Steel is today a much appreciated building material all over the world and is used in a vast array of different types of buildings; from huge sport arenas to homes and garages. Many companies love steel buildings since pre-fabricated steel structures can be rapidly erected and ready to use in no time. Companies using steel buildings are highly suited for the rapid changes of today’s markets, where waiting months for a new manufacturing facility or logistic building can cost a company millions of dollars and cause it to fall behind in the competition.
Only a century ago, steel was still a comparatively unusual building material. Mass production of steel didn’t begin until 1855, and then it took several decades before it became popular as a building material. Mass production of steel was made possible by Henry Bessemer, the man behind the so called “Bessemer converter” that was first used in Sheffield, England. Another invention that served to popularize steel as a building material was the steel frame that suddenly made it possible to create huge buildings. Using traditional building techniques, it is difficult to create buildings higher than just a few storeys, since the combined weight of the many storeys can make the building collapse.
High-quality steel has chemical and physical characteristics that make it an ideal building material. If we want to understand why steel can be both strong and adaptable at the same time, we need to look into the chemical composition of steel. If you need metal fabrication in Adelaide you can visit Attardengineering.com.au. Steel consists mainly of iron, but will also have smaller or larger carbon content. The iron atoms form sheet-shaped structures. In pure iron, these structures will slide pass each other and make the material quite soft. In steel, the carbon atoms will block these sliding movements and thereby make the material much stronger. A metal alloy formed from iron and carbon is there much more durable than iron alone.
Steel manufacturers use this fact to produce different types of steel. When you create the main frame for a steel structure, you will of course prefer very hard and strong steel. For other parts of the building, flexible and/or light-weight steel can be a much better choice. By varying the iron-carbon ratio in the steel, it is possible to create steel that is ideal for a wide range of different purposes. The carbon content will affect such factors as ductility, elasticity, durability, yield strength and tensile strength.
You can of course purchase a steel building without ever worrying about terms such as ductility and tensile strength, but knowing how steel actually work and which factors that separate different steel variants from each other will make it easier for you to make an informed decision. By understanding what type of steel you should look out for, you are less likely to end up with an overpriced and low-quality steel building that does not accommodate for your needs.
Tensile strength is also referred to as ultimate strength, and will tell you how much tensile stress the steel will endure before breaking. Yield strength on the other hand measures how much stress the steel can cope with without subjecting to permanent deformity. By increasing the carbon content in the steel, you will increase the hardness of the steel, but at the same time your will cause it to be more brittle than before. Steel containing a lot of carbon will therefore be very strong, but also highly inflexible. When you use steel as a building material it is therefore of imperative importance that you choose the optimal iron-carbon ratio for each type of steel, depending on the various forces that the different steel types must be able to cope with in the building.