Steel Structures – Frequently Asked Questions

Where are steel structures used?

Steel structures are widely used in various industries. You will find steel structures in industrial, commercial and agricultural environments. This versatile building method is suitable for almost every application, offering a strong and durable building solution. Steel structures are commonly used for industrial structures like factories, warehouses and workshops, because of its high strength and ability to achieve clear spans. Steel is also the preferred material for many commercial structures like shopping malls, stadiums, gymnasiums, business parks and more. Farmers and businesses in the agricultural industries are also opting for steel for their building needs, due to the efficiency, versatility and durability of steel structures. Steel is even being used in residential applications for shading and homes like the modern A-frame houses.

What are the advantages of steel structures?

There are many advantages of using steel in construction, which is why this is becoming the preferred building method across the globe. One of the main benefits of steel, is its excellent strength-to-weight ratio. This extremely strong building material is quite lightweight, making it easier to transport and erect than conventional brick and mortar buildings. Steel is also extremely durable, and can withstand harsh environments and weather conditions. It is also not susceptible to mould and pests like timber, and will not aid in the spread of fire, making it the safer option for many applications. Steel is also 100% recyclable.

What is steel structure design?

To ensure the safety and integrity of a steel structure, structural steel design must be done by a qualified structural engineer. The geometric configurations and factors must be taken into account, to determine its load-bearing capability and tensile strength amongst others. Pretorius Structures’ team of structural engineers and draughtsmen make use of professional design software to ensure a strong, safe and efficient is designed for our customers. We will provide you with detailed drawings of the structure for your approval.

What are the main properties of steel?

Steel is blend of different metals, with iron being the primary metal. Steel is extremely hard and strong, but is also very flexible with an excellent tensile strength, resulting in a high load-bearing capacity, ability to handle external forces and keeping its original shape without breaking. These physical properties have made steel one of the most important materials used in construction to date.

What are steel sections?

Steel sections are the backbone of steel structures. There are many different types of steel sections, for different applications and structural needs. Steel sections are available in various shapes, sizes and specifications. Steel sections used in construction include I-beams, angled beams, flat bar, round and square beams, U-beams, heavy section beams and columns and many more.

What is a pre-engineered steel structure?

A pre-engineered steel structure means that the material is fabricated completely or partially in a factory, ready to be assembled on-site.  There are many advantages to this building type and method. It is much faster than conventional building, as the fabrication takes place within a factory with the use of specialised equipment, and work is not dependant on the weather. On-site construction is also executed much faster, and it is less labour intensive. The structures a

Is steel a good building material?

Steel is the main construction materials used in the world today. This can be attributed to its many advantages such as high strength-to-weight, malleability, versatility of use, eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, strength and durability. Steel building material is the main component in modern structures, making it possible to build great structures like skyscrapers, bridges, ships and other infrastructure like pipelines and railways. Steel is an excellent building material, which has since its existence, made it possible to achieve great things in construction.

What is the lifespan of a steel frame structure?

If properly built by a professional steel structure company, and is well maintained, most steel buildings can last anywhere between 50 and 100 years. This is because steel is such a durable material, and is not as susceptible to corrosion and deterioration like timber and concrete. Its resistance to corrosion, strong chemical composition, and ability to withstand harsh conditions make it able to endure more than other materials.

Is a steel structure better than concrete?

There are many advantages of steel structures over concrete structures, especially when it comes to structures for commercial, industrial and agricultural environments. In comparison, concrete is able to handle compressive stresses very effectively but it cannot handle high tensile stresses like steel. Concrete can be moulded into any shape, but requires steel reinforcement to increase its tensile strength, preventing cracks and deterioration of the structure. Concrete is also high in self-weight, with steel possessing an excellent strength to weight ratio. Steel structures are easier and faster to construct than concrete structures, and materials are easier to transport.

What does a steel structure cost?

Steel structures all vary in price, depending on the size, material, specification, location and steel prices. The best option would be to discuss your steel structure building needs with a professional consultant at Pretorius Structures, to get a quote on the steel structure you require for your needs. Pretorius Structures offer cost-effective and competitive steel building prices in South Africa, extending our services to neighbouring African countries.

Are steel buildings durable?

Steel buildings are extremely durable. This is due to the robustness and physical properties of the steel material, which is considered the strongest material used in construction today. It is important however to make use of a reputable steel building company to ensure that you achieve optimal durability, integrity and safety in your structure.

Are steel structures environmentally friendly?

Steel is considered being an environmentally friendly building material, as it is 98-100% recyclable. It is also re-usable and can be repurposed, offering users a return on their initial investment.  Steel can be recycled over and over again, showing its lifecycle efficiency and sustainability.

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