steel is a major component used in their construction. This is due to the cost, strength, and durability of steel as a construction material. The strength of steel is prized due to its stability, durability, and weather resistance, making it perfect for industrial buildings regardless of their size. It can practically withstand even the harshest of conditions, including bad weather and earthquakes. This means there’s less labor cost required throughout the project, which also means there’s less potential for repairs.
You may be more familiar with parking garages being made mostly of concrete. While that is true, some of these parking garages also utilize structural steel to reinforce their concrete. Other garage styles even employ the use of mostly steel material due to its low cost, shortened construction time, and long-term durability. As mentioned earlier, steel is quite a lightweight material making it easier to construct multi-level structures like garages. Also, they’re durable enough to withstand the weight of many cars that fill the space.
If we’re talking about large structures that can bear immense weight, then bridges shouldn’t be far behind. Some of the most famous and longest bridges known to man are only made possible through the ingenuity of their design, which unsurprisingly is made mostly from steel materials. Despite bridges being subjected to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic almost non-stop on a daily basis, they remain structurally sound because of the way steel holds up even under immense weight.
One great example is the Brooklyn Bridge, perhaps one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. Made from primarily steel-wire suspensions, the bridge has been serving the people of New York City for more than a hundred years.
Looking at this list, there are many reasons why structural steel remains to be one of the most preferred materials in the construction industry and beyond. There’s no question that the greatness of structural steel is everlasting. Just look at the many structures that have withstood the test of time because of the use of steel.
KGS Steel is a family-owned and operated steel distribution company and service center that’s been serving clients since 1985. With locations in Bessmer, AL, and Nashville, TN, we offer a full line of carbon steel products and processing facilities. If you’re wondering where to buy steel in Birmingham, AL, KGS Steel is the company to look for.