Steel plays a massive role in the construction of homes, buildings and infrastructure in Australia. For example, some of the first houses constructed in Sydney in the 1960s used 1.2m thick galvanised steel, while more modern buildings have begun featuring more creative and versatile steel and truss manufacturing technology, allowing for even more flexibility in structural construction.
Thanks to computer technology, cutting and fabricating steel for construction is more cost-effective and efficient, giving timber structures a run for their money. Although stone and wood have been mainstays in construction, the benefits of using steel are beginning to outpace their more natural counterparts.
1. Structural Steel vs Structural Timber: Strength to Weight Ratio
The strength, or backbone of a building, is determined by the materials used. Both timber and steel perform in very different ways, making it crucial to know the difference for the building’s safety, security and longevity. Steel is a manufactured material with isotropic properties, meaning it has the same level of strength everywhere. On the other hand, Timber is anisotropic, indicating its density varies along and across the grain. Because of this, steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any current building material and is typically much more robust than timber.
2. Less Movement Means Less Creaking
Weight for weight, steel is stiffer than timber. Buildings that feature metal frames allow for less movement, as, unlike wood, steel does not twist, warp, shrink or buckle. Although timber provides a more malleable composition, CAD drafting has allowed for more flexible steel construction. Furthermore, CAD allows much of the labour to be done off-site, making on-site assembly more straightforward.
3. Steel is Termite-Proof
These wood hungry pests can be a nightmare for timber buildings and structures. Rather than deal with the potential damage these insects can cause, skip the hassle and cost associated with pest control and damage, and choose steel instead because termites can’t eat metal.
4. Fire Resistance
Another incredible benefit of choosing steel over timber is its fire resistance. On top of being non-combustible, steel can retain its shape at much higher temperatures than timber, dramatically reducing the risk of fire and catastrophe. Steel also makes for an excellent insulator, as heat can quickly radiate from steel roofing for a cooler home in hotter climates.
5. Steel is 100% Recyclable
An often overlooked aspect of the steel industry is its recyclability. A majority of structural steel buildings are made using 100% recyclable steel. Steel Builders, for example, locally source their materials to meet Australian Standards. Furthermore, steel doesn’t require treatment against pests and hazards, reducing the need for toxic chemicals.
Our team is committed to servicing our customer's requirements, supplying quality products, and most of all, creating smarter solutions. Steel Builders is the premier steel fabricator and building supplier in the NSW domestic housing market supplying structural steel, lintels, t-bars, adjustable steel posts, drainage products, and bricklayers hardware.
Get a quote today for a complete package from CAD drafted shop drawings through to painting, galvanising and site installation if required.