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Protecting Steel Beams from Corrosion

January 11, 2021

In creating infrastructures and buildings, there are different structural elements to take into account. These include support for the roofs, floors, and walls. The spaces in between these supports is one of the most vital elements—they are called beams. They are typically made out of structural steel, the strongest and most reliable material for construction. The key function of beams is to support and carry heavy weights and extensions. In order to perform this role successfully, strong and durable material is needed. Structural steel is the top choice for many construction companies due to their tensile strength and resistance to stresses without getting damaged or fractured. Other desirable qualities of steel are great versatility, ease of use, uniformity, and high recyclability.


Those are the reasons why steel beams are more favoured than other construction materials. However, without proper protection, beams are susceptible to corrosion. This is due to the pure iron content of steel that is prone to rust if exposed to moisture and oxygen. The rate of corrosion depends on many factors, including temperature, maintenance, and environmental conditions.


Fortunately, the likelihood of steel beams to corrode can be reduced by keeping in mind the following tips:


Correct initial specifications: Steel beam components must be specified according to certain factors. These include the size of components, steel type and grade, paint or coating system, compatibility with adjacent materials, and the environmental conditions.


Paint coatings: high-performance coatings are often applied to control corrosion and new paints can be an effective barrier. However, its protective ability decreases with time, exposure to harmful UV rays, and wear and tear. The length of protection of the coatings is influenced by many parameters, including the type of coating, its thickness, adhesion to steel, adhesion between coatings, resistance to abrasion and UV radiation, as well as detailed steelwork design.


Maintenance: vital to effective protection against corrosion for structural steel beams is a regular inspection program. It can be achieved by repainting before the serious deterioration of an existing coat or rust occurs. A reliable maintenance program includes a regular cleaning schedule and a preprogrammed repainting plan.


For all your structural steel needs, make sure to call Scarboro Steel!