China is a big country in steel production and a big country in the steel structure industry, with a steel…
When designing a scheme, I often get asked by the owner: “Which structure is better for my project? Concrete structure or steel structure?” Or: “Which one is better, steel structure VS concrete structure?” “Which is more economical ?”
Let’s first look at the characteristics of these two structures. The concrete structure is composed of steel bars and concrete. It has the features of self-heavy weight, strong integrity, resistance to superficial erosion, good airtightness. But a long construction period. The steel structure is formed by connecting steel components. It has lightweight, good elasticity but weak integrity, poor fire resistance and corrosion resistance, and poor airtightness, but the construction period is relatively short.
Steel structure VS concrete structure
The concrete structure is suitable for multi-high-rise buildings with large loads and more columns (such as multi-story office buildings, dormitories, etc.) and buildings with high requirements for fire prevention, corrosion resistance, or airtightness (such as chemical, biomedical projects). On the other hand, the steel structure is more suitable for large-span single-story buildings (single-story factory buildings, logistics warehouses, etc.) with smaller loads and facilities with relatively low requirements for fire protection, corrosion resistance, or airtightness.
The lower floors are used for production in a multi-story factory building, so the floor load is heavier. The top floor is used as a warehouse, which requires more turnover and large-span space. At this time, we often design the building as a multi-layer concrete frame in the lower part, with columns on the top layer and large-span roof steel beams to maximize the actual needs of the owners.
Compared with steel structure buildings and reinforced concrete structures, steel structure engineering buildings have apparent advantages such as energy-saving and environmental protection, high strength, good seismic performance, fast construction speed, suitable for factory production, and sustainable development. Good fire resistance, good thermal insulation effect.
The steel structure is a spatial structure mainly composed of steel as raw materials and is one of the main structural types of modern buildings. The steel structure is mainly composed of steel beams, steel columns, steel trusses, and other components made of section steel and steel plates as raw materials. Welding, bolts, or rivets usually connect the components or parts. Because of its lightweight and quick and easy construction, it is widely used in large-scale factories, gymnasiums, farmer’s markets, warehouses, and other fields, but its fire resistance is poor.
A concrete structure is mainly made of concrete, including plain concrete structure, reinforced concrete structure, prestressed concrete structure, etc. The advantages of concrete structure are embodied in the following aspects: good integrity can be poured into a whole; can be poured into structures of various shapes and sizes; good durability and fire resistance; low engineering cost and maintenance cost.
The structure form is determined by the construction period:
A multi-story office building does not have a large span or a large cantilever. Under normal circumstances, we would prefer a concrete frame structure. But the owner is eager to put it into use, hoping to shorten the construction period. Then we would recommend changing the primary system to a steel frame structure. During the foundation excavation, pouring, and maintenance stages, many steel components can be made in the processing plant simultaneously, thus significantly shortening the construction period.