Steel has many industrial, construction and commercial uses. There are different types of steel, each with its own specialized purposes. The following are common items that can be purchased from steel suppliers in Houston.
Structural Beams and Bars
Many structures are built using steel beams including bridges, towers, scaffolding, commercial buildings and even private homes. Steel beams are available in many different standard configurations from steel suppliers in Houston. The shapes of most types of steel beams are associated with the shape of a letter of the alphabet. A few of the most common steel beams include:
• I-beams—beams with an I-shaped cross section
• Channels—beams with a C-shaped cross section
• Angles—beams with an L-shaped cross section
• Zees—beams with a Z-shaped cross section
• Tees—beams with a T-shaped cross section
• Bars—often used as reinforcing material in concrete; may be round, half-round, square or rectangular
Each type of beam is available in a range of standard dimensions and lengths. Most beams are formed by bending or rolling the steel into the required shape. The steel may be heated during hot bending and rolling or may remain at room temperature for cold bending and rolling. Some beams are formed by extrusion which is the process of forcing hot steel through an extrusion machine to achieve the desired shape. Some I-beams, especially larger dimensions, are formed by welding multiple pieces of steel together.
Piping and Tubing
Steel piping and tubing are used in industrial, food processing and public utility applications. Steel pipe may be square, rectangular or round in cross section and is available in a wide range of dimensions. The specific composition of steel used for piping is important in many circumstances. Piping that will be exposed to an acidic environment must be able to withstand low pH conditions without damage. Steel used in food processing should be inert and safe for contact with items that will be consumed by humans.
Large plates of rolled steel are used in a number of consumer products, such as safes and toolboxes, and for construction, ship building, and tank manufacturing applications. Steel plate can also be cut into bolts, nuts, fasteners and parts for equipment. Large pieces of steel plate may also be used as temporary flooring.
Steel shot consists of small diameter steel beads that are used for blasting, cleaning and finishing. Steel shot can also be used as ball bearings in equipment with mechanical parts that turn or rotate and in ammunition.
In addition to standard steel products many steel suppliers offer custom made products. Special orders consisting of products with irregular dimensions, non-standard configurations and other custom items can often be shaped or fabricated by a steel supply company.
Additional Products and Services
Many steel suppliers sell equipment necessary for working with steel including tools to cut, weld, saw and fasten. Products that finish or protect the surface of steel including paint, sanding equipment, oil and metal degreasing agents are available from some steel vendors. Many suppliers also offer specialty services such as cutting, drilling, punching, mitering or other shaping techniques for the products they sell.
If you have a project that requires the use of steel products a steel supplier can advise you on the best type and configuration of steel to use. Steel suppliers are often one-stop retailers for everything you need to complete your next project using steel.