When buying metal for home construction, it is important to know which types are suitable for the project. A basic understanding of how different types of metals are made and what they are made for could help you decide which part of your house would you place a specific metal to.
Luckily, buying metal nowadays is made easy; you can find many companies that sell steel online.
Below is a list of common metals used for building a house:
Steel is a common type of metal used in many structures. It is affordable yet strong and versatile. Steel is an alloy mainly made of iron, with 0.2% to 2.1% carbon content. Depending on where you’d use the steel for, different elements are used for its production, such as tungsten, manganese, and chromium. These elements affect steel in different ways. The more carbon is in steel, the stronger it will be.
Steel is highly malleable, meaning it can be deformed through hard force and compression without ever breaking. It is also a good conductor, which is why many cookware and electrical wirings are made from it.
This alloy oxidizes when exposed to moisture, humidity, and water. It is advisable to put steel in an area where conditions are favorable, but this is likely unavoidable. In this case, certain coatings can be applied over steel to protect it from oxidation.
When chromium is added, the steel becomes resistant to corrosion, hence the name stainless steel. It is likewise made of iron, with at least 10.5% of chromium content. Austenitic stainless steel is the widely used grades of this alloy. It contains less carbon than steel, at least 16% chromium, and 8-10% nickel content. They maintain their toughness even in low temperatures. With nitrogen, stainless steel will also stay tough in higher temperatures.
Modifications can be done to maximize the durability of stainless steel. Adding elements like Molybdenum, Titanium, or Copper can increase its durability in elevated temperatures, as well as its corrosion resistance.
Stainless steel is on the more expensive side, but besides being corrosion-resistant, it also doesn’t hold bacteria. It is commonly used to make cooking appliances, kitchen utensils, and dental and medical apparatuses.
Because of its high conductivity, copper is a popular material for electrical wiring. Its bendable quality, on the other hand, makes it suitable for plumbing lines. This metal oxidizes in the air but doesn’t corrode. It slows down the growth of germs, which makes it a top choice for water lines and some cookware. Like steel alloys, copper can also be deformed without being damaged. It remains tough even with exposure to freezing temperatures and is recyclable and fire-resistant.
Wrought iron is commonly used for gates and railings. It has low carbon and alloy content but has high rolled-in slag, which makes it resistant to corrosion. Aside from gates and railings, wrought iron is also mainly used for decorative structures like fences, roof cresting, and lamps. It is malleable and ductile, meaning it could also be deformed without breaking, like steel and copper. Wrought irons are joined together by heat welding.
Wrought iron may rust over time; scrubbing off the rust with sandpaper or with a commercial rust remover can easily restore it. Applying a coating that would protect it from rust will help maintain its pristine condition.
Being knowledgeable about different metal types is a necessity for anyone who is building a home or any type of structure. The list doesn’t end there, as there are many other types of metals with different components. Your choice will depend on your budget and preferences.