As of March 2022, U.S. firms have turned out more than 1.75 million metric tons of raw steel. Whether using steel for construction or DIY projects, it’s one of the most popular building materials in the world. Steel is strong, durable, and versatile. However, not all steel is equal. The many different grades of steel vary in strength and price. You want your project to succeed, so you need to make sure you’re using suitable grades of steel. That way, you can avoid expensive mistakes and get on with what really matters—building something extraordinary.
Read on to learn more about the grades of steel and which will work best for your next steel construction project.
Numbering System for Grades of Steel
The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) is one organization that manages the central numbering systems used by the steel industry to classify different types of steel grades. The AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) is another. Each type of carbon steel has the number one at the start in the SAE and AISI systems. Carbon steels then get broken down into four groups based on their basic properties. The four groups are:
- (10xx series) Plain carbon steel
- (11xx series) Resulfurized carbon steel
- (12xx series) Resulfurized and rephosphorized carbon steel
- (15xx series) Non-resulfurized high-manganese
This is how the AISI and SAE systems usually identify the type of steel in a material. However, some types of steel have five-digit codes.
List of Steel Grades
The World Steel Association says there are more than 3,500 different types of steel. Manufacturers make steel using iron and carbon for the core. The carbon content, level of impurities, and other alloying elements all play a role in steel grades.
Steel grade standards determine what kinds of metals are viable for different projects. Some include:
- F2408 – 16 (Ornamental fences/ galvanized steel tubular pickets)
- F2453 / F2453M – 14(2019) (Welded wire mesh fence fabric)
- F2548 – 20 (Expanded metal security fence systems)
- F2589 – 16 (Ornamental fences/ steel tubular pickets)
- F2919 / F2919M – 12(2018) (Welded wire mesh fence fabric)
- F2957 – 13(2019)e1 (Ornamental aluminum fence systems)
Each steel grade has its own properties, and builders use them differently.
Choosing a Steel Supplier
The U.S. is one of the top steel-producing nations in the world. Yet, how do you choose the right steel supplier? It’s vital to pick suitable materials for a project or build. You need to find a metal supplier that can get you whatever you need whenever you need it. An effective way to find a capable metal supplier is to look at their ISO certification. Also, make sure that your distributor doesn’t have a lot of complaints against them about metals that don’t work or aren’t accepted when they arrive.
Another thing you should do is check to see if the machines they use to produce parts and materials are still up to date. Finally, make sure your steel supplier has a well-trained, qualified workforce who knows what they’re doing and how to get the most out of the tools and resources they have. If you’re looking for a steel supplier that checks all the boxes, you may want to give Bushwick Metals a try.
Build Something Today!
If you were looking for info about grades of steel because you have a build, in mind, that’s awesome. We have an entire library of projects you can tackle. Please feel free to browse our DIY Projects section for more ideas.