Structural Fabrication: Suitable Steel Materials for Durable Features

If you are planning on creating metal features in your structure, you should consider using steel as your fabrication material. This metal is favourable because it displays exceptional strength. In simple terms, it will not be susceptible to damage through distortion or breakage due to its intrinsic strength. Steel is also an economic material choice for large-scale fabrications. This can be attributed to the fact that common materials are used in creating the alloy.

In addition, this metal is recyclable. This means that there are secondary sources of the metal apart from the natural ore, which further contributes to favourable prices. On the other hand, you should note that there are different forms of steel in the market with unique characteristics. Therefore, the exact performance and cost of the material can vary. Here is a short description of the most ideal steel material to consider for your structural fabrication project.

Carbon Steel

The standard steel material used in structural fabrication is carbon steel. This alloy is manufactured by combining iron with carbon to create a highly resilient material. The content of carbon is often varied depending on the potential application of the material. In general, carbon acts as the hardening agent for the metal material. Therefore, when the carbon content is higher, the material will be tougher and stronger. Unfortunately, if the content is high, the ductility of the metal and its weldability decreases, limiting the fabrication options. The primary advantage of choosing carbon steel is the good performance characteristics coupled with the low material price.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a suitable alternative material if carbon steel cannot be utilised. In general, carbon steel is highly susceptible to rusting. The drawback can be controlled by galvanisation and painting, but extensive maintenance is required to promote long-term performance. Stainless steel is is manufactured by combining carbon steel with chromium. This material enhances the corrosion resistance of the metal, making it ideal for use in harsh ambient conditions. Stainless steel retains the exceptional strength and durability of iron and carbon. Regrettably, the cost of the material is considerably high. 

Alloy Steel

Steel can be combined with different elements such as silicon, manganese, chromium, boron and molybdenum to form a material with unique properties. By including different elements in various quantities, the fabricator can control properties such as wear resistance, strength and corrosion resistance. This class of materials is known as alloy steel, and the options are numerous. Therefore, discuss the most ideal choice with your structural steel fabrication company.