Understanding Structural Steel Alloys and Shape Basics, Part 1

steel pipe plastic materials
Evaluating Steel Pipe Versus Plastic Pipe Materials, Part 2
December 20, 2019
structural steel alloys shape
Understanding Structural Steel Alloys and Shape Basics, Part 2
January 3, 2020
Show all

Understanding Structural Steel Alloys and Shape Basics, Part 1

structural steel alloys shape

Within many construction projects, the foundation of the structure being completed will be found in steel beams. These are known as structural steel beams, which utilize various different alloys in their manufacturing depending on the specific objectives of the material being used.

At Wasatch Steel, we stock a wide range of steel products and are also proud to provide a variety of steel services to help you acquire the perfect material to fit all your upcoming project needs. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over several of the alloys commonly used for structural steel formats and what they’re useful for, plus some basics on important shape and cross-section areas that may dictate the kind of steel you’re looking for.

Common Alloys for Structural Steel

As we noted above, several different potential alloys may be used to create structural steel. Some of the most common include:

  • Cold-rolled ASTM-A1008: This is a low-carbon steel that can be created in multiple different formed shapes, such as channel and angle. This makes it excellent for many foundational structural applications. Cold-rolling also brings it a fine finish and great dimensional accuracy, factors that play a big role for certain construction projects.
  • Hot-rolled ASTM-A36: Another low-carbon steel option, this one does have a bit higher carbon content than other mild steel – up to 27% in some cases, in fact. This makes it easily weldable and formable, with a minimum yield point of 36K. It’s perhaps the single most common structural steel format used, found in everything from support frames and transportation frames to machinery and equipment braces. It can also be galvanized to add corrosion resistance.
  • Hot-rolled ASTM-A529 Grade 50: Stronger than the A36 format, this metal has a 50K minimum yield strength. It’s often found in supports, bridges, buildings and other areas that require high strength levels. It’s open to welding, bolting, riveting, machining and simple fabrication needs.

Cross Sections and Applications

Structural steel comes in several cross sections: Channel, angle, beam, tee and others. These shapes can either be formed or welded, and they’re used to set the foundation for numerous building types across a wide range of industries. Some of the most common applications structural steel will be used in include each of the following:

  • Marine piers
  • Shipbuilding
  • Architecture and various building construction applications
  • Truck trailers, shipping containers and related items
  • Furniture manufacturing
  • Heavy equipment manufacturing

In part two of this blog, we’ll go over several shape areas that will dictate the precise kind of structural steel that’s best for your upcoming project. To learn more about this, or for information on any of our steel products or steel services, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.