Durability, resistance to different types of weather, eco-friendliness, low maintenance lead to more options of the applications of the metals in the construction. The flexibility and versatility of metals inspire designers and architects and allow them to work with new forms without compromising on functionality. Aluminum, steel, titanium, copper, brass, iron are expanding applications in various aspects of the building industry ranging from modular construction to decoration elements.
Considering economic benefits, versatility and sustainability metals offer great opportunities in construction today. The metal building materials industry is constantly growing, introducing innovations in all aspects of construction. Architects and developers have a wide range of metals with different durability, efficiency, weight, maintenance qualities to consider for various structures and projects. With the advanced technologies, the opportunities of using metals in construction and design options expand and it is becoming a trend. As a recyclable material, modern steel structures create an opportunity to be reused in the future without creating a deficit in natural resources.
Although the metal was used in building in different ways for many centuries, the Industrial Revolution paved the way for the mass production of steel products. Starting from the train stations construction metal became utilized in the building of the private houses and churches, then the skyscrapers. Today the steel is available for foundations, structures, facades, electrical panels, HVAC, and many other uses. The applications of metal as a building material are becoming more versatile in combination with glass, wood, and other materials that have high elastic limits and weldability.
Metals used in the construction
Steel is the most widespread metal in building and the most recycled material on the planet, which provides great opportunities for the future of sustainable construction. Steel is widely used for the building of homes, skyscrapers, different types of commercial buildings.
Stainless steel made of carbon and iron contains 10-30% chromium. Titanium, copper, silicon, sulfur and aluminum are added to improve the corrosion resistance raising hardenability, weldability and formability of the alloy. Stainless steel is common in the production of pipes, escalators, stadiums, fencing, and kitchen utensils.
Aluminum as a silver metal was first introduced as a precious metal in 1824. It started to be used for industrial purposes only 50 years later and now remains a primary engineering material. Aluminum is lightweight and at the same time strong, functional and durable, perfectly resistant to corrosion. The material’s fluidity creates freedom for the architects and designers to work with different shapes. The resistance to the severe weather conditions allows using aluminum for the manufacturing of the wires, windows, doors, roofs, outdoor lights, and building exterior.
Iron is quite easy metal to extract. The metal reacts with the oxygen in the air to create iron oxide, that is why it is mostly used in steels and various alloys. The applications of wrought and cast iron in the construction are very different. The dome of the United States Capital is produced of cast iron, which can be poured, molded and melted. The Eiffel Tower is made of wrought iron, which is common in the production of beams and rafters.
Titanium is an extra-strong and lightweight engineering material with high thermal stability. The metal is common not only in aerospace and military areas but also appears to be common in heating and cooling systems due to the high level of corrosion resistance. Titanium as a construction material is found in roofing, pipes, frames, staircases and security systems.