The Different Types of Metals That Are Used in Construction Today

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Projections show that the global construction & building materials market will reach a value of $1.283 trillion by 2025.

The construction industry is always growing, creating more demand for the materials and resources used. Various types of metals have a place within the construction industry and the type used for each application depends on the needs and specifications of the project.

For a rundown of some of the main types of metals used in construction today, keep reading. 

Iron

Iron is one of the oldest metals used by man, but still has a range of uses in today’s world. It’s the most common element on the planet, so there is no shortage of supply.

Various types of iron are available with a range of properties and suited applications. Cast iron has several benefits such as:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Unaffected by magnets
  • High melting point
  • High tensile strength

These advantages make it ideal for structures such as metal columns, column bases, and staircases. Cast iron is also often used to make construction equipment. It provides rigidity and reduces vibrations making it a good choice for the frames and bases of heavy machinery.

Iron has a rustic appearance making it a popular design choice for things ranging from balcony railings to bolts. Check out Old West Iron to see more about square head bolts and the different finishes you can get.

Steel

Steel is the most widely used metal in the world has several different types. Steels are technically metal alloys made of iron and carbon with different alloying elements included which give different characteristics.

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Carbon steel is the most basic type and is often used for structural components in the construction industry.

Alloy steel can contain a range of other elements making it very versatile. It works well for construction machinery, railways, structural components of buildings, road construction, and more.

Stainless steel has the advantage of being corrosion-resistant, making it suitable for parts that are more exposed. This includes things like handrails, roofing, and architectural cladding.

The range of possibilities and their many strengths make these steels some of the best metals used in construction as well as a range of other industries.

Aluminum

Aluminum has been in use for less than 200 years, which is fairly recent as far as metals go. It has one of the best strength-to-weight ratios of any metal making it ideal for applications that need high strengths but also benefit from less weight.

It’s also highly malleable and corrosion-resistant, but the manufacturing of aluminum is more complex than many other metals. After steel, this is the second most widely used metal on the planet as it works well for a wide range of uses.

Various building components are often made from aluminum such as window/door frames, shutters, roofing systems, bridges, and offshore superstructures.

Different Types of Metals for Construction

All of the metals above have strengths that make them well suited to construction applications. Various other types of metals also fit into the construction industry for different reasons.

If you’re interested in more tech-related articles check out some of our other blog posts.

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