Meet the super structures made from steel and built to last
Steel is used everywhere, it’s a major component in buildings, infrastructure, transport, machines and appliances. It’s unique flexibility, strength and longevity makes it the ideal material for a super-sized architecture.
Why is steel a great material for super structures?
According to the World Steel Association, there are over 3,500 different grades of steel, each with their own unique physical, chemical and environmental properties. Steel has the perfect combination of strength and good looks, which allows architects more freedom when designing mega structures.
Steel structures can be quickly assembled with pre-manufactured parts, which means less on-site labour. Steel is readily available and can be modified if plans change (which they often do!).
It’s 100% recycle, energy efficient, fire and earthquake resistant.
Steel has been a go-to construction material since the industrial revolution. The tallest building in the world, the greatest arch and the most iconic city structures all have one thing in common, tonnes of steel!
7 of the most impressive steel buildings in the world
Construction on this statement US landmark was started in 1869 and took 14 years to complete. The steel-wire suspension bridge stands on limestone, granite and cement towers and stretches 1,595 feet from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The building of it came to represent a landmark in technological achievement for a generation.
The tallest arch in the world, The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri is constructed from a carbon-steel interior and Stainless-Steel exterior – meaning it’s structurally sound but benefits from a sleek, mesmerising finish. Measuring 630 feet at its peak, the arch has stood the test of time and is considered one of the most impressive man-made structures over the last 50 years.
The Gateway Arch is fabricated from 6.3mm thick grade 304 stainless steel, weighing a total of 804 tons!
At the time of its construction the Tyne Bridge was the world’s longest single span bridge. Built from steel and granite, the bridge was constructed like a ship, using shipbuilding techniques with rivets and panels which were welded together. The bridge was built by Dorman Long & Co Ltd steel makers who went on to construct the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Taipei 101 Tower
The Taipei 101 Tower is a magnificent sight. Taking the lift to the top floor would mean passing by 100 stories and 1667 feet. A huge steel pendulum is hung at the top of the tower. During an earthquake, the pendulum swings the opposite direction of the natural sway of the building, reducing the sway and making the building more resistant to such kinds of natural disasters.
39,000 metric tonnes of steel including 15,500 square metres of embossed stainless steel
were used in the construction of the tallest building in the world. Built in 2009, the Burj Khalifa is 3 times the height of the Eiffel Tower. If laid flat, the amount of reinforced steel used at the tower would extend over a quarter of the way around the world!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Made from 52,800 tonnes of steel, 79% of which was imported from the UK, the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s 49m wide deck carries an incredible eight lanes of traffic, two train lines, a footpath and a cycle path.
Empire State Building
With a stunning Art Deco exterior, the Empire State Building is composed of 200,000 cubic feet of limestone and granite, 10 million bricks and 730 tonnes of aluminium and stainless steel. 57,00 tonnes of steel were used just for the frame. The Empire State Building is designed to serve as a lightning rod for the surrounding area. It is struck by lightning about 100 times per year.
Read our Laser cutting insights: mild steel vs stainless here.
How laser cutting is used in these architectural masterpieces?
The construction industry has changed significantly since many of these structures were built, however the same principles remain; architectural builds require parts to be processed quickly, while retaining the intricate and decorative details that are crucial to their designs. Fibre laser cutting is ideal for architectural parts because it’s speedy – even on thick mild steel – yet capable of processing the high levels of detail needed.
Thick plate steel laser cutting from Laser 24
Our world class equipment and software, including the Bystronic ByStar 12kW Fiber Laser, means we can effortlessly and consistently produce all the parts you need for the job, whether they’re flat or folded.
We have the capability to cut mild steel up to 30mm, as well as stainless steel and aluminium up to a thickness of 30mm, making us the perfect production partner for your architectural laser cutting project. Plus for your added peace of mind, we are ISO and CE certified, and can offer full traceability certifications on our metals.
Read our insights on The Rise In Steel Prices And The Impact On Our Industry here.
How Can We Help You with Your Next Project
At Laser 24, thanks to our commitment to ongoing investment in world-leading machinery, we have the tools to deliver parts of exceptional quality at unbelievable prices.