How Is Structural Steel Made?

Nov 12, 2021 | Structural services | 0 comments

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Structural steel is one of the most important construction materials. It can be used to build large structures such as bridges or tall buildings. Making sure that structural steel is made correctly is essential in order for construction projects to be durable and strong. 

How Is Steel Made?

Raw iron is the basic material that makes up structural steel. Raw iron is usually not found in nature by itself and its often founds mixed with other elements. Usually, iron found is mixed with high concentration of carbon. Some of the carbon needs to be removed and so therefore it must undergo a process. 

The first step in making structural steel is to have the raw iron ore crushed. Once the iron ore is crushed, it undergoes a refining process where the iron is sorted. The iron used for the creation of steel is the best grade, usually around 60 percent purity. 

After the iron ore is sorted, the ore is placed into a furnace that is heated from the top while at the same time hot air is blown from the bottom. The mix creates a reaction that removes any impurities and allows the pure iron to sink to the bottom of the furnace. 

The iron that is left at the bottom of the furnace is heated longer in order to add other elements or substances that can change the properties of the steel. Different substances will create varying properties that can be used in distinct ways during construction. 

Substances Are Mixed With Iron To Make Favorable Properties In Steel

As mentioned already, the main components of steel are iron and carbon. The higher the carbon added, the higher the strength of the steel and the lower the pliability. Other elements are usually added in order to make the steel stronger, more or less pliable, or make the steel economically feasible. 

Manganese is usually added to structural steel because it helps the steel during the rolling process. Manganese makes the steel strong enough and resistant enough to resist cracking or breaking. 

An important aspect of steel is the amount of carbon that is used in its preparation. The amount of carbon used should be adjusted depending on the project and what the steel will be used for. Steel with lower carbon is easier to weld but it also makes steel harder to work with. That will lower the rate in which the construction can happen. This is why the creation of steel has to be very specific in order to ensure that the steel being formed has favorable properties for a construction site. 

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