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Concrete vs. Steel in Construction

August 25, 2014

It can be difficult to choose between concrete and steel before initiating any major construction, and ultimately the decision will be based on the needs of the project.

Indeed, both materials are used extensively throughout the industry and their presence can be seen in nearly every structure built during the last century. While there are positive and negative aspects to each material, many astute builders will choose concrete over its steel counterpart.

So, why is this the case? And what are some of the most profound advantages that are offered by concrete?



Many will point to the fact that steel can reduce the overall construction time with on-site erection and the prefabrication of joists, girders and bars. However, the average procurement time period for steel is between six and ten months; a particular concern for projects within a strict budget and timescale.

On the contrary, concrete can be mixed at the site itself with no additional wastage. With the use of volumetric mixers, exact requirements can be met which will suit a variety of structural needs.


Laying ConcreteSafety

One of the reasons that concrete has remained appealing for so many years is that the material itself is extremely strong in regards to compression limits. Concrete is also resistant to fire (unlike steel trusses that may warp and even fail). Besides an impressive resistance to heat, concrete can absorb the traumatic overpressure that is often the result of a large explosion. This makes it the preferred material used in industrial and security settings.


iStock_000015526699XSmallMore Space

From a real estate point of view, buildings that are constructed with concrete tend to be more attractive. As concrete will allow for a lower height between floors, more residences can be created within a complex. This is in contrast to steel, as it requires joists, beams and girders from floor to floor, making concrete an excellent space-saving choice.


The Power of Combination

While the benefits of concrete cannot be denied, it should be made clear that its use alongside steel provides an even better option. Concrete that is reinforced with rebar steel is extremely durable, reliable, resistant to failure and can be moulded into nearly any shape conceivable. So, it can be seen that reinforced concrete offers the best of both worlds. While the concrete still retains all of its beneficial properties, the addition of steel will vastly increase its tensile strength. This is one of the reasons that buildings in areas which are prone to earthquakes invariably employ the use of both in their construction.


With the help of volumetric mixers, the numerous advantages of concrete are undeniable. Still, we must also recognise that the addition of steel will only enhance the aforementioned advantages. Thanks to modern engineering and construction techniques, buildings employing concrete are safer and stronger than ever before.


Roadmaster Omega Concrete Mixers provide customers across UK and Europe with the highest quality volumetric concrete mixers and concrete pumps. Our expert team are on hand to provide advice and assistance regarding your needs, and we stock an extensive range of spare parts to ensure that your truck remains in optimum working condition.

For an environmentally and economically friendly concrete mixing solution, get in touch with Roadmaster Omega Concrete Mixers today.