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A Buyer's Guide: Steel Channel 101

Steel is strong and durable, and it comes in a variety of styles and sizes. The versatility of steel makes it a popular construction material, among many other useful traits. In addition to being used for cars and building siding, steel can also be used for framing. Before shopping for steel for different projects, it’s important to understand what options are available, especially in regards to Steel Channel.

Steel Channel

Thin sheets of steel are formed into studs and channels. Placed along the floor and ceiling, the channels hold the studs in place. Drywall is then hung on the steel to finish a room. It is surprisingly strong while being lightweight, so a steel channel is a great choice for tall and complex buildings. It’s also a great choice for basements where higher humidity levels can cause problems for wood framing.

Aluminized Steel

Used for interior and exterior structures, aluminized steel features an electrostatic surface and is commonly used in cars. Mufflers and exhaust systems, for example, usually feature aluminized steel. It retains its shape even at high temperatures and is also corrosion-resistant, so it is used in many household products including corrugated roofing, siding, air conditioner housings and more.

Flat Rolled Steel

Available in various grades and sizes, this type of steel can be rolled into pipes and tubes for a variety of applications. This type of steel is used home appliances, exercise equipment, office equipment like filing cabinets, lawn and garden tools, steel drums, farm machinery and more.

Comparing Steel Pipes and Tubes

The two terms are often confused, but there are some key differences between these products. While they are both hollow, they have very different uses. Tubes are used in structural applications and are measured by the outer diameter. Pipes are used for moving fluids and must be measured by their inner diameters.

Galvanized plumbing tubes are not as durable as copper, and owners can expect them to start failing after 35 to 40 years. However, they are more affordable than copper and still a good choice in certain situations.

Square Steel Pipes

Materials that are easy to work with are always popular, and square steel pipes are known for being easier to weld than cylinders. This is why square ventilation baffles using square steel pipes are becoming more popular. They are also used to create windows, doors and even retail shelving.

Steel Sheets for Decorations and Roofs

Thin, flat pieces of metal are called steel sheets. Commonly used for roofs, they are also used for decorative plating on other surfaces. Employed by the car manufacturers for bodies and raised floors, they have countless uses. With perforations and open meshing, they can also be used for decks and industrial floors.

Steel Beams

The strength of steel shows the most through powerful beams. Made from rolled or welded steel, these structural products are rated according to their weight load. Used for building large structures, the beams are a cornerstone of modern construction.

There are countless types of steel available, and you can find a steel option for almost of all of your construction projects. Suitable for interior and exterior use, steel is durable and versatile. Whether you are finishing a basement or building a new barn, consider the many uses and benefits of steel.