What is Steel? Types of Steel Used In Construction

What is Steel? Types of Steel Used In Construction

Types of steel used in construction


Steel is a versatile and indispensable material in construction. They are the backbone of every construction as the strength and durability of a structure heavily relies on the types of steel. Steel is widely used in various construction applications, from buildings and bridges to highways and infrastructure. With the advancements in technology, steel comes in different types and grades, each with its unique properties and characteristics making them suitable for specific construction purposes. In this article, we will explore what is steel and what are the types of steel used in construction industry. 

What is Steel 

Steel is a specialized alloy that is composed of iron and carbon and other elements in order to boast superior strength and fracture resistance in comparison to other forms of iron. Through careful manipulation of its composition and production process, steel is engineered to exhibit enhanced properties, such as increased tensile strength, improved ductility, and superior resistance to fracture and deformation. This makes steel a highly sought-after material in a wide range of applications, from construction and manufacturing to automotive and aerospace industries. 

Types of Steel Used in Construction 

Some of the types of steel used in Construction are: 

Rebar Steel

Reinforcing steel, commonly known as rebar, is a type of steel used to reinforce concrete structures. Rebar is typically embedded in concrete to add tensile strength to the structure, making it more resistant to cracks and fractures. Rebar steel is available in various grades, such as Grade 40, Grade 60, and Grade 75, with each grade having different yield strengths and characteristics. It is extensively used in the construction of foundations, columns, beams, and slabs to ensure the structural integrity of concrete structures.

Structural Steel 

Structural steel is used for making various shapes of construction materials. They are specifically designed to withstand heavy loads and provide stability to buildings and structures. 

Structural steel is widely used in construction due to its high strength, flexibility and durability. 

Structural steel comes in various shapes, such as beams, columns, and plates, and is used in the construction of high-rise buildings, bridges, stadiums, industrial structures, and other critical infrastructure. 

Mild Steel

Mild steel, also known as low-carbon steel, is a type of steel with low carbon content and high ductility. Its exceptional strength and longevity make it a reliable material that can provide unmatched stability and support to various structures. Mild steel is used in various construction components, such as reinforcement bars, structural elements, and fasteners. It is easy to weld, cut, and shape, making it a preferred choice in many construction projects. There are two different types of Mild steel: 

They are widely used in reinforced cement concrete (RCC) work due to their high tensile strength. These bars are manufactured through a specialized hot treatment process that imparts exceptional properties to the steel. 

  • High Strength Deformed Bars (HSD Bars):

HSD bars are formed through a cold twisting process. HSD bars have lower carbon content compared to other steel bars, offering higher ductility, strength, and welding ability.

Alloy Steel

Alloy steel is a type of steel that contains additional alloying elements, such as chromium, manganese, nickel, and others, to enhance its properties. Alloy steel offers improved strength, toughness, less deformation, and corrosion resistance compared to carbon steel. Alloy steel is sub-categorized into two: 

  • High Alloy Steel: It is used during construction for mining materials, chemicals, store liquids, and various pharmaceutical equipment. 
  • Low Alloy Steel: Low alloy steel is well-suited for various purposes, such as seamless rolling ring forging and studying outlets

Carbon Steel 

It is composed of carbon, manganese, silicon, and impurities, and is known for its strength, elasticity, and versatility. With increasing carbon concentration, it becomes harder and stronger. It offers benefits such as corrosion resistance, high durability, and superior strength compared to mild steel. It is widely used in various forms to meet diverse needs, including water-related applications like plumbing. Carbon steel is categorized into four basic types based on carbon content, each with specific properties and applications.

  • Low carbon steel: They are cost-effective among various types of steel commonly used in manufacturing chains, wires, nails for construction, pipes and various machine parts. 
  • Medium Carbon Steel: They are tougher and resistant to wear and tear, commonly used for making screws, cylinders, axles, and other heat-treated parts. 
  • High Carbon Steel: They are ideal for applications that require high strength and hardness. Tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, and high-strength springs are made using high-carbon steel. 
  • Very High Carbon Steel: They have extremely hard materials used for making 

Galvanized Steel 

Galvanized steel is a form of steel that has been coated with a layer of zinc, providing a protective barrier against corrosion. They are commonly used in construction applications where exposure to moisture and corrosive environments is a concern, such as in roofing, balconies, staircases, siding, ladders, and other structural components.

Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel is a type of steel that contains chromium, which provides excellent resistance to corrosion and staining. Stainless steel is known for its high strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal, making it a popular choice in construction applications where both strength and appearance are important, such as in architectural features, handrails, and decorative elements.


Steel is an essential material in construction due to its versatility, strength, and durability. There are various types of steel used in construction industry, each with its unique properties and characteristics. In the above paragraphs, we discussed the various types of steel. The types of steel include rebar steel for reinforcing concrete structures, structural steel for providing stability to buildings and structures, mild steel for its exceptional strength and ductility, alloy steel for enhanced properties and corrosion resistance, carbon steel for its strength, elasticity, and versatility, galvanized steel for protection against corrosion, and stainless steel for its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Understanding the different types of steel and their applications is crucial in ensuring the structural integrity and longevity of any construction project.