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  • Writer's picturePremalatha Karupiah


Structural steel is the most studied, most widely used, and best understood building material available. It makes up most of the essential infrastructure that supports modern industry. Structural steel forms the skeletons of buildings, crane booms, bridges, and transmission towers. It is also used to build pipelines, machinery, trucks, and trains.


Carbon is one of the most important components of steel. Forming steel requires refining an iron-carbon alloy through heating and cooling until its carbon content falls below 2.1 percent. To create structural steel, the carbon is reduced even further.

Structural steel must have a carbon content of 0.15 percent to 0.30 percent. This precise amount of carbon provides the perfect balance of strength and ductility required to support large structures and heavy loads.

Adding other elements to structural steel can increase its strength and durability and enhance its performance even further:

- Manganese combines well with iron and sulphur, making it essential in producing hot rolled steel.

- Aluminium and silicon help deoxidize the steel and create a finer grain in the crystalline microstructure.

- Chromium, nickel, or copper provide increased corrosion resistance and prevent deterioration.

- Columbium, molybdenum, phosphorus, vanadium, nitrogen, or titanium might also be added to augment specific qualities.


All structural steel must conform to the regulations and grades established by national or international standards. Their strict standards and codes ensure that steel manufacturers produce only the highest quality materials.

There are three types of structural steel, each with its own specifications:


Four main physical properties make structural steel invaluable to builders:

- Strength measures the stress resistance of structural steel.

- Stiffness measures its ability to resist deformation under both stress and strain together.

- Toughness refers to its ability to absorb energy before failure.

- Ductility describes its ability to redistribute stress and measures how much plastic deformation structural steel can undergo before failure.

No other building material can match the strength, stiffness, toughness, and ductility of structural steel. These properties combined make structural steel the toughest, longest lasting, most durable building material available. Because structural steel is 100% recyclable, it is also one of the most reused materials in the world.

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