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    Steel is one of the key materials used in construction. According to the World Steel Organisation, 50% of the world’s steel demand comes from the construction industry. Whether it is the use of TMT bars or steel plates in construction, there is rising demand for and growth of steel in India. From building a small house to a skyscraper, school complex to carpark – everywhere steel is used extensively.

    Choosing the right type of steel depends on various factors. For example, TMT bars can provide safety against natural disasters making them an in-demand building construction material. Similarly, corrugated roof sheets are used as roofing solutions for their strength and utility. In this article, we will take a look at the use of steel plates, the type of steel plates used in the building and construction industry and the way of choosing the right steel plates.

    What is a steel plate?

    A steel plate is any steel material that is formed into a plate. These plates come in various lengths, widths, shapes, finishes, etc. Steel plates are used in several ways in construction. Considering each project is different, expectations from steel plates vary.

    For example, skyscrapers, railways, infrastructure projects, housing buildings, etc., require different kinds of steel plates. Moreover, weather conditions, temperatures and pressure also vary. As a result, different types of steel plates need to be used.

    Also read: Types of bolts – Selecting the right type for construction projects

    Common types of steel plates used in construction

    Although there are various types of steel plates available in the market, here are a few types of steel plates commonly used in the construction industry.

    1. Galvanised steel plates

    Just like galvanised steel coils, galvanised steel plates are coated with zinc. It is made by immersing steel into molten zinc. The zinc coating offers steel strength and corrosion resistance. The important feature it offers is that galvanised steel can be moulded well as per the manufacturing requirement, and still, it offers the required strength to the finished structure. This is one of the most advantageous features of galvanised steel plates, which make is the right choice for construction.

    Here are a few other key features of galvanised steel plates that make them an ideal choice for construction.

    • Corrosion resistance
    • Wear-tear resistance
    • Strength
    • Capability to withstand a wide range of temperature
    • Low maintenance

    Galvanised steel plates are used for structures, roofing, ducting, etc., purposes. Apart from construction, galvanised steel is also used in the automotive industry and home appliances industries.

    2. Mild steel plates

    Mild steel plates also known as MS plates are one of the most common steel plates used in construction. These plates have gained popularity due to its versatility. Mild steel is a type of carbon steel, and these steel plates are available in various thicknesses. It is a manufacturing-friendly material. Meaning it can be moulded as per the design and can be easily cut and bent.

    Here are some of the advantages of mild steel plates for project manufacturers:

    • Mild steel plates can be welded easily to form different shapes
    • It can be easily cut and bent
    • These plates do not require special cutting tools or skills
    • Corrosion resistance
    • High tensile strength
    • Durability
    • Capability to withstand high temperatures

    Mild steel plates are widely used in the construction of infrastructures like buildings, warehouses, railway stations, transport terminals, bridges, etc. MS chequered plates are commonly used for anti-skid floorings on bridges, walkways, etc. MS steel plates are also used in the shipping industry and for manufacturing offshore equipment.

    3. Checkered steel plates

    Checkered steel plates can easily be recognised by its raised surface in the design of checkers. These plates are widely used in flooring. This is because the raised surface design eliminates the possibility of slipping while walking on it. Hence, flooring of walkways, carparking, foot over bridges, elevators, etc., are made of checkered steel plates. Additionally, these plates are easy to maintain and are resistant to dirt, oil, etc.

    Along with the construction industry, it is also used in automotive, railways, and manufacturing industries. You may have seen railway coaches’ checkered flooring, bus flooring, etc. In the industrial environment too, checkered steel plates create a safer environment to walk.

    Also read: How to calculate chequered plate weight

    4. Black iron (BI) plates

    Black iron plates are manufactured from mild steel and have low carbon content. It mainly contains aluminium and copper. Black iron steel is widely used in making piping applications, especially to transport liquids and gases such as natural gas.

    BI plates are also used for making outdoor advertising billboards, etc. Advantages of BI plates include corrosion resistance, fire resistance, durability, lightweight, etc. Other uses of BI plates include manufacturing air conditioning systems, automotive, and so on.

    5. Galvanised iron (GI) plates

    Galvanised iron plates are different from galvanised steel plates. Usually, galvanised iron is iron that has undergone galvanisation treatment. Iron is submerged into molten zinc and is applied with zinc coating. It may also undergo another galvanising treatment namely electrogalvanising. These treatments offer iron strength and resistance.

    GI plates are used in doors and wall panels, steel roofing, etc.

    Using the right type of steel plates in your project?

    • Determine the needs of your project and understand weather conditions and temperature range. This will help you to eliminate types of steel plates that are not suitable for your kind of project.
    • Understand if the geographical area is prone to any natural calamities such as cyclones. In such a case, the steel structure needs to withstand heavy winds and steel need to be chosen accordingly. Alternatively, areas with heavy rainfall need steel that has better corrosion resistance.
    • Consider the nature of your project – e.g., if your project is an industrial structure, you also need to consider what the factory would make and the raw materials it would be using. Raw materials such as chemicals, gas, etc., need a material that can withstand its properties. For example, BI steel pipes are used for piping systems used for natural gas.

    There are many types of steel plates available in the market offering different features. You need to focus on the needs of your project and cost.

    Overcoming challenges of procuring steel plates

    Also read: Which is the best steel for construction projects in India?

    Swati Deshpande

    Swati is a passionate content writer with more than 10 years of experience crafting content for the business and manufacturing sectors, and helping MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) navigate complexities in steel procurement, and business services. Her clear and informative writing empowers MSMEs to make informed decisions and thrive in the competitive landscape.