Structural steel is one of the foundational materials of modern construction. It is used ubiquitously in the design of domestic, industrial, and commercial properties and has facilitated the construction of some of the world’s largest structures.

Construction steels are used from the ground up; particularly in civil engineering and large-scale industrial projects. Pilings and baffles are used to lay the groundwork and establish a strong foundational anchor for tall structures like skyscrapers. A multitude of beams and angles are utilised to construct the framework of single- and multi-storey buildings. Plates are also often used as a roofing or cladding solution.

There are countless potential applications of construction steel, but four key properties underlie the importance of structural steel grades for construction applications. In this blog post, Masteel will explore these properties in more depth.

Ultimate Tensile Strength

A construction steel’s ultimate tensile strength (UTS) refers to the maximum level of applied stress the component can withstand before failure. It typically refers to longitudinal forces that threaten to pull structural beams apart in a lengthwise direction. This is a critical factor in determining the potential structural load of construction steels.

Yield Strength

Yield strength is a sub-definition of tensile strength. While the construction steel’s UTS refers to its maximum possible resistance to longitudinal stress before breaking; yield strength is a measure of the material’s resistance to deformation due to stress. This is typically measured as a function of the levels of pressure required to cause a permanent deformation of around 0.2%.

This is dependent upon the dimensional tolerances of the end-product application. Construction steels generally have low tolerances, demanding high yield strength construction steel grades.

Charpy Designations

The Charpy impact test is a standard method for determining the impact notch toughness of materials. It is a common method of measuring the toughness of construction steels, which is crucial for mitigating the potential for failure due to inherent imperfections in the material.

Construction steels are prescribed Charpy designations based on the amount of energy they can absorb before succumbing to fracture. This property is temperature-dependent, and grades are typically displayed as a function of n Joules at either room temperature or across a range of -60 – 20°C.

Elemental Composition

The elemental composition of steel grades underpins the three previous key properties, yet this property offers more than just mechanical benefits to construction steels. Carbon (C) concentration, the presence of nitrogen (N) or other non-corrosives such as molybdenum (Mo), the addition of stabilisers and additives; these are critical factors in determining the chemical-compatibility of construction steel grades to specific applications.

Shipbuilding and maritime civil projects demand construction steels with increased resistance to oxygenation and salt water corrosion. Urban steel cladding may demand a steel grade with improved inertness in the presence of common airborne pollutants and acid rain. Construction steels must subsequently be employed on a holistic basis.

Construction Steels from Masteel

Masteel is one of the world-leading suppliers of construction steels for a global industry. We understand the unique demands of building large scale structures in an increasingly budget-conscious economy. Read our previous post World Cup Materials: The Steel Products Used in Football Stadium Construction to experience our expertise in a little more detail.

Or, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.