5 most common metals used in construction: Easy access to metal supply
Metal is an absolutely essential material for construction. The construction industry completely relies on this material to build their projects. Despite supply chain issues during the pandemic, the most common metals for construction must be available. Knowing what these metals are will give you an idea of what materials are easy to access in the metal supply. These metals are crucial due to their strength, ability to withstand the elements, and endurance.
Next, are the 5 most common metals used in construction:
Aluminum is the most common metal used in construction. It’s part of the alloy steel group. Alloy steel is a metal made by combining carbon steel with different elements, like silicon, nickel, manganese, and aluminum. Nowadays, aluminum is one of the most important materials used in engineering. It doesn’t only last, but it can be applied to many uses, and it doesn’t weigh much. From airplanes, to cars, to HVAC systems and window frames, aluminum is used practically everywhere. It’s also 100% recyclable, which makes it sustainable.
2. Stainless steel
Stainless steel is also part of the alloy steel group. It’s made from iron and carbon and usually contains around 20% chromium. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion like aluminum. Other elements may be added to this alloy to add to its resistance. Stainless steel is also heat resistant, that’s why it’s used to make pots and pans. It’s recyclable like aluminum, long-lasting, strong and easy to clean and keep. Besides cooking utensils, they’re used in homes in cutlery and garden equipment. And in construction, it’s used in fencing, escalators, and drainage components.
Nowadays, copper is the 3rd most used metal in the world after aluminum and iron, the top two. Copper is widely used for electrical wiring both in electronics and construction. It’s a great heat and electricity conductor. It’s also used in construction for pipes transporting water both for drinking and for heating and cooling systems. It’s used for this because it is so malleable and easy to form into pipes and to connect to other copper tubes by soldering. Copper is not an alloy, but if you combine it with tin, you can create bronze, which was decisive in the progress of humans as a civilization.
Brass is also part of the alloy steel group. It’s copper and zinc alloy that is usually gold in appearance, although it can also appear to be silvery if the zinc concentration is higher than the copper. Brass is more malleable than zinc or bronze and sometimes has a small concentration of lead. Brass is also corrosion resistant, like the other alloy steel group members. Because of its similarity to gold, brass is used for construction details and decoration. It’s used for doorknobs, radiators and architectural trim, which are the materials used to create details around doors and windows.
5. Mild steel
Mild steel is a steel alloy that has a low carbon content. It’s not as strong as steel alloys with a high carbon content, hence its name. It’s however more malleable and weldable, which makes it ideal for other uses, like building structures, signs, fencing and wires. Mild steel must be correctly coated, if not, it will rust and deteriorate quickly. It’s also important to mention mild steel is one of the most affordable metals thanks to the fact it requires few ingredients and resources. This means it’s widely used for industrial construction projects. This type of metal is also magnetic due to its content of iron and ferrite.