Steel is a versatile and popular material that is used everywhere from home decor to industrial machinery. Here at E-A Enterprises we have experience in building all kinds of projects.
What is Steel?
Steel is a catch-all term that includes a multitude of alloys and it is one of the most common types of metal in welding. There are multiple types and grades of steel which have different elements used to create the alloys but they are all primarily composed of iron and carbon in varying amounts. Most steel falls into one of two categories: carbon steel and stainless steel, and each category has its own strengths and popular applications. These applications include a wide variety of uses in both industrial and decorative areas.
Stainless steel is set apart from other kinds of steel based on its addition of chromium. There are usually other elements added such as nickel but steel must be at least 10.5% chromium to be considered stainless. This chromium addition is what gives stainless steel its corrosion and rust resistance which makes it a popular choice for many projects, especially those in humid or moist environments.
Carbon steel has far less chromium compared to stainless steel and instead is usually primarily carbon and iron with few if any other elements. Carbon steel also normally has around 2-2.5% carbon. This composition means that carbon steel is susceptible to rust but it also gives this steel type its other benefits such as its cost and easy welding. Additionally the more carbon the steel contains the stronger it is making it incredibly versatile.
Strengths of Steel
Steel is one of the most popular materials in welding due to its many strengths. The wide variety of types and grades mean that it is versatile in its applications and strengths as well. Check out below to see the strengths of the two major types of welding steel.
Stainless steel’s most well known strength is its resistance to corrosion and rust. This not only means that the steel won’t develop unsightly rust on the surface of the metal but also that the corrosion won’t eat through it rendering it broken or inoperable. Another of stainless steel’s most popular strengths is its inherent sleek design. Other metals are often powder coated to add an additional level of decoration, however stainless steel’s inherent polished and reflective surface adds modernity and luxury to any piece. Stainless steel also has many other benefits as a material including its strength and durability, temperature resistance and recyclability.
Carbon steel also has many strengths including that it is less expensive than stainless steel. This is a major selling point for many people. Carbon steel is also strong and durable making it a popular choice for industrial projects and those that undergo a lot of stress and impact in their lifetime. Additionally, like stainless steel, carbon steel is recyclable making it an eco-friendly choice.
Steel is well known for being one of the easiest and most popular metals to weld with. Here at E-A Enterprises we have been welding steel both carbon and stainless in projects of all kinds for decades.
Carbon steel is the easier of the two categories of steel to weld with and the less carbon it has the easier it is. This may help when a design requires more complicated shaping. However, the less carbon a steel has the weaker it is as well. We have experience in helping you choose the right level of carbon steel that will work for your project and in welding even the toughest of steels.
There are also many methods of welding all types of steel. These include stick welding also known as arc welding, gas metal arc welding (MIG welding), gas tungsten arc welding (TIG welding) and flux core welding. The good news is that when you work with us, you can have confidence we’ll use the right method for your project that will keep it sturdy and looking great.
What Projects Use Steel?
Steel isn't popular for just its cost, there are multiple types of projects it can be included in. These include:
- Railings:Steel, particularly stainless, is often chosen as a material for railings because it is a less expensive option. It is found in pipe railings as an alternative to aluminum. It is also found in cable railings, where stainless steel makes up the cables. Click here to take a look at some of our railings.
- Industrial: Stainless steel was originally used in the automotive industry and it is still used in industrial construction to this day. These uses include projects from machine parts and construction tools to larger projects like skip pans. Click here to check out some of the industrial projects E-A Enterprises has made.
- Architecture and Home Design: Steel has been used in architecture for many decades however the rise of modern design trends has meant it is often used for decoration within homes as well. We have experience in using steel in all kinds of ways from functional to decorative.
- Grates: Steel is a popular material for grates due to its durability and affordability. Stainless steel is used often due to its corrosion resistance which enables it to last outdoors or around sewage. Click here to see some of the grates we’ve made in different sizes and layouts.
Want to Get Started on a Steel Project?
E-A Enterprises is here to help you make your metal fabrication project a reality. Our experts have been welding with steel for over 30 years and our top-of-the-line warehouse can develop projects of any size. If you’re in the central Maryland area, give us a call or use our online quote tool today to get started on your project.