Advantages & Disadvantages Of Steel Frame Construction

Today, practically all industries have major applications of Melbourne structural steel fabrication. From industry equipment to finished products, structural steel is used everywhere. Buildings, bridges, high-rise buildings and warehouses are made using structural steel sections. Industry experts prefer the use of structural steel over any other building material for construction. This is mainly because of the innumerable benefits structural steel provides. But as everything else in the world, there are certain downsides of using structural steel in building structures. Here we are going to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of structural steel structures.


Understanding Steel Frame Construction

Steel frame construction used to be primarily used for large, simple structures, such as garages, large agricultural buildings and warehouses – as well as high-rise buildings. This is how steel frame construction is still understood in popular belief, but it is now also used for a wide range of other types of development, including offices, factories, schools, public buildings and some residential dwellings.

Steel frame construction is a good option for a diversity of projects for many reasons, including:


  1. Durability
  2. Affordability
  3. Sustainability

Structural steel components can quickly be fabricated off-site and then transported to the construction site when needed, minimising onsite labour requirements and reducing the impact of variables that can delay a project, such as adverse weather.


There are several distinct advantages to steel frame construction from the point of view of fabrication, as well as a couple of disadvantages. These will be noted below:


Advantages of Steel Frame Construction

Steel frame constructions offer the following advantages compared to brick, concrete and wooden constructions.


1) Strength & Durability

Structural steel components are lighter and stronger than weight-bearing wood or concrete products. A typical weight-bearing steel fabrication is 30% to 50% lighter than a wooden equivalent. This makes steel frame construction far stronger and more durable than traditional wood framed alternatives.


2) Easy Fabrication In Different Sizes

Steel studs are available in a variety of sizes and can be fabricated in order. This means they can be customised to bear specific loads in buildings of all different types and sizes.


3) Fire Resistance

Steel frame constructions are highly resistant to fire, reducing the fire risk to a building and retarding the spread of a fire should one occur. Special flame retardant coatings act to increase this property of structural steel.


4) Pest & Insect Resistant

Structural steel components are immune to the degrading effects of burrowing insects and mammals – which can cause a problem for wooden framework unless adequately treated.


5) Moisture & Weather Resistance

Structural steel can have good moisture resistant properties, depending on its carbon content. Hot zinc coating and extra powder treatments for enhanced rust resistance will make a structural steel component even more immune to the effects of water – an important consideration for components exposed to the weather.


  1. Elasticity

Steel behaves closer to design assumption than most of the other materials because it follows Hooke’s law up to fairly high stresses. The stress produced remains proportional to the strain applied of the stress-strain diagram remains a straight line. The steel sections do not crack or tear before ultimate load and hence the moments of inertia of a steel structure can be definitely calculated. The moments of inertia obtained for a reinforced concrete structure are rather indefinite.


  1. Ductility And Warning Before Failure

The Property of a material by which it can withstand extensive deformation without failure under high tensile stresses is said to be its ductility. Mild steel is a very ductile material. The percentage elongation of a standard tension test specimen after fracture can be as high as 25 to 30%. This gives visible deflections of evidence of impending failure in case of overloads. The extra loads may be removed from the structure to prevent collapse. Even if collapse does occur, time is available for occupants to vacate the building.


In structural members under normal loads, high stress concentrations develop at various points. The ductile nature of the usual structural steel enables them to yield locally at those points, thus redistributing the stresses and preventing premature failures.


  1. Additions To Existing Structures

Additions to existing steel structures are very easy to make. Connections between new and existing structures can be employed very effectively. New bays or even entire new wings can be added to existing steel frame building, and steel bridges may often be widened.


  1. Possible Reuse

Steel sections can be reused after a structure is disassembled.


  1. Scrap Value

Steel has a scrap value even though it is not reusable in its existing form.


  1. Water-Tight And Air-Tight Constructions

Steel structures provide completely impervious construction and structures like reservoirs, oil pipes, gas pipes, etc. are preferably made from structural steel.


  1. Long Span Construction

High-rise buildings, long span bridges and tall transmission towers are made up of structural steel. Industrial buildings up to a span of 90.m can be designed by plate girders or trusses. Bridge spans up to 260.m are made with plate girders. For truss bridges, Bridge spans of 300.m have been used.


  1. Temporary Construction

For temporary structures, steel construction is always preferred. Army constructions during war are mostly made out of structural steel. The structures may be disassembled by opening a few bolts, component parts are carried to new places where the structure is easily reassembled.




  1. Buckling is an issue with steel structures. As the length of the steel segment builds, the chances of buckling also increase.


  1. Steel is available only at the steel plants where it is produced and should be transported for long distances to the construction site, not at all like concrete or different materials that might be accessible right at the site of development.


  1. Due to rust in steel, costly paints are required to reestablish from time to time so that resistance against severe conditions increases.


  1. Even though steel is a flexible material, it is challenging to make field corrections if one or more components do not fit appropriately. A large portion of the metal structure adheres to strict quality assurance procedures guaranteeing all pieces of a system fit accurately. But in actuality it is not possible. One can’t form it or cut it in the ideal shape on-site once it is fabricated.


  1. Steel can’t mold in any path you require. It must be utilized in structures in which areas initially exist.


  1. Steel is a good conductor of heat, touches off materials in contact, and often causes fires, quickly spreading to different segments of a structure. Hence, steel structures may require extra fireproofing treatment.