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Steel vs Concrete Construction: Why Steel Wins in Durability & Efficiency

Steel vs Concrete Construction: Why Steel Wins in Durability & Efficiency

Steel Construction vs. Concrete Construction: Which is Best?

Concrete and steel are two of the most common construction materials, and both can be used for the underlying structure of many building projects. As with any engineering decision, each material has advantages and disadvantages, and this article provides a general comparison. No material is superior to another, and project conditions determine the best option.

Steel Construction

Steel is a metal alloy of iron, carbon, and various other elements. Based on its chemical composition, it is classified as mild steel, high carbon steel, medium carbon steel, high alloy steel, or low alloy steel.

Structural steel, as the name implies, is used in the construction industry. Standards such as those issued by the American Institute of Steel Construction govern the shapes and properties of structural steel (AISC).

Most structural steel shapes are elongated beams with a typical cross-section. The I-beam is the most common shape and is very stiff regarding the cross-sectional area. As a result, it can withstand heavy loads without deformation.

Concrete Construction

Concrete is the second most commonly used building material after water because it is versatile, durable, easy to fabricate, and can be molded into any shape. Concrete structures are resistant to compression but cannot effectively handle tension. As a result, most concrete structures are reinforced with steel bars to provide additional tensile load support; this combination is known as reinforced concrete.

Concrete structures can be built in various ways using various types of concrete. The three most common types of concrete are reinforced concrete, plain cement concrete, and prestressed concrete.

For plain cement concrete, thedesigner specifies the proportions of cement, coarse aggregate (gravel), fine aggregate (sand), and water. These materials become a homogeneous mass when hardened.

  • Plain cement concrete structures have a high compressive strength but almost no tensile strength.
  • As a result of these compressive loads, plain cement concrete is commonly used in roads and concrete blocks for walls.

Reinforced concrete is cement concrete reinforced with steel bars to increase tensile strength. This is a very common type of concrete used in construction, and it can be found in everything from buildings to water tanks.

Before subjecting it to any load other than its weight, prestressed concrete is preloaded by applying compressive stress. Before applying external loads, high-strength steel tendons are tensioned within the substantial volume to produce compression. This improves its performance once it is put into service.

Steel vs. Concrete: Why Steel is the Better Choice for Construction?

When selecting a material for your next project, you're probably thinking about concrete construction or steel construction. So, how do the two compare to one another? Learn why steel is the best material for longevity, maintenance, and the environment.

Environmental Aspects

Much of the steel produced today is made from recycled materials, which not only saves resources but can also reduce project costs. While extreme fire and water exposure can damage steel's structural integrity, it is designed to be used and reused for many generations. Concrete constructions end up in landfills across the country, adding to rather than solving our waste problems.

Maintenance and Durability

Because steel construction remains strong despite the passage of time, the building will require very little effort to survive. Steel is one of the most popular materials for building strong structures that withstand a lot of wear and tear. Concrete construction, on the other hand, is constantly in need of repairs and maintenance. While it may appear the better option when you have a limited budget, you must consider your costs over the entire building life. Even when it comes to fire and water damage, safety measures (e.g., flame-resistant treatments, etc.) can be implemented in a building to reduce the likelihood of damage.


Concrete constructions can be formed into various shapes but still has infinite applications. Steel construction is your only choice if you want a building that looks as good as it functions.

Choose SteelonCall for your Next Project's Steel

With our distribution fleet, SteelonCall is well-established as India's largest steel seller. And, as you might expect, our extensive steel delivery process and quality are world-class. Our expertise in quality steel and on-time deliveries ensured the outstanding success of a diverse range of high-profile projects across India, firmly establishing our position as the number one steel seller in the e-market.

'N' number of steel products for different purposes are available at SteelonCall. Constructional steel is one among them. We got the best steel of all top brands at the best price. So, what are you waiting for? Reach us for any construction steel you want for your project. We are here to supply you with the best steel we got.

06 Feb, 2023

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