Quick guide to steel: Why is it sustainable?

Global warming, air, water and soil pollution, scarcity of raw materials and energy are among the challenges that the environment is facing today. Unfortunately, most of the environmental pollutants are caused by the construction of buildings.

When it comes to building and fabrication process, opting for steel as construction material can result in a lower environmental impact. In this blog post, you will learn about the guide to steel and why it is considered the most sustainable material today.

Brief overview of steel

Before discussing the reasons why steel is sustainable, here’s a quick overview of steel. Nowadays, steel is an all-rounder material. It is used in major construction projects such as arenas, roads, multi-storey building and railways. It is even utilised in creating small product designs like nails, bolts and screws. Although it is extensively used in the fabrication industry, many people still don’t have any idea of what steel is.

Steel is an alloy or mix of iron and around 0.2 to 2.1% of carbon. In fact, it is the carbon content that gives steel its hardness.

Types of steel

There are various types of steel that are mostly used by fabricators. Stainless steel is considered as the cheapest metal to manufacture. It is very popular to use in several construction projects because it does not rust or breakdown when exposed to moisture. Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable.

High-speed steel or HSS is highly resistant to abrasion. It is generally used to produce tools and other pieces that are prone to high amounts of friction.
Moreover, cobalt steel has a similar structure to high-speed steel except that it has a higher absorption of cobalt. Cobalt steel is the ideal material to use when the steel structures require extreme heat or friction.

Carbon-based steel comes in two forms. These are high alloy steel and high carbon steel. Carbon-based steel is extremely malleable, soft and efficient to use. Furthermore, this steel is the cheapest option in the market today.

Carbide steel is a very heavy metal. Thus, it is not ideal for buildings that are expected to be light or flexible. Aside from that, carbide steel should be produced under cautious health and safety controls because it can trigger fibrosis when inhaled.

With steel being the versatile material, many fabricators are now utilising it for their construction and assembly projects. Aside from that, steel is also considered as one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable material today.

Reasons why steel is sustainable
Here are a few reasons why steel is considered to be sustainable. Read further below.

  • You don’t need more with steel
    Compared to other building materials, metal workers don’t need a lot of steel to put up an entire building. Whether it is structural steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel or any other types, it is known to be strong and durable.
  • It is highly recyclable
    Steel can be recycled without losing its valuable properties like strength and durability. Apart from that, steel has a long service life. In fact, even it reached its end of service life, its original parts can still be reused after some adaptation process.
  • It uses less manufacturing energy with little to no waste
    Steel is produced under controlled conditions. This also means that it has little to no construction waste. In fact, its by-products such as slag cement can be recycled. Apart from that, instead of utilising raw materials such as iron ore and coal, it is easier for manufacturers to use scrap steel to produce new steel. Actually, scraps are used to build almost 80% of steel structures or steel beams.
  • Steel can withstand harsh weather
    Steel is known to have the ability to endure harsh weather conditions. Since it is built to last, you don’t need to worry about a steel building to fall down when flood or snowstorm happens.

Why sustainability is important?
According to studies, building operations and construction contribute to about 36% of the global energy use. It is also accountable for about 1/3 greenhouse gas emissions today.

With these environmental issues becoming the main interest nowadays, choosing a sustainable resource such as steel can definitely make a difference. Some believe that it is also a competitive tool for fabricators, designers and even to businesses.

In a society that is concerned with the changing climate, having a commitment to use environmental-friendly materials is vital. In this matter, utilising steel can have a good impact on the society. This is because steel is sustainable material. It is also long-lasting, durable and highly recyclable.

If you want to learn more eco-friendly topics, feel free to check out valuable and informative sites that will provide educational blog posts.

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