Structural Steel and Its Role in Steel Industry


Structural steel is a category of steel used for making construction materials in a variety of shapes. Many structural steel shapes take the form of an elongated beam having a profile of a specific cross section. Structural steel shapes, sizes, chemical composition, mechanical properties such as strengths, storage practices, etc., are regulated by standards in most industrialized countries.

Most structural steel shapes, such as I-beams, have high second moments of area, which means they are very stiff in respect to their cross-sectional area and thus can support a high load without excessive sagging.


Standard structural steels-Most steels used throughout Europe are specified to comply with the European standard EN 10025. However, many national standards also remain in force. Typical grades are described as 'S275J2' or 'S355K2W'. In these examples, 'S' denotes structural rather than engineering steel; 275 or 355 denotes the yield strength in newtons per square millimetre or the equivalent megapascals; J2 or K2 denotes the materials toughness by reference to Charpy impact test values; and the 'W' denotes weathering steel. Further letters can be used to designate fine grain steel ('N' or 'NL'); quenched and tempered steel ('Q' or 'QL'); and thermomechanically rolled steel ('M' or 'ML')

Characteristics - Structural steel differs from concrete in its attributed compressive strength as well as tensile strength.

Strength - Having high strength, stiffness, toughness, and ductile properties, structural steel is one of the most commonly used materials in commercial and industrial building construction.

Constructability - Structural steel can be developed into nearly any shape, which are either bolted or welded together in construction. Structural steel can be erected as soon as the materials are delivered on site, whereas concrete must be cured at least 1–2 weeks after pouring before construction can continue, making steel a schedule-friendly construction material.

Fire resistance - Steel is inherently a non-combustible material. However, when heated to temperatures seen in a fire scenario, the strength and stiffness of the material is significantly reduced. The International Building Code requires steel be enveloped in sufficient fire-resistant materials, increasing overall cost of steel structure buildings.

Corrosion - Steel, when in contact with water, can corrode, creating a potentially dangerous structure. Measures must be taken in structural steel construction to prevent any lifetime corrosion. The steel can be painted, providing water resistance. Also, the fire resistance material used to envelope steel is commonly water resistant.

Mold - Steel provides a less suitable surface environment for mold to grow than wood.

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Journal of Steel Structures and Construction
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