It is difficult to imagine our modern world without steel as a construction material. It is resistant, is very hard and is tough. Despite these properties, steel can be worked easily with many machining methods. The material’s strength makes it excellent for load-bearing structures.
By using steel, structures can be erected with far less materials, than would be possible without reinforcement. Modern office buildings, which are regularly built up to 300 metres high, would have to have metre-thick stone walls in the lower storeys, in order to carry the weight of the whole structure.
This would make the building so heavy that it would gradually sink into the ground. Modern structures simply wouldn’t be possible without steel. The load-bearing support structure inside buildings reduces the use of materials to such a degree that the buildings are relatively lightweight despite their size.
This construction material is used in every area of our daily lives. It is not only found in buildings, but also carries the weight of large bridges, can be found in the frames of cars and in many technical plants in industry.
What precisely is steel?
Steel is mainly made from iron. This is a very brittle material, which is also very susceptible to reaction with water and oxygen and therefore rusts quickly. Iron is spread worldwide and mainly occurs in iron ores such as haematite. This ore is then smelted in blast furnaces and is worked to form raw iron.
Its rust susceptibility and brittleness makes unalloyed iron uninteresting for the construction industry. These negative properties are caused by the carbon in iron. Therefore, in steelworks the iron is heated until the carbon burns. This process is maintained until the carbon fraction has fallen to less than 2 percent. There are even grades which have a carbon fraction of only 0.1 percent.
Today there are more than 2,500 different grades worldwide. Alloys can be made by adding other elements, which depending on the place of use, can be equipped with different properties.
For example, there are grades which can withstand extreme mechanical stresses, such as HARDOX wear plates. Other grades are tough and can give under compressive forces without breaking. Each year new alloys are added, which extend the areas of use for steel products.
Working steel at Rime
We work steel in the form of sheets and plates. We purchase sheets and plates from our dealers in different formats. These are then further worked to produce the required products according to the customers’ wishes in toll manufacturing, by bending, laser cutting, milling, shearing, punching and welding.