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Steel
by Tamorika Mohapatra
Impressive Material for Construction Purposes

Steel is the backbone of construction of physical infrastructures and barometer of economic wellbeing of a country. Steel is a major and superior material to any other construction materials.

  • It is preferred due to its durability, ductility, stability, safety, strength and malleability. Steel is the only metallic item which can be conveniently and economically produced in tonnage quantity.

  • Steel has the highest strength to weight ratio i.e. 25 times greater than wood. Steel continues to replace timber in most of the construction activities.

  • Steel is a consistent quality product. It does not crack. It requires less maintenance. It is resistant to termites, corrosion and atmospheric hazards.

  • Steel is non-combustible and less vulnerable to earthquakes, hurricanes and fire.

  • Pre-fabricated steel can help completion of any project in lesser time and cost without cost and time over run. Steel increases the speed, enhances quality of work and safety due to flexibility in design and application in construction of residential, non-residential houses, infrastructure markets, dams and monuments.

  • Steel is eco-friendly and 100% recyclable without loss of quality. Every ton of re-cycled steel saves about 2500 pound of iron ores, 1400 pounds of coal, and 150 pounds of lime stones. Usage of steel in construction conserves precious forests and wood.

  • It is energy efficient as well. Steel industry could reduce carbon Dioxide emission by 20 % since 1990.

  • Eiffel tower, PetronasTwin tower of Kuala Lumpur, Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, Vidyasagar SETU in Kolkata and many such aesthetic construction, bridges, schools, churches, stadiums, etc have proved that steel is an ideal material for constructions.

  • Steel is most compatible with sustainable economic development.

  • Consumption of steel for construction purposes increases the pace of growth of the economy of a country.

By virtue of its advantages, the worldwide usage of furnished steel will touch 1.15 billion by the year 2008. According to International iron and steel institute (IISI), 1/3rd of the total steel produced is consumed in construction activities and it is expected to go higher and higher.

Growing population in India at the present rate will demand nearly 50 million tonnes of steel every year for housing alone.

India produces about 33 million tonnes of steel whereas China produces more than 300 million tonnes of steel in a year. Steel is an ideal construction material otherwise China would not have gone for such a huge production of steel.

The Institute of Steel Development and growth (INDAG) has been promoting the use of steel in construction sector through typical steel intensive designs and technical support like multi story steel framed buildings, flyovers, future airports, construction of all 8 Railway bridges of Konkan Railways.

The Joint Plant Committee in India provides subsidy of 25% for metal bins for grain storage and agricultural implements, cycle trolleys in rural sector where demand is immense and un-tapped. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) sold more than 40,000 tonnes of steel in 2003-2004 through rural dealers and thrust is still on.

Construction solution Group of Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) in India is providing solution in construction sector like aesthetic, low maintenance, quick construction, steel intensive economical buildings, bins and silos in impressive manner.

Steel is cost effective than reinforced concrete alternatives. Steel provides best value on the basis of cost per square feet, usable space, and design flexibility.

Steel is to serves as a spring board for reaching the national vision of transforming India into a developed economy by narrowing the gap between the per capita consumption level in India and the rest of the world and boost steel usage at lower cost with least damage to environment.

In conclusion, Steel is such a versatile commodity that every object we see in our daily life has used steel directly or indirectly. There is no viable substitute to steel in construction activities. Steel remains and will continue to remain logical and wide choice for construction purpose. After all there is a bit of steel in everyone’s life. In international relation or politics, dominant are the nations who have the steel power with them.      

Images under license with Gettyimages.com

27-Aug-2006
 
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