Different Applications of Structural Steel

Structural steel has been a part of our lives for over a century. It found its first use for tall building in Chicago following the Chicago fire of 1871, when the city required structures with non-flammable materials. It has played a part in architectural innovation ever since. Different applications of structural steel have since expanded far beyond the construction of office buildings.


Modern navies depend on structural steel for ships and submarines. Everything from huge vessels like aircraft carriers to smaller ships like gunboats uses structural steel for hulls and supporting components. The same is true for some luxury superyachts as well.


Through the ages, bridges have been stone, wood, and cast iron. Now, most modern bridges use structural steel, sometimes combined with concrete. Famous modern bridges by Santiago Calatrava have shown how versatile and innovative steel bridge structures can be—they’re artistic sculptures that are also functional bridges.


Ports require supporting structures for lifting equipment, dredges, pontoon structures, and gangways. Steel must have protection from corrosion underwater, and regular maintenance is necessary. Still, construction with steel is often cheaper than concrete construction to support submerged structures that, in turn, support port operations.

Oil Rigs and Energy Structures

Structural steel is a critical part of the energy industry. It can make up oil drilling equipment and wind turbines for sustainable energy. Steel is in pipelines, mining equipment, solar arrays, and hydroelectric plants, helping keep energy production uninterrupted.

Residential Buildings

Home builders have found they can create extraordinary spaces with structural steel supporting beams. These strong elements can enable innovative designs that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. They create stability and safety.

Parking Structures

Steel framed parking structures are less expensive to construct than concrete structures and are lighter. They also allow for fewer and narrower columns, maximizing parking space. Steel parking structures can have different types of facades, affording greater flexibility in appearance.

All these different applications of structural steel depend on metal fabricators who can provide high-quality structural steel fabrication and cut with precision.

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Written by Lara Douglas

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