Steel plates in the Philippines and around the world are common due to its integral role in creating metal products. In the use of metals, strength is an important quality. This is especially true when it comes to construction, transportation, heavy industry and tool-making. To determine how strong a metal is, there are four components to consider:
Yield strength – measures the lowest stress point when the material begins to deform;
Compressive strength – the capacity of a material to withstand loads tending to reduce size;
Impact strength – measures the material’s capability to withstand a suddenly applied force that can cause a fracture and;
Tensile strength – the capacity of a material to withstand loads tending to elongate
Some of the strongest metals in the world are tungsten, steel, titanium, Inconel, and chromium. Arguably, steel is the most used among these metals thanks to its low cost and high tensile strength. We can find steel everywhere: in our kitchens, our cars, bridges, and buildings to name a few. Steel is being used to add strength and durability to the things we use in our everyday lives.
Often shortened to tensile strength, it is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand the amount of pulling stress that will cause defects. It is measured by the maximum stress a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking. It is usually found by performing a tensile test and recording the engineering stress versus the strain.
The tensile test involves taking a small sample with a fixed cross-sectional area and then pulling at it with a tensometer, a device used to evaluate the tensile properties, at a constant strain rate until the sample breaks.
Metals are chosen for their many applications based on a number of properties. Tensile strength is one of these properties. Corrosion resistance, heat resistance, weld ability and machinability are other properties that come into play in the selection of a metal or alloy for a specific application. Metals need to be very strong or relatively soft and ductile, depending on the circumstances.
Steel has a high melting (1,668° C) and boiling point (3, 287° C) and buildings made of said metal can withstand winds up to 170 mph or a Category 5 hurricane. In general, steel has a high tensile strength. It takes 40,000 pounds of force just to bend a piece of steel that’s 1”x1” in size. Since it is usually an alloy of iron and carbon, more elements may be added to enhance the metal’s properties. For example, chromium, nickel, or molybdenum may be added to steel to increase the corrosion resistance hence the birth of stainless steel. When alloyed with tungsten and cobalt, tool steel is formed, which is renowned for its hardness and sharp cutting edge.
There are a lot of mathematics involved in computing the exact strength of steel. There are also many types of steel with different properties for many uses. However, steel can withstand just about anything that is thrown at it or placed on it, proving how useful it really is to mankind.