Steel is a metal that we are all very familiar with and interact with on a daily basis. From the cars we drive, the buildings we live in and the cutler that we eat with steel has proven itself to be a very versatile metal.
Even though steel is very common, there are some myths out there that give people the wrong impression about it. For those in an industry that uses a lot of steel it is important to separate fact from fiction. Read on to see some of these common myths and the truth that lies behind them.
1. Steel is an element
As many elements are metals it can be an easy mistake to make that steel is on the periodic table. Steel is actually made up of iron, carbon and a few other compounds. Steel is more than the sum of its parts and the reason that these other materials are combined to make it is because steel i much stronger than any of the individual parts that make it up.
2. Steel doesn’t rust
Steel is very resilient to the elements but it is not immune from the effects of oxidation. Steel will rust over time without the proper treatment. Stainless steel has an outer layer of chromium that provides the protection it needs to avoid rust and corrosion.
3. You can’t recycle it
Not only can steel be recycled, it will remain just as strong as before too. Many other metals lose a lot of their strength when they’re recycled, so this property makes steel a very good metal for those who are concerned about the environment.
4. The steel industry is shrinking
As long as buildings and bridges are being built, steel will be in high demand. In fact the steel industry is growing with each passing year.
5. Modern buildings don’t use steel
Steel has become a popular alternative thanks to its unparalleled strength and durability. Although its use is not universal it is very common in modern construction projects the world over. Construction companies can build homes and buildings using steel materials to protect against wind, hail, storm and other related damage.
6. Steel is not magnetic
There are a lot of variations in the composition of the different types of stainless steel. Some are magnetic, but most are not.
7. Steel is expensive
The cost of steel is largely affected by the grade of steel. For example, Carbon steel is typically more affordable than stainless steel. This is due to the enhanced properties that it has in terms of corrosion and oxidation resistance.
Sometimes, the expense is more than worth it if you want to have a material that will pass the test of time you need to pay for quality. If you are unsure of the grade of steel that is needed for a project then, it is best to get in touch with a trusted steel supplier and ask them what grades they have available.
8. Steel buildings are prone to lightning strikes
Many people assume that just because a building is made of metal that it will automatically be a lightning rod. This is not the case. Steel is a positive conductor to the earth with the energy conducted straight to the ground and not released destructively within the frame. This means that steel buildings are actually much safer than one based of a wooden frame during a lightning storm.
9. Steel buildings expand and contract with the change in temperature
All building materials will expand and contract as the temperature changes. When you hear floorboards creaking in the night, that is them expanding and contracting. So, the short answer is yes, they do. Architects will have counted for this in the design of the building so there is nothing to worry about.