The Types of Steel Used in Structural Steel Fabrication in Sydney

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Steel shops widely use structural steel to take their operations to a superior level. As a project owner or builder, familiarising steel types for steel fabrication is pretty helpful. With this, you will ensure that the steel grade fits your project requirements.

Suppliers produce several steel types for steel fabrication, and they categorise them into four to make it easy and convenient for builders and owners to pick.

This article focuses on the various steel types used in structural fabrication in Sydney. But before that, let us jump into the basics.

Basics of Steel

Steel’s core element is iron, mixed with carbon and other materials (small quantities of phosphorus, oxygen, and sulphur). It is next to cement, the most-produced material worldwide, with an approximate annual production of 750 million tonnes.

With steel greatly influencing our daily lives, it is difficult to imagine a world without it. We see steel used in almost every corner of the world: automobiles, bridges, towers, airports, cargo ships, and skyscrapers, among others. No wonder steel is the most in-demand alloy in the civilised world, especially in engineering.

Aside from wood, concrete, and masonry, manufacturers worldwide use metal—specifically steel—to ensure building safety and security. Moreover, steel is a versatile alloy type, subject to various codes and standards.

Some of the advantages of steel are listed below:

  • Steel is recyclable, hence environmentally friendly.
  • Steel emits less CO2.
  • Steel is reliable and affordable.
  • Steel is a versatile alloy used to produce several creative pieces.
  • Steel’s usage is widespread, from engineering to manufacturing projects.
  • Steel is used to make household appliances, contributing to our convenience.
  • Stell is lighter than other building materials.
  • Steel-based structures are fire-resistant.
  • Steel is not only for structural aesthetics but overall product functionality.

What Is Steel Fabrication?

Steel fabrication is a complex manufacturing process of bending, folding, cutting, and forming raw steel materials, machinery, and other components to create custom-designed products. Only fabrication specialists perform this to reduce waste disposal and ensure fewer errors in material designing. Some of the raw materials used are welding wire, castings, flat and expanded metal, aluminium, and copper.

Today, various metal shops are continuously transforming buildings using raw and recycled steel components. Through structural steel fabrication in Sydney, property owners save time and money. Structural steel fabrication is also in demand among other sectors, including construction, mining, and energy. Its main advantage is its quick fabrication process at a low cost, along with corrosion-resistant properties.

There are a lot of available types of steel due to its widespread use. So, steel suppliers choose to categorise them to ensure that they can cater well to the customers’ needs. Now, let’s focus on the various steel types used in structural steel fabrication in Sydney.

Steel Types for Steel Fabrication

More alloy variations resulted in the emergence of over 3,500 steel grades. Because of the large varieties, identifying the steel grade is more challenging for ordinary individuals to meet project requirements. The four categorised steel types are as follows:

Stainless steel

Most of us must’ve heard of stainless steel already. This is an in-demand steel type because it is versatile. Depending on the structural project requirements, it can be used to create various shapes and intricate designs.

Aside from its aesthetics, this type is highly used for projects with corrosion- or stain-resistant and durability requirements. With its quality, stainless steel is ideal for healthcare facilities and skyscrapers. Modern manufacturers add nickel, molybdenum, and nitrogen elements to heighten their corrosion-resistant properties.

Stainless steel also contains chromium that forms an oxide film when the steel’s surface faces destructive conditions—hence protecting it. Compared to other materials, stainless steel’s resistance properties are much better. Moreover, it is divided into five types: austenitic, martensitic, ferritic, duplex, and precipitation hardening.

Carbon steel

Compared to stainless steel, carbon steel has a lower chromium percentage, thus the term “low-alloy” (its rust susceptibility is also higher). Carbon is a reliable steel type and has the highest contribution to the industrial revolution. Like any other steel type, carbon steel is ferrous (metals containing iron and steel).

Its distinct property is its high carbon content, contributing to most project requirements on steel hardness. This also makes it ideal for skyscrapers and bridges components. Its carbon content also makes carbon steel more advantageous because it is more durable.

This steel type is also in demand since it is more economical than other steel types. Aside from that, it is recyclable, making it environmentally friendly. Carbon steel is categorised into low-carbon steel, medium-carbon steel, and high-carbon steel.

Alloy steel

When metal and non-metal components (copper, vanadium, molybdenum, nickel, tungsten, chromium, and silicon) are mixed with carbon steel, they form alloy steel. These elements heighten an alloy steel’s hardness and wear-resistance properties. These properties make this steel type different from carbon steel.

Alloy steels are ideal for massive modern structures, such as airports, stadiums, bridges, and skyscrapers through steel skeletons. This steel type is in demand because it improves structural strength and decreases the overall weight of the said establishments, not to mention meeting their corrosion-resistance requirements. Aside from this, alloy steels forge small and flat products, too, including plates, strips, nails, and screws, among others.

Like other steel types, its high performance when structures face harsh conditions makes it in demand among modern builders and property owners. The main types of alloy steel are low-alloy steel and high-alloy steel.

Tool steel

Tool steel contains various carbon and alloys (including molybdenum, cobalt, tungsten, and vanadium), which increases heat-resistance and improves material durability. It is ideal for shaping and cutting tools, including lathes and drills. It is produced on small scales in controlled conditions in differing grades, depending on the edge temperature of the project requirements.

The qualities that make this steel type also in demand are its distinct toughness, cutting-edge ability, and abrasion-resistant. The tool steel groups are the following: water-hardening, cold-work, high-speed, shock-resisting, hot-work, and special purpose/plastic mould.

Being knowledgeable of steel types will help modern builders and owners keep up with the emerging competition in the business industry, particularly in the steel market. With your ample knowledge of the steel types, it’ll be easy to identify what steel grade meets your needs for intricate cuts and design details.

Special Build

As a residential, commercial, or industrial property owner, your priority is choosing a suitable building material to ensure your construction project’s smooth and durable completion.

If you are looking for a steel shop specialising in structural steel fabrication in Sydney, Special Build is your one-stop shop. We have been in the structural steel market for decades, committed to providing the best-fabricated steels that suit your commercial or residential project requirements!

We are not exclusive to manufacturing structural steel, but we also offer design, installation, and renovation for existing projects.

Learn more about our extensive services by messaging our structural steel experts via

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