Steel is an element that surrounds us on a daily basis. Hence there are many types of steel sheets with their different uses. But there are also other essential elements for daily life made with steel.

The specific objectives of the structural steel is designed for the construction of building structures and machinery components.

The main components of structural steel are iron and carbon, although it also contains other elements such as silicon, phosphorus, sulfur and oxygen. Did you know that the more carbon is added to the alloy, the higher the strength and the ductility of the finished product decreases?


How is structural steel made?

structural steel It is manufactured through a hot rolling process, which is different from the cold rolling process. In our article on differences between hot and cold rolled steel, you can find out their differences.

For its part, the structural steel process is divided into three phases:

  1. Raw iron ore is crushed and classified. Subsequently, we find a series of different refining processes, all designed to achieve the best quality of iron. Generally, around 60% purity is achieved.
  2. The mineral is then placed in a blast furnace and is heated to a very high temperature. It is called a “blast furnace” because hot air enters the furnace from the bottom. Thus, a reaction occurs that eliminates impurities as the pure iron sinks to the bottom of the furnace.
  3. Finally, cast iron is extracted and reheated, at even higher temperatures, to allow the entry of other substances, such as manganese, which adds different properties to the steel finish. These added products can increase strength, make the steel more or less ductile, or improve the economy of use.

how structural steel is made


One of the most common additives to structural steel, after iron and carbon, is manganese. The reason is because manganese improves the workability of steel and helps the steel resist cracking and splitting during the rolling process.


Uses of structural steel

The properties of structural steel allow this material to be used for different purposes in construction. As:

  • Skyscraper: The low weight and great strength of steel make it ideal for the construction of high-rise buildings.
  • residential buildings: In this case a process called light gauge steel is used to help maximize the strength level of the structure itself.
  • WAREHOUSES: Steel is one of the essential materials, since it means less cost, strength, durability...
  • Parking lots: Very good option for the construction of structures such as garages, for example, thanks to its low construction cost, shortened construction times and long durability.
  • Bridges: Its excellent weight/strength ratio is key when it comes to the construction of these hanging structures. Thanks to its level of durability, it ensures the ability to support the weight of cars and pedestrians passing through these engineering works.

uses of structural steel


Advantages and disadvantages of structural steel

Everything has advantages and disadvantages, and because of this, structural steel has specific priority uses.



  • High resistance: Able to support great weights, without its shape being damaged or modified.
  • Homogeneity in the quality and reliability of steel: Despite the passing of the years, structural steel does not change its appearance, even if it is exposed to high temperatures, as we have mentioned previously.
  • High ductility. Steel can suffer great pressures, which can even influence its original shape, but without the structure collapsing and breaking.
  • Corrosion resistant under normal conditions. Although it may vary depending on weather conditions.
  • High tenacity. This steel can be bent and ground.
  • Lets be a soldier.



  • Mechanical properties deteriorate severely at high temperatures. This steel is relatively elastic for a metal. Although its reaction is the same as compression and tension, since when subjected to great stress, it can begin to exhibit behavior like that of plastic materials.
  • Maintenance cost. Most steels are susceptible to corrosion if they are continuously exposed to water and air. Therefore, they must be painted periodically.
  • Fire protection cost. Some structural steels are non-combustible, although their resistance is significantly reduced during fires.


In any case, and although it has disadvantages, structural steel is a magnificent material that, due to its unmatched advantages, continues to be the favorite for many architects, builders and engineers.