Not All Steel Is Created Equal: Gauging The Strength Of Structural Steel Sheets

If you have an industrial project that requires a lot of structural steel sheets, be sure to not fall in the trap of thinking that all structural steel is created equally. There are several factors, from age to manufacturing process, that can affect the strength of steel. Here is a guide to testing steel strength and quality. 

Stats for Gauging Strength

The biggest statistic for determining the structural strength of steel sheets is a measure of tensile strength. This statistic is meant to test how much pressure the steel can withstand. Manufacturers will often do spot tests of their products to determine the average tensile strength of their product, since different batches may be slightly weaker or stronger than others. Steel can have a wide range of strength from 50 to 250 or more kpsi

Why Does Tensile Strength Matter?

The strength of your structural steel matters a lot—it will affect the quantity that you have to order to get the job done. Some people make the mistake of choosing the cheapest steel sheets, only to discover that they need to order much more in order to support the workload for their industrial processes. A structural engineer can help you determine the amount of steel needed to complete various projects based on the tensile strength of the steel you buy. Although this may cost you some money upfront, it can help you make an educated guess on which manufacturer offers the best value. 

Factors that Affect Tensile Strength

You can get some idea of the tensile strength from its age. Steel processes changed a few times over the past decade, so by looking up the manufacture date of the steel and researching the corresponding strength, you may be able to estimate tensile strength. You can also get some idea from the processes used to create the steel. For instance, some new manufacturers boast high strength processes where they heat and reheat the steel several times to even out the pressure points. But the best way to get the stats is to ask the manufacturer directly for their numbers and how they came to determine them. 

Looking for the Right Strength

In short, be sure to consider the stats when you're choosing a steel sheets manufacturer. By asking for the statistics you need and passing them along to an estimator, you can make the best decisions about which offer to choose.  For more information, ask around about specific services such as steel sheets by Enterprize Steel & Sales.