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 members, such as I-beams, have high second moments of area, which allow them to be very stiff in respect to their cross-sectional area.
These are advantages of steel structure compared with other materials:
+ Structural steel differs from concrete in its attributed compressive strength as well as tensile strength.
+ Strength – Having high strength, stiffness, toughness, and ductile properties, structural steel is one of the most commonly used materials in commercial and industrial building construction.
+ Constructability – 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.
+ Fire resistance – Steel is inherently a noncombustible material. However, when heated to temperatures seen in a fire scenario, the strength and stiffness of the material is significantly reduced. The International Building Code requires steel be enveloped in sufficient fire-resistant materials, increasing overall cost of steel structure buildings.
+ Mold – With the propagation of mold and mildew in residential buildings, using steel minimizes these infestations. Mold needs moist, porous material to grow. Steel studs do not have those problems.