Steel and Other Common Metals Used in Construction

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Steel and Other Common Metals Used in Construction

steel metals used construction

When the topic of various steel and metal products is raised, one of the first areas many people tend to think about is the construction world. This is with good reason: Construction projects and settings utilize a huge range of different metal and steel products depending on their needs, including a few materials that are incredibly common across various construction settings.

At Wasatch Steel, contractors and other construction professionals are regular clients of ours. We offer everything from a wide range of steel products through many related accessories, even including things like safety products and others for working with steel and metal materials. Whether involving steel or other metals, what are some of the most common such materials found in the construction world, and why are they so useful and beneficial? Here are some basics.

Stainless Steel

One of the single most well-known and popular types of steel is stainless steel. It’s an alloy that contains chromium, which gives it that signature silvery sheen as well as added durability and corrosion resistance. Because of these properties, stainless steel is often used in food service areas or any other setting where there might be a lot of water or moisture present; it doesn’t rust as easily as some other types of steel.

You’ll also see stainless steel in many construction settings because it can be used for everything from handrails to more industrial applications. It’s one of the most versatile types of steel available and is often used in both interior and exterior construction projects.

Another great quality of stainless steel: How little maintenance it requires. You won’t have to do much to keep it looking its best, especially compared to other types of metal that might require more frequent cleaning or polishing. For those looking to install metal materials that will last for years with little upkeep required, stainless steel is often the best way to go.

Carbon Steel

While there are several other steel types that could easily be included on this list, carbon steel stands above many of them because of its versatility. Like stainless steel, carbon steel is an alloy that’s created by combining iron with carbon. The different element percentages result in various grades of carbon steel that offer different properties; for example, some grades are better for welding while others are less likely to corrode.

You’ll often see carbon steel used in settings that require a lot of strength. This could be in the form of steel beams or other support structures. It’s also often used to create things like pipes, which might not need to be quite as strong but still benefit from the added durability that carbon steel offers.

A common setting where you’ll find carbon steel, then, is in stadiums and other large buildings where there are extensive support structures required. This type of steel can also be used for more aesthetic purposes, such as in sculptures or other art forms that require a strong but pliable material.

Finally, while this isn’t considered as often as some other areas, carbon steel is ideal for security fencing and similar applications. The high strength of the material makes it very difficult to cut through, which is often a requirement for this type of application.


When most people think about aluminum, they likely think about soda cans or foil wrappers. It’s true that these are common uses for aluminum, but this metal also has a place in the construction world. In fact, aluminum is one of the most popular materials used for both commercial and residential building projects.

One reason for this is that aluminum is very light compared to other metals. This makes it ideal for applications where weight is a major concern, such as in high-rise buildings. It’s also quite strong for its weight, which is another desirable quality in a construction setting.

Aluminum is also resistant to corrosion, which makes it a good choice for both indoor and outdoor applications. It’s easy to shape and form into the desired shape, making it versatile for everything from window frames to siding. You’ll also see aluminum used for gutters, roofing, and a variety of other construction purposes.

Like stainless steel, aluminum requires little maintenance to keep it looking its best. It’s a low-maintenance material that’s easy to clean and care for, which is another reason why it’s such a popular choice for both commercial and residential buildings.


Copper is another metal that’s often used in both interior and exterior construction projects. It has a lot in common with aluminum, such as being lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Copper is also a very strong metal, making it ideal for applications where strength is required.

One of the most common uses for copper in a construction setting is for piping. This is because copper is an excellent conductor of heat, which makes it ideal for applications where hot water will be flowing through the pipes. Copper is also used for electrical wiring, as it’s an excellent conductor of electricity.

You might also see copper used in roofing applications. It’s a popular material for this purpose because it’s so resistant to corrosion. Copper can also be formed into a variety of shapes and sizes, making it versatile for both residential and commercial buildings.

Like aluminum, copper is a low-maintenance metal that’s easy to care for. It doesn’t require much in the way of upkeep and can last for many years with proper care.

For more on the most common metals you’ll see in the construction realm, or to learn about any of our steel products or services, contact the team at Wasatch Steel today.