5 Elements to Consider When Buying Steel

Getting ready to buy steel from a steel merchant? Wondering which elements you should consider when choosing the steel for your project? Ultimately, you should keep the following elements in mind.

1. Tensile Strength

Check the tensile strength of the steel you are buying. Usually, this is expressed in terms of MPa or Megapascal units which show how much pressure the steel can withstand before collapsing. You may also look at measurements related to elongation at break or modulus of elasticity which is measured in Gigapascals.

2. Shape

Typically, the tensile strength is impacted by the shape of the steel. If you're buying steel bars that you plan to melt and shape into metal, you don't need to worry about this element, but often, when you buy steel from a steel merchant, it's already shaped, and you need to consider the shape of the steel. For instance, a cold twisted deformed bar is going to have a lot different properties than a piece of steel sheet metal.

3. Usage

If you're not sure which exact shape if the best for your project, talk with the steel merchant about how you're going to use the steel. This can have a huge impact on the type of steel you should purchase. To explain, imagine you want to buy steel rebar. Well, the exact length and shape of the rebar you should use varies based on whether you're using the rebar for concrete beams or a concrete slab.

4. Environment

Even the environment plays a role in which type of steel you should select. For instance, if you're putting the steel into a project near the sea, you need to choose steel that can stand up to the corrosive elements of salty air, and often, that means turning to cold rolled steel (CRS).

5. Grade of Steel

Because steel is an alloy, it can consist of multiple different components, and that's why you need to pay attention to the grade of steel when you're making your selection. The two main choices are carbon steels and alloy steels, but there are also nickel steels, chromium steels, silicon-manganese steels, and others, and each of these steels has a variety of different grades.

Before buying steel, ask what grade it is and find out if that complements your project. To ensure you're getting the right type of steel, you may want to ask the steel manufacturer to do a chemical composition test. Then, they can let you know exactly what's in the steel.

To learn more, contact steel merchants directly. They can answer your questions.