The industrial use of steel as a primary structural material dates from the late 19th century when relatively cheap industrialized large scale manufacturing methods were developed. It is a material with great mechanical properties. Its high strength structural properties in axial tension and equally in compression make it a suitable material for the construction of a big range of structural elements. Its density is high as also high is the ratio of strength to weight, which means that structural steel elements have light weight in relation to their load carrying capacity.

There are two main manufacturing methods of steel, hot rolling and cold rolling. In hot rolling the metal is formed in high temeratures by casting it in furnaces and then congelation of the material takes place with several methods. In cold rolling the metal (sheet plates) is formed in environmental temperature in relatively small thicknesses.

Schematic Structural Steel Manufacturing Process

Schematic manufacturing process of iron and rough steel products [1]

Schematic manufacturing process of finished steel products [1]

Some phases from the steel hot rolling manufacturing process

Iron ore [2]

Electric arc furnace [2]

Blast furnace [3]

Mid stage of steel plate   
hot rolling [4]

Hot roll coiling
of steel sheet [5]

Final stage of a hot rolled
I section [6]

Production line
of long products [6]

Steel cold rolling manufacturing process

Cold rolling of steel sheets
for composite slabs [7]

Panel forming for facades [8]

Steel plate forming [9]

Cold rolling of
an L steel section [10]

Sheet products are usually structural steel plates of thickness ranging from 1 to 20 cm for usage in naval marine shipbuilding, in civil engineering structures etc, and sheet strips or coils with thicknesses raging from 0.1 to 1 cm for automotive industry, household industry, civil engineering structures etc.

Sheet products

Thick walled plates [11]

Thin walled coils [12]

Long products can be solid bars or reinforced concrete rods, special shaped sections (T, I, H, L, U etc), hollow sections etc. Wire and cables are also included in the long products range.

Long products

T, I, H, L, U sections [13]

Hollow sections [13]

Solid sections [13]

Beyond sheet and long products, steel is also available in casted form. Many steel industries provide sheet and coils of zinc-coated, chromium-coated and galvanized steel.

[1]: Wikipedia , [2]: Wikipedia , [3]: Steel Plant , [4]: Celsias , [5]: Topnews , [6]: Astate , [7]: Tradekorea , [8]: Cnhzzr , [9]: Shape-corp , [10]: Chineserollforming , [11]: Tau.postech , [12]: Diytrade , [13]: Onlinemetalstore