Steel Vs Concrete – Advantages and Disadvantages With features


Hello, guys here we will discuss steel Vs Concrete ie. Difference between steel and concrete so let’s start our journey.

1) Steel

Steel is an alloy formed by combining iron and up to 2% of carbon and 1% of other metals or nonmetals. Steel has a specific weight of 7850 kg/m3. It may slightly vary with the composition.

Steel Vs Concrete - Advantages and Disadvantages With features

Steel is the worlds’ favorite construction material due to its high strength in compression, flexural, and rotation compared to others. The industrial development of the world can be credited to steel. After the mass production of steel started in the 1850s, the industry started to boom. Steel has a high scope as it is used in the needle to the skyscrapers.

The major component of steel is iron which is smelted in a furnace and naturally available in the ores. Hematite, magnetite are some examples of ores of iron. Iron is not found in pure form at a natural state. Impurities are removed and other compositions are added to make iron of required grade.

In construction, structural steel and reinforcement bars are used. Structural steel is formed by both hot rolled and cold rolled processes whereas the reinforcement bar is hot rolled.

Advantages of steel

  • Steel can be used as a heavy load carrying material and can withstand a considerable amount of external pressure.
  • Steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Since steel structures are light structures heavy foundation is not required compared to concrete.
  • The construction time of steel is less.
  • Formworks are not required.
  • Steel structures are easily assembled and dissembled also changes can be made at the last minute.
  • Steels are eco-friendly, reusing and recycling is possible.
  • Steel has a high scarp value.
  • Steel can be pre-fabricated or fabricated on site.
  • Steel has consistency in its strength as it is factory-made.
  • Steel structures show a ductile failure pattern.
  • Steel structures are termite and rot proof.

Disadvantages of Steel structures

  • High skilled manpower is required.
  • Steel has high susceptibility to corrosion.
  • The initial cost of the steel structure is high.

2) Concrete

Concrete is a mixture of fine and coarse aggregates bonded together with cement, dries overtime to give rigid and stiff material. The specific weight of concrete is 2406.53kg/m3.

Steel Vs Concrete - Advantages and Disadvantages With features

The strength of concrete can be varied by altering the proportion of cement, and aggregates. Concrete shows elastic behavior only up to a certain limit. It is malleable when is fresh. The major component cement is obtained by calcination of lime and aggregates are naturally occurring.

Concrete is bear considerable compressive strength but it is frail to carry tensile forces. Reinforcement bars are inserted in the concrete to increase the tensile strength of concrete and make it ductile.

Advantages of concrete

  • Ingredients for making concrete is locally available.
  • It can be cast in the desired shape.
  • Concrete can be manufactured to the desired strength.
  • The durability of concrete is high.
  • Concrete can withstand high temperatures.
  • Concrete gives thermal and sound insulation.
  • The maintenance cost for the concrete is negligible.

Disadvantages of Concrete

  • Concrete is a less ductile material.
  • The strength to weight ratio for concrete is high.
  • Concrete does not have scarp value.
  • The tensile strength of concrete is low.

Summary for Steel Vs Concrete

Is steel stronger than steel?

Steel is stronger in every aspect. Comparison between concrete is tabulated below.

1Compressive strengthfck
2Tensile Strength10% of fck
3Shear Strength12-13% of fck
4Young’s modulus of elasticity5000 fck
5Flexural Strength14% of fck
6Poisson Ratio0.15-0.25

Fck= Compressive strength of concrete at 28 days, below which more than 5% is not expected to fail.

SNDescriptionMild Steel
1Yield Tensile Strength250MPa
2Ultimate tensile strength410MPa
3Young’s modulus of elasticity2*105  MPa
4Shear Strength0.9*Ult. tensile strength
5Compressive strengthequals to tensile strength
6Poisson’s ratio0.27-0.3

I hope this article on “steel Vs Concrete” remains helpful for you.

Happy Learning – Civil Concept

Contributed by,

Civil Engineer – Rukshana Shrestha

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