Steel is used in the construction of bridges, skyscrapers, and other massive structures. The material provides significant advantages to firms that construct and maintain our nation’s infrastructure. This means a delicate and challenging procedure is required to shape and fit the material to the final product.
When a project is mishandled, there are apparent risks to its long-term viability. That said, it pays to learn a little more about steel. Read on to discover more about the manufacturing process of structural steel.
Making It Happen
The manufacturing process of structural steel involves heating iron and adding additives to achieve the necessary qualities. Raw iron, which is extremely scarce, is the major component. Additionally, carbon is also present in excess, but carbon dioxide does not have to be emitted in its entirety. As a result, producing steel goods can be a complicated process.
Initially, iron ore is crushed and sorted. There are numerous refining procedures available to isolate the best iron, which is usually around 60%. The ore is heated from the top of a blast furnace while hot air is pumped in from the bottom. Then, the reaction begins to purify pure iron as it falls to the bottom of the furnace.
The incorporation of other compounds such as manganese, which lend specific qualities to the resulting steel, is enabled by drawing out the molten iron. Following fabrication, the steel is shaped to perform the desired function and may come in various shapes and sizes.
The Uniqueness of Structural Steel
Structural steel is available in various sizes and shapes, but it is primarily made of the same material. The primary elements found here are iron and carbon, as they are in all steel. As more carbon is added to the alloy, the eventual result becomes stronger and less pliable. Chemicals or compounds used in subsequent processing can be used to increase the ductility of the material and manage and improve costs.
Manganese, along with iron and carbon, is a frequent component of structural steel. Manganese increases steel machinability and aids in the bonding of steel, minimizing cracking and splitting during rolling.
When evaluating structural steel applications, carbon content is critical. While a reduced carbon concentration makes welding easier, it also makes the material more difficult to work with, extending the construction time. Its use needs a delicate balance.
The resulting steel has an excellent weight-to-strength ratio, making it ideal for building applications. Structural steel offers benefits for construction projects, such as:
- Expedited construction benefits large buildings.
- Industrial structures are easier to build and maintain.
- Residential living spaces that are more robust and long-lasting.
- Bridges benefit from structural steel’s minimal weight and immense strength.
Fabrication and Welding of Structural Steel
Even after it has been formed, structural steel requires fabrication and welding. Because structural steel is malleable, a qualified fabricator or welder can mold it to fit a specific application.
Welding is rapidly replacing riveting as the primary method of structural steel construction. This is due to the advantage that welding is not as heavy as riveting, it costs less to manufacture and may be more pliable and maneuverable than riveted steel.
Understanding the manufacturing process of structural steel is advantageous for steel companies, businesses, and homeowners. With this newfound knowledge, citizens worldwide will also benefit from modern practices and techniques. It won’t be long before structures can be built with strong and quality materials that aren’t compromised by poor execution.
Are you looking for a reliable steel distributor in Nashville, TN? Since 1985, KGS Steel, Inc. has been a full-service structural steel and carbon steel service center warehouse serving the Southeast. With us, you’ll be guaranteed quality steel products made to withstand the test of time. Contact us today and get a quote!