Steel is a tough and reliable material that has been used for centuries to build strong structures. It’s also an excellent choice for businesses, as steel is the most recycled material in the world. And while it may seem like plastic would be easier to work with because of its flexibility, steel actually offers more benefits than you might think.
Construction Uses of Steel
One big advantage that steel has over plastic is its ability to withstand heavy loads. It’s capable of carrying large amounts of weight, and it can support high winds without buckling. That makes steel a fantastic option for constructing the walls, floors, and roofs on buildings—including homes. Many building supply stores also carry heirloom-quality steel that is resistant to rust.
Since steel is strong and reliable, you can count on it to hold up against extreme weather conditions. Steel comes into its own during hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters when you need a material that can take a beating from powerful winds and heavy rains. That makes it an ideal building option for areas with frequent weather issues.
You have to look up to the grandeur and might of New York City’s Empire State Building as an example. The massive structure, which dominates the skyline, used about 60,000 tons of steel made into beams and columns designed to form a 3D grid.
When a person thinks about industrial metal supply like steel, one often envisions tough bridge supports and heavy industrial equipment like tractors. But there are many other ways to use this metal in your business.
For example, you can use it as lampposts or storage containers such as tool sheds and storage sheds for boat trailers. It’s also a good material to use for bars, stools, and other components in your restaurant space or bar area, as it can be painted so you can create a custom look.
Steel lasts longer than plastic. Steel can last for decades without showing signs of wear and tear, so it’s a better investment when you need materials that will hold up over time.
Steel is easy to work with. It’s easier to transport steel products than plastic ones because steel has a density of about 8 g/cm3 while plastic is only about 2.5 g/cm3. Steel is also easier to cut and drill than plastic, which means you can more easily customize it for your space.
Environmental Benefits of Steel
One reason to consider steel over plastic is the fact that steel is an environmentally friendly material. When using steel for commercial purposes, you’ll never have to worry about it polluting your environment or adding harmful chemicals to water supplies in the area.
Plastic doesn’t produce any byproducts, but that can be bad news for the environment if you’re not careful to dispose of plastic products properly. In some cases, this can lead plastic waste to clog waterways and other bodies of water in your area. If you’re using plastic to create products, it can be difficult to find a way to dispose of them all.
In fact, plastic now makes one of the leading polluters of bodies of water around the world. Statistics show that the oceans now accumulate a whopping 5 trillion tons of both micro and macro types of plastic. Each square mile holds almost 50,000 pieces of the material.
Meanwhile, studies on the presence of plastics on marine life revealed that about 33 percent of fish species studied between 2017 and 2019 already contained this kind of waste. This was double the percentage points when compared to studies done from 2010 to 2013.
This doesn’t mean that steel is perfect. Its production accounts for about 8 percent of carbon emissions. It also uses a lot of energy.
However, techniques have evolved. According to an OECD report, energy efficiency in steel production facilities improved, reducing the energy input to produce a ton of crude steel by as much as 50 percent since 1975.
The World Steel Association members have also committed themselves to reducing their carbon footprint over the next few years. They have already designed a framework that will include investment in research to discover technologies and strategies that can decrease steel’s carbon dioxide, a consistent reporting system of carbon emission, and technology adoption and transfer.
Steel is also a recyclable material and, as pointed by OECD, a significant raw material to help build wind turbines and solar panels.
Steel is better than plastic for business because steel is a more reliable and durable material that will last longer. Steel also doesn’t break down in the environment like plastics do, which means it requires less maintenance. If you need to invest in a new product, make sure you choose steel over plastic.