Steel Maintenance and Engineering


Miri, Sarawak

We have previously touched on what structural steel are and what they are used for. As structural steel has its many uses, it also means you have to have steel maintenance and upkeep.

When people talk about steel maintenance, they refer to the maintenance standard by the British’s “Glossary of General Terms Used in Maintenance Organization”. In short, they call it “glossary of Maintenance Terminology. Here are what it entails:

The combination of (all technical and assorted administrative actions) any action carried out to retain an item in order or restore it to a state in which it can perform its required function.

Structural Steel and Its Holistic Uses

Importance of Steel Maintenance
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Steel is definitely one of the strongest materials you can ever use for your buildings and structures. You can commonly find it in just about any building structures. You can even find it in your regular everyday household items too.

Steel can resist wind due to its ductility; it can bend without breaking. Steel material can endure forces up to 150MPH without sustaining damage to the exterior or foundation.

It can also absorb more energy than materials that are less sturdy. However, it does not attract lightning any more readily than it can attract other natural “act of god” disasters.

Even if, let’s say, lighting strikes a steel building or roof. The damage is pretty much minimal due to the lower electrical resistance steels spread. Its lower resistance of steel spreads the heat of strike along the roof and walls to be grounded in the earth.

Steel can also protect people and properties within the building (including electronic appliances and devices) from the effects of a lightning strike.

Steel structures can remain standing in seismic zone 4. It’s the highest classification of the seismic zone that are most prone to seismic waves and shifting grounds.

Cleaning and Maintaining Steel Products

Importance of Cleaning for Maintenance Purposes
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It is without an inch of a doubt that (stainless) steel products are very useful for many industries. For example, steel 316 itself is used for lab equipment, jet engines, food and drug procession, boat fittings, and chemical containers.

Those kinds of steels are resistant to corrosion, highly durable, and easily manipulated. Furthermore, they are also quite simple and easy to maintain. You are able to keep steel beams and steel products strong and sturdy for many years to come. With the right set of tools, follow these simple steps to clean and care for your steel no matter what your industry is.

Why Have Steel Maintenance?

Steel maintenance generally comes hand in hand with building maintenance. That is where work is undertaken to keep, restore, or improve every facility in every part of a building. The parts include the services and surround a currently acceptable standard and to sustain the utility and value of a property.

Maintenance work aims to preserve the operating condition of machinery and building services, structures, etc. Building maintenance helps (in some ways) to restore the building to its original standards.

It also helps with improving the facilities depending on the development that is taking place in the relevant engineering specs.

A building, for obvious reasons, is exposed to weathering and is used for all kinds of possible purposes. Furthermore, there will be various agents within the building to invite damages and decaying agencies to act. Decay leads to damage, and damage invites further decay. More decay leads to more damages, which can ultimately lead to an unserviceable and dilapidated structure.

Types of Steel Maintenance

Steel Maintenance Importance
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As steel maintenance comes after building maintenance, it comes under 3 categories. The categories are as follows.

Routine Maintenance

It’s good to have frequent and routine maintenance of the structure. The maintenance is important to keep it working and prevent it from early decay. A lot of buildings are made of different parts and from different materials in different locations/

They are all prone to natural decay because of steel ageing. While designing the building, it’s normal for architects and engineers to keep in mind the material ages. For example, a timber product material that is coupled with steel material has to be painted at regular intermissions.

Because of that assumption, timber material can lose up to 40% of its strength after 50 years+. If the timber attached to the steel parts are not properly maintained, then the timber part may show early signs of decay. Its strength may not last up to 50 years and beyond.

That means it is good to have routine maintenance. Routine maintenance includes cleaning, servicing, oiling, greasing, renewal of plastering, painting walls, woodworks, etc.

There are quite a number of items that fall under routine maintenance. Employed people within the building vicinities and engineers are expected to attend and keep track of the building’s overall structure safety. It’s best to be done daily, sometimes even weekly. All it matters is that as long as there is steel maintenance check-up at a regular interval so to keep the occupants of the building safe.

With all that being said, it’s good to maintain a regular routine maintenance post-construction. As the activity is needed to be attended for up-keeping of the building to counter-attack its early decay. It can cause severe damage to the building and prevent it from becoming non-functional.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance basically talks about the activities that are essential to make the steel structures strong and sound. If it is, then it should be capable of resisting early decay or damage.

Preventive steel maintenance of a steel structure means improving on the quality of the construction. That way, it makes the building more durable and functional in the long run.

Sometimes it isn’t the post-construction phase that is the main contributing factor to the erosion of the building. During the construction phase, engineers have to investigate the soil, collect information about climatic condition of the site (eg; possible seismic danger, strengthening structures accordingly) against all possible future dangers, etc. All these fall under preventive maintenance action.

Unless the constructors collect that information and give the information to the designer, only then will the structure be safe. Otherwise, the structure will remain vulnerable from future disaster.

Remedial Maintenance

Despite taking on all likely preventive measures and providing routine maintenance, a structure will still undergo decay and damage. The building and its steel structure may still need upgrades and remedial measures.

Due to various contributing factors, the building’s steel structures can show signs of damage or distress. If the signs are showing already, it’s best to take actions for repairs or restoration work. Do not allow further damages to the structure by allowing the increase of possible steel structure defects.

As you take up repair works for the building, it’s good to locate and identify the location of the defect. Then only can the construction workers and engineers can rectify and fix the problematic areas. Random repairs of any problematic areas without identifying the cause can lead to serious damage in the foreseeable future.


The bottom line is that you have to keep the steel structures in check frequently. Less than frequent check-ups on the building’s infrastructure can have adverse effects on the building long term. Frequent check-ups mean fewer problems on the steel structures.

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Fabricated Structural Steel: Its Uses


Miri, Sarawak

Structural steel fabrication is a process used by civil engineers when it comes to building constructions. The process includes bending, cutting, and shaping steel to make a steel product. Fabricated structural steel is not your regular kind of welding where the steel is strengthened and repaired. That’s not what steel fabrication is meant to do. It simply means that engineers use several pieces of steel are combined together to form different structures of pre-established shapes and sizes.

Not every engineer is skilled in structural steel fabrication. The process of structural steel fabrication needs well-trained and experienced technicians who are able to take raw elements and turn them into marketable products. You may really need help and assistance from structural steel fabricators at home. Especially when let’s say, you want to build a staircase made of structural steel.

What Is Structural Steel Made Of?

structural steel Image
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Structural steel is mostly classified according to its chemical composition. They include the following kinds of steel:

  • Carbon Manganese Steels. The main chemical elements included in these kinds of steel include iron, carbon, and manganese. It is usually seen as a kind of mild structural steel or carbon steel. Carbon Manganese Steels usually have high strength and ductility. They are widely used by many construction companies mostly because it is economical.
  • High Strength, Low Alloy Steels. The main chemical elements in high strength but low alloy steels are iron, carbon, and some additional chemical components. Those elements are added to improve and expand the steel’s strength. This is a relatively recent development in the steel industry in some countries in the last couple of years.
  • High Strength Tempered and Quenched Alloy Steels. These kinds of steels are used for structural purposes. Tempered and quenched steel tend to be the kind of high strength and abrasion-resistant steel with high fabrication qualities and mechanical properties. In order to increase and improve the hardness and strength of the steel, it is subjected to hardening processes such as tempering and quenching.

Varying Structural Steel Composition

However, the composition of structural steel can vary. For obvious reasons, there are many elements used to create structural steel. Those different kinds of fabricated structural steel are used to build different kinds of structures. And those structures are not limited to just constructing buildings.

We should mention that structural steel has always been made of carbon. Those kinds of carbon steel have a carbon content of up to 2.1% by weight. At the same time, do you know that carbon is the most important element in carbon steel just after iron? By increasing the amount of carbon composition in steels can result in materials that have high strength and low ductility. It all depends on how the steel is used that can determine the carbon level or content it needs.

Low-carbon steel is also known as mild steel. Those kinds of steel are a widely used form of carbon steel. They are commonly used for construction purposes. This is why low-carbon steel is the first kind people think of when they talk about structural steel.

Medium and high-carbon plates of steel are steels with carbon content ranging anywhere from 0.31% to 1.50% of carbon in it. While they can be considered as structural steel, they are usually used for mechanical engineering purposes.

Common Structural Steel Shapes

structural steel image
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Structural steels do come in different shapes too. As mentioned previously, people often use structural steel for construction purposes. A structural steel shape is a profile made with a specific cross-section. Here are some common steel shapes you can find:

  • I-Beam – This is an I-shaped cross-section capped with flanges (projections) on either side
  • Z-Shape – Half of its projections going in opposite directions that resembles the letter Z
  • Angle – This is an L-shaped cross-section steel beam
  • Tee – A T-shaped cross-section steel beam
  • Bar – A rectangular, cross-sectioned long piece of steel beam
  • Rod – A round or square piece of steel, usually long

Due to structural steels’ ductility, the variety of shapes, thickness, and even the sizes can be customized to meet specific construction needs.

How Are Fabricated Structural Steel Made?

structural steel image
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As mentioned again and again – fabricated structural steel is one of the most important properties when it comes to construction. Whether if it is for building bridges, buildings, or other large structures, you will definitely need to use structural steel.

The material used to make structural steel has a long list of benefits. These benefits are important to construction companies that build and maintain countries’ infrastructure.

For the majority of construction projects, structural steel forms its backbone. Because of that, it is really important to place a high requirement on the composite and the demanding process. That reason is to form the material and adapt it to whatever important parts it will become. If it is not handled properly, there will be obvious risks that can jeopardize a project’s long-term practicality.

The quick summary of how structural steel is made: It involves heating up iron and adding certain substances to it. The mixture is to achieve specific properties. However, the long version is much more involved.

The chief ingredient in creating fabricated structural iron is raw iron. However, people hardly find iron as a pure element in nature. Most usually contains a high level of carbon concentration. Some of that carbon needs to be removed, but not entirely. Consequently, steel products manufacturing can be an involved process.

Basic Step-By-Step Guide to How Fabricated Steel Are Made

Below is a basic step-by-step process of how companies create structural iron:

  • Step 1 – The raw iron is crushed and sorted. There are numerous different ways of the refining process. These refining processes are all made to sort out the best iron grades, usually at about 60%
  • Step 2 – Ore is then loaded into the blast furnace from the top, then heated. At the same time, hot air is blown into the furnace from the bottom. The proceeding reaction begins to eliminate impurities as the pure iron sinks to the bottom of the furnace.
  • Step 3 – The molten iron is taken off and further heated to allow the inclusion of other substances. Substances such as manganese and other substances that deliver different properties to the finished steel products.

At the completion of steel creation, companies have many uses for it. Its uses can include turning into many different formations depending on how you plan to use it. The most common structural steel you usually find in construction are beams, channel, angle, plate, and hollow steel tube.

How Is Fabricated Structural Steel Any Different?

structural steel image
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There are numerous different formations that you can find structural steel in. However, for the most part, it is the same material inside. Like any other types of steel, the main elements are iron and carbon. The more carbon added to the alloy, the higher the strength and lower the ductility of the final product. Engineers may add other chemicals or substances in the production process to:

  • Improve strength
  • Deliver ductility
  • Improved economics use

As mentioned before, the other commonly added material to structural steel besides iron and carbon is manganese. It improves the machinability of steel and also helps bind steel better. That way, the steel can resist cracking and splitting during the rolling process.

The carbon ratio in structural steel is important if you are going to consider how to use the metal with. Lower carbon content may be easier to weld, however, it also can make the material more difficult to work with overall. It lowers the construction speed with the material that comes with the steel. It is really crucial to find the perfect balance when considering its use.

The end steel product usually has an excellent ratio of low weight to massive strength. That makes the end steel product the perfect construction material. Here are some ways that we can benefit from structural steel.

  • Large buildings can benefit from the speed of construction
  • You can build and repair a lot of industrial buildings for cheaper and easier
  • Residential buildings and living spaces can benefit from increased strength and durability
  • Structural steel can easily benefit bridges due to its low weight and immense strength

Fabricated Structural Steel

structural steel image
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Even when structural steel has been made into shape, structural steel still needs fabricating and welding. Skilled fabricators or welders can take advantage of the structural steel’s relative malleability. They can use it to create whichever shape a specific application needs it for.

Welding is becoming the most common method of fabricating structural steel, replacing riveting in the process. And with good reasons too. Welded structures from fabricated structural steel are said to be:

  • Lighter in weight compared to similarly riveted structures
  • Cost-effective, more so than riveting
  • Much easier than riveted counterparts to navigate and mould

Those are some of the great uses of fabricated structural steel.


The bottom line is that fabricated structural steel has many beneficial uses in construction structures. Get in touch with us today for your engineering needs.

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