Introduction To Building Technology And Maintenance
Nowadays, steel plays a very important and fundamental role in the development of modern societies. Construction is one of the most essential steel-using industries, accounting for more than 50% of world steel production. (Worldsteel Association, 2014) There are different types of application in building. For example, houses, car parks, schools and skyscrapers, all of them are relying on steel for their strength. Also, steel can use on roofs as cladding for exterior walls. The above diagram shows the percentage of different uses of steel in 2013. Since steel is lightweight compare with many other building materials, it uses for same purpose and thus requires less transportation and less material. Those properties can lower overall construction cost of building projects. Steel’s flexibility and long lifespan to create adaptable spaces which provides a cost advantage. Steel structures also help improve energy efficiency. Steel building components can cut to precise specifications or prefabricated on-site, off-site waste is minimized. Any steel scrap generated can be 100% recycles. All these factors make steel being a very significant material in building industry.
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There are two different routes of steel making, Blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) and electric arc furnace (EAF). Combinations of two production routes also exist. The main different between BF-BOF and EAF is the type of raw materials they consume.
For the BF-BOF route, about 70% of steel in the world is produced using the DF-BOF route. (Sustainable in steel, 2014) Its raw materials mainly used are iron ore, coal and recycled steel. First, iron ores are reduced to iron, also called hot metal or pig iron.Pig iron is extracted from iron ore using coke. Then, slag and blast furnace gas are formed in blast furnace. The use of slag is ballasting and paving in civil engineering works and the gas is used to generate electricity. The iron from the blast furnace is then further refined and converted to steel in the basic oxygen furnace (BOF). Depend on different size of plant, 20-30% of scrap is added to this process which is mainly regulated the temperature. (Sustainable in steel, 2014)
For the EAF route, about 29% of steel is produced via the EAF route. Its raw materials used are mainly recycled steel and electricity. In the EAF route, 100% scrap is used. This is the remelting of steel without the use of primary raw materials. Oxygen and lime are the only materials added to blind any impurities. Galvanized steel scrap can be processed in the electric arc furnace. The zinc is recovered can used in the production of new zinc. (Sustainable in steel, 2014) Above diagram shows the steps, raw material used in and different method of production of steel.
Source: Sustainable in steel
Most steel products can remain in use for decades before they can be recycled. Hence, there is not enough recycled steel to fulfill the growing demand using EAF steel making method only. As the result, demand is met through a combined using both BF-BOF and EAF production methods. All of these production methods can use recycled steel scrap as an input. In fact, most of the new steel contains recycled steel.
For the use of different kinds of steel in a typical building project, it can classify into three main area which are structural, architectural and building service.
For structural use, steel is using to hold up the wind, gravity and other forces. It is very important to ensure the material used to construct the building can supports its weight. (Charpentier, 2014) There are some types of steel structures used in different building project. They are Steel I-Beam and Hybrid Steel combination.
Steel I-Beam is a type of joist which made from structural steel. The shape of a Steel I-Beam resembles an “I” in cross section which explains the name. Nowadays, Steel I-beam is mainly used as major support trusses in buildings. The purpose using steel I-beam is to ensure that a structure will be physically sound. It can withstand heavier loads compare with other material such as aluminum. Rather than using in a construction of a new building, Steel I-Beam also using as an extra support in old buildings.
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Hybrid Steel combination is a type of structure that using a steel truss composed of two roof sections and two sidewall sections. It is used to be a temporary building such as an office in a work site and a self-supporting structures building. They are very suitable for storing building raw material because of the large storage spaces with no column.
For architectural use, steel is using as a part of a building’s essential systems, such as ventilation, lighting, heating, air-conditioning, acoustics and plumbing. Also, steel may using in building’s safety systems, for examples, fire suppression systems, security systems, fire prevention and emergency exits. (Charpentier, 2014) There are several examples of architectural use made from steel.
Stainless Steel Plumbing System which is a plumbing system which is made from stainless steel. Stainless Steel is well known as slow to rust and extremely durable. It is an ideal material for various uses especially using in plumbing system. With stainless steel, it can prevent strange taste, rusty water stench and elution of hormone disrupting chemical. It is harmless to human body because of its non-petroleum based. (BENKAN Corporation, 2014) Also, the durability of stainless steel is higher than plastic. And that the reason why stainless steel is starting more commonly used in plumbing system.
Fire protecting structural steelwork is using as a passive fire protection with insulate steel structures from the effects of the high temperature that can be generated in fire. They can be classified into two types. One is non-reactive. The most common types are sprays and boards. Another one is reactive type, an example is thin film intumescent coatings. (Steel Construction, 2014) With the low cost and low maintenance fee, thin film intumescent coating is commonly used in different types of building projects.
For building service use, the purpose of the units made from steel are installing and maintaining the services that are needed to allow different types of buildings to do what it is designed to. (PROSPECTS, 2014) These services including four areas: lighting, heating, power and supply.
Lift is a necessary facility in any building with many floors. It carries people from a lower position to a higher position in a building. For the main structure of lift, steel wire rope is an essential part. With the strength and the flexible of steel, the wire rope made from steel can carry large amount of weight.
However, the manufacture process of steel cause different kinds of pollutions, for examples, carbon footprint, water pollution and air pollution. The protection of the natural environment is very important for the continuity of human life. Therefore, human should try to reduce those kinds of pollution from manufacture process of steel. There are several methods which can reduce the environmental impacts.
For air pollution during steel making, there are no methods totally remove all of these pollutants from advanced and sophisticated plants, due to the relatively large size of the extrusion of air pollutants, especially from large plants, whether products of fuel combustion or outputs of gas and dust industrial from various industrial processes. (Mohamed Ben Sasi, 2013) Using the heat produced from the plants is a good way to produce electricity. It can reduce the raw material using to produce electricity from energy plants indirectly because of less electricity needed to produce. As the result, fewer pollutants generated from energy plants which are not using renewable source.
For water pollution, it mainly comes from cooling coke after finishing baking. Quenching water becomes contaminated with coke breezes and other compounds. (Primary Metals, 2014) Reusing the contaminated water is one of the methods to reduce the environmental impacts. As coke breezes and other solids in the water produced from steel making process are removed by filtration, the volume of contaminated water is fairly easy to reuse.
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Pollution associated with coke production is the best way to reduce the pollution by decreasing the amount of coke used in the iron melting process before being the raw material of steel. One of the economical methods of reducing coke is to reduce the levels of coke used in blast furnaces. A portion of the coke can be replaced with other fossil fuels without retrofitting the furnace. Pulverized coal can be substituted for coke at nearly a 1:1 and can replace 25 - 40% of coke traditionally used in furnaces (Primary Metals, 2014). Controlling the coke using in the process of any raw materials and steel is the best way to reduce the pollution directly.
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