Structural steel is a category of steel used as a construction material for making structural steel shapes. A structural steel shape is a profile, formed with a specific cross section and following certain standards for chemical composition and mechanical properties. Structural steel shapes, sizes, composition, strengths, storage practices, etc., are regulated by standards in most industrialized countries.
- Generally consisting of portland cement, water, construction aggregate (coarse and fine), and steel reinforcing bars (rebar), concrete is cheaper in comparison to structural steel.
- Having high strength, stiffness, toughness, and ductile properties, structural steel is one of the most commonly used materials in commercial and industrial building construction.
- Structural steel can be developed into nearly any shape, which are either bolted or welded together in construction. Structural steel can be erected as soon as the materials are delivered on site, whereas concrete must be cured at least 1–2 weeks after pouring before construction can continue, making steel a schedule-friendly construction material.
Common structural shapes