The Difference Between Commercial And Industrial Structural Steel

Steel is an extremely versatile material in building and construction, and can be fabricated and implemented in myriad ways. This versatility lies in the wide range of physical and chemical properties that steel can have, which allow it to be fabricated to different grades and standards.

Commercial structural steel and industrial structural steel, while sharing many similarities, are not exactly the same. The differences lie in the alloy composition of the steel, which impart certain characteristics suitable for different applications. Let’s take a look at the primary differences between industrial and commercial structural steel.

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Commercial Steel

Commercial steel is often referred to as mild steel. It is soft, malleable, ductile and easy to fabricate into a wide range of shapes and sizes without losing structural integrity. This allows architects to explore the full scope of possibilities when it comes to design and aesthetic freedom. It is also lighter than industrial steel and can be framed easily.

While mild steel has a relatively low tensile strength compared to industrial steel, it is cheap and easy to form and can surface hardness can be increased through heat treatment. Although ranges vary, mild steel usually contains around 0.05% to 0.25% of carbon by weight, whereas higher carbon steels typically have a carbon content of between 0.30% and 2.0%.

Industrial Steel

Industrial steel is much stronger than commerical steel and is suitable for more heavy-duty applications. This includes high-intensity environments where factors such as heat or salt water would degrade less durable materials.

Being heavy duty, industrial steel tends to be more expensive than commercial steel. It is also not as easy to work with as commercial steel. That being said, it is extremely useful in settings require metals that can withstand high temperatures, pressure, chemicals, rust, and erosion. Industrial structural steel is commonly found in marine vessels, aircraft, construction sites, wind turbines, and pipelines.

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