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How Steel Beams Are a Major Part of an Eco-Friendly Future

September 13, 2017

The materials that make up steel beams can be recycled. In fact, steel has garnered a great green reputation—it’s the most recycled material on the planet. Once obsolete, steel materials are melted down and made into a variety of new products, from cars to appliances to newly made steel beams. The steel collected is melted down using an arc furnace. During this process, the impurities are removed and new chemicals are added to strengthen the steel’s material base. In liquid form, the steel is then poured into molds.

The composition of steel beams is important in determining the right kind of material for the right kind of project. Certain characteristics, however, can be modified by subjecting the steel to a chemical treatment process. These characteristics are as follows:

  1. Strength. This determines the overall strength and performance of the steel beams. The steel beams are assigned numerical digits that determine the minimum yield strength depending upon the structural steel composition.
  2. Toughness. This characteristic of steel beams refers to the imperfections embedded in the steel during the manufacturing process. If the steel beams are not tough enough, these imperfections become cracks which can result in structural failure.
  3. Weldability. While all steel beams can be welded, how the material responds after cooling is how this characteristic is measured.
  4. Ductility. This characteristic of steel beams refers to the ability of the material to elongate and expand when load stresses are applied to it. Steel beams that are specially manufactured have different ductility variances in order to suit the design they would be used for.

Modern skyscrapers and buildings use steel beams to prop up their structures. Strong, durable, and efficient in construction, steel beams have become essential materials to any project. Steel’s ability to be recycled means that a lot of engineers are incorporating it into green architecture. This is one of the many advantages to steel beams, which makes one appreciate the values and contribution that steel beams have provided to construction over time.