Steel beams have been used in construction since their conception. Over the past decade, stainless steel beams have become more popular for industrial and construction applications than carbon steel beams.
The Different Types of Stainless Steel Beams
We at Stainless Structurals America can provide stainless steel beams in both shapes. These come in different sizes.
Stainless Steel S Beams
Stainless steel S beams are available in the standard section sizes ranging from three inches up to 24 inches. The dimensions for the American standard beams available are defined by ASTM A6 for height, flange, web, thickness weight per foot and more. Our standard stocking lengths are 20 feet, but we can produce special profiles up to 40 feet in length. In general, stainless steel S beams are known for having shorter flanges than the W beams.
Stainless Steel W Beams
Stainless steel W beams, also known as wide-flange beams, are available in the standard section sizes ranging from four inches up to 24 inches. Just like with the S beams, the dimensions for the stainless steel W beams are defined by ASTM A6. Our standard stocking lengths are 20 feet and special profiles can be produced to 40 feet lengths. Stainless steel W beams are more common for construction and industrial usages. Thus, the size range of the W beams available from Stainless Structurals exceeds that of the S beams.
Producing Stainless Steel Beams
For both of these standard stainless steel beam designations, laser fusion is the most common production method available. With laser fusion technology you cannot only produce all the standard sections of steel beams, but you can also make custom sizes. The size ranges and alloys available are vast and there are no minimum production requirements. Stainless steel beams can also be produced by hot rolling, but the size range is limited and there are usually large production runs required.
More of the numerous benefits of laser fused profiles can be found here. Because laser fusion is a sharp-cornered, non-tapered product, many designers ask about the section properties because the standards are for radius (tapered) cornered profiles. To help with this question, we worked with the Georgia Tech’s Civil Engineering Department to develop the section properties of the square cornered material. These can be found here on our website.
Why the Switch from Carbon Steel to Stainless Steel Beams?
Constructors can use carbon and stainless steel beams for many of the same applications, but there are some key benefits to using stainless steel. The biggest benefit from using stainless steel is the corrosion resistance compared to carbon steel. For the majority of our industries served like marine, oil and gas, chemical plants, wastewater and food processing, corrosion of carbon steel can cause many problems and extensive replacement costs. By using stainless steel beams, these costs can be avoided.
Life-cycle cost advantages are also a big advantage of stainless steel. Many structures built with carbon steel have to be either replaced or re-coated with a protectant paint. Typically, workers have to do these repairs every few years. Hence, the costs over the life cycle of the structure can add up fast. Stainless steel beams will not endure these costs,because they do not have to be coated or replaced. Furthermore, they are much more aesthetically pleasing.
More Reasons For Using Stainless Steel Beams
Over the past few years, there has been a major design trend by architects in using Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) elements in both commercial and high-end residential projects. The concept mostly is that the stainless steel structures used for supports are left exposed. So everyone can see them. This combination of corrosion resistance and keeping a clean, modern look is another benefit of using stainless steel beams in your design.
Product availability is also a major reason why the use of stainless steel beams and structural shapes has grown rapidly over the past several years. In 2012, when Stainless Structurals opened their plant in Conroe, Texas it not only met the demand for domestic products made in the USA, but also the need for stainless steel special shapes for industrial and construction uses. We built our business on the foundation of a huge void in the availability of stainless steel structural shapes. Those included not only stainless steel beams, but also channels, angles, and stainless steel tees. So we were going to make them all available for engineering, construction, design and fabrication.
The Usage and Applications of Stainless Steel Beams
With the availability of stainless steel beams no longer being an issue, engineers and architects are using stainless steel beams and other sections in their designs. Many of these designs are for industrial or building and construction applications. But one can also use stainless steel beams in architectural applications.
When strength and corrosion resistance are a must, stainless steel is your best choice of material. The majority of our jobs involving stainless steel beams are projects where we use the beam for strength or for support structures. This is the case in several different industries like aerospace, food processing, marine environments and more. With our laser fusion technology, we can produce custom stainless steel beams in all sizes. So we can meet your requirements for the job. You can read about some of these unique applications for stainless steel beams below:
Your Partner Stainless Structurals is Here to Help
If your next project requires the use of stainless steel beams, we are here to help. Not only do we make and stock the standard stainless steel S beams and W beams. We can also produce special profiles to fit your design. We also encourage you to think outside the box. Furthermore, we will explore all avenues to help your project become a reality. Our team is ready to assist you with any questions you may have. Contact us today for your next stainless steel beam requirement.