Future Steel Buildings/Introduction
What is steel?
Steel is an alloy that consists of iron and carbon. Carbon content added to steel depends on the grade of steel and typically ranges from 0.2 to 2.1 %. Carbon is mostly used for alloying with iron but a number of other alloying elements have also been used such as manganese, chromium, vanadium and tungsten.
Carbon and other elements function as hardening agents preventing deformations of iron atom crystal lattice. The invention of Bessemer process in the mid 19th century improved steel production methods. Further modifications were made in the process to make it cost effective and produce steel of better quality.
Modern processes make steel with different combinations of metal alloys to produce steel with different properties for various purposes, such as:
- Carbon steel is composed of mainly carbon and iron. It makes up 90 % of steel production.
- High Strength low alloy steel (HSLA) has small additions of other elements such as manganese to increase steel strength.
- Low Alloy steel uses alloys of manganese, chromium, nickel or molybdenum to improve the hardness of thick sections.
- Stainless Steel uses 11 % chromium usually combined with nickel to resist rust formation (corrosion).
What are steel structures?
Steel buildings are metal structures made of steel. These metal structures can be used to build offices, hospitals, homes, schools, warehouse and workshops. These steel buildings have gained popularity worldwide. The use of computer aided design technology has given a new dimension to building designs. The future steel buildings can be assembled easily as most of the steel components are pre-engineered. Nuts and bolts can be fixed in the specified holes and the structure can be made in minimum time with less labor. Personalized commercial and industrial buildings can also be made, as steel is now available in different colors and shapes.
Steel has become the leading choice as construction material due to its numerous advantages over other building materials. The steel functions as a skeleton for the building. It performs all the functions a human skeleton does. Steel helps keep the building standing tall. It provides strength to the structure. In addition, steel provides resistance against harsh climatic conditions and gives a sleek appearance to the structure. Maintenance of the steel structure is easier compared to if concrete is used for the same purpose.