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Steel Beams – A Standard in Architecture

May 03, 2016

Steel beams provide strong and versatile support for both residential and commercial buildings. Steel has the highest strength to weight ratio compared to other building materials like wood and concrete. This makes steel beams indispensable because they are able to resist great stress, an important advantage in the event of emergencies like earthquakes or in areas prone to strong winds.

Steel offers a lot of benefits to the construction industry and brings with it many design possibilities. Architects realize their creative visions to fruition when utilizing steel in shopping centers, commercial buildings, landmarks, bridges, and residential structures. Furthermore, the use of steel beams satisfies the need for sustainable construction. Steel can be recycled over and over again without affecting its strength or durability. After a building has been demolished, steel components are collected and delivered to a recycling facility for future use.

Steel beams are fabricated in a controlled environment in order to ensure quality and weed out any defects. Unlike concrete, steel beams and steel frames will not shrink or creep. One of the main disadvantages of using concrete is the possibility of cracking due to shrinkage when it dries. Steel is often used as reinforcement to ensure the durability and longevity of concrete in building structures. Steel makes sure that concrete will not crack in extreme pressure.

Steel beams are widely used as a solution to fire-proof a building and extend its serviceable life. Due to extensive testing of individual components in a steel structure, significant improvements in fire protection have been realized through the use of fire protection coating on steel. A thin film intumescent coating is one of the more popular forms of protective coating used for steel beams and steel frames to improve fire safety. Fire protection coating can be applied offsite for reduced construction time.