Out of many steel products, steel plates are in high demand in various industries right now. From construction sites to military equipment, steel plates are used everywhere. The thriving market of global heat-treated steel plates is estimated to reach $121.82 billion by 2025 at an annual rate of 3.94%.
These versatile plates are fabricated in the forms of sheets in various thicknesses and widths. The typical thickness of structural steel plates ranges between 0.2 - 11.81 inches, and for shipbuilding plates, it is 0.2 - 5.91 inches.
Sometimes the steel is mixed with other metals to compose an alloy for the perfect strength and hardness. The flexibility of steel plate is of benefit in many instances since they can be cut and welded together to manufacture a broad range of products.
In this article, we will walk you through the typical uses and benefits of steel plates.
The Top Uses of Steel Plate
Steel plates are not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is vital to choose the correct grade and type of plates depending on individual industries' requirements. Let's discuss some of the most popular utilization of these multipurpose plates:
1. In the construction industry
The structural steel grade is used to design reinforcing plates, anchor beams and columns for a solid foundation. Steel plates are often used in buildings, bridges, warehouses, stadiums, airports, railway stations and many more.
2. Building safe walkways
When it comes to building a skid-resistant surface, checkered steel plates are an excellent choice. These plates have a raised zig-zag pattern, providing a firmer grasp on the floor.
Checkered plates are used in many facilities to build safe walkways and vehicle paths to ensure safety.
3. Extreme temperatures
To increase the strength, durability and resistance power of an ordinary steel plate, they are run through galvanization. In this process, an extra coating of molten zinc is applied to the plates. It protects them from being damaged by friction or oxidization, increasing their longevity.
As the galvanized plates can be easily molded into any shape, they have a range of applications from piping systems to the construction industry. Any environment with extreme temperature and chemical substances, like natural gas storage tanks.
4. For the shipbuilding industry
Marine grade is a specialized rust and corrosion resistant steel plate ideal for the ship manufacturing industry. These plates are used in ships, barges, oil rigs and offshore facilities, either as structural framing components or for repairing purposes.
5. For manufacturing bulldozers
The low-carbon steel grade is another type of steel plate used in manufacturing bulldozers, earthmover booms and other heavy machinery pieces.
Benefits of Steel Plate
Strength and Sustainability
Steel plates are highly resilient and corrosion-proof material with diverse applications where durability is important. The low weight to thickness ratio makes them easily transportable and a handy construction material to work with. A simple steel plate calculator can help you preparing your budgets according to your expected Tonne Rate.
Premium quality steel plates have 100 KSI or more strength, suggesting that the steel has a yield strength of 100,000 pounds per square inch in compression and tension. Steel plates are a practical choice as it's relatively hassle-free to repair these sheets.
Structural steel sheets are resistant to severe natural environments like the ocean, harsh agricultural settings such as sheep feeders and wheat bins, or industrial machines' acute temperature.
The reusable quality of steel plates makes it a sustainable resource. Steel is 100% recyclable. According to the World Steel Association, global steel recovery rates are approximately 85% for construction, 90% for automotive and 50% for electrical and domestic appliances.
Designers enjoy the creative freedom steel plates can provide. They can make the required design changes at any given point with a few taps on the mouse.
High-stress concentrations with crowded flow lines can be easily converted into a smoother low-stress concentration or fillet with less crowded flowlines.
Another beneficial quality of steel plates is malleability. They are cut, curved, and stretched at any desired shape to meet the needs of new applications or vertical expansions. As a result, steel plate manufacturers can provide customized designs for each client exactly how they want. This kind of specialized solution is challenging to achieve with other materials.
Steel plates are often attached to the existing beams in a structural steel building to increase the loading capacity. New staircases or even a complete additional floor can be integrated into a steel-framed building without disrupting the original structure.
If it's a one-time job or a long-term project for mass production, steel plates can be a budget-friendly option in both situations. While comparing different materials, it is found that steel plate framing is much more cost-effective than a concrete framing system.
Let's discuss why steel plates are often considered budget-friendly.
First of all, labor cost may be significantly reduced as automated machines replace human resources to cut the plates. Secondly, there are many efficient nesting software options to determine the number of various parts to be produced on plates.
Thirdly, multiple steel components in a structure can be replaced by one steel plate part, which helps in cost-cutting.
It is simply amazing how engineers and architects can explore the natural attributes of steel plates when designing stress flows. Stresses in different structures have a fluid-like property that flows in a certain way.
With structural steel sheets, architects enjoy the freedom of expression to enhance the slenderness, hardiness and beauty of a frame more than any other material. It can be rolled and curved to bring out an eye-catching design. The growing metal cladding industry can also add a new dimension to this aesthetic appeal, since its easily apply to steel plate structures.
Shaping or cropping steel plates is now more precise than ever thanks to the technological improvements we’ve seen. Being aided by the Computer Numerical Control system, steel plate makers can experiment with new complex shapes and forms as it provides more accuracy and speed. In years gone by, it was impossible to accomplish this level of precision with manual machining systems.