Steel frames are an integral part of the modern construction industry Steel frames are extensively used in the building and construction applications owing to the architectural freedom and reliability provided by steel. Building and construction application accounts for more than 50% of the global market for steel and a large proportion of the steel used in building and construction is attributed to the steel framing market. Steel frames allow for architectural and design flexibility and is at the same time cost efficient, durable and sustainable. Steel frames provide longevity to the structure and comes with attributes such as resistance to fire, corrosion and pests.
Moreover, steel frames are lightweight and logistically feasible for construction industry. Steel frames exhibit high strength to weight ratio. As a result, the dead weight of steel structures is relatively low which renders it a very attractive proposition for builders.. Utilization of steel frames reduces the construction time and expense considerably. Steel frames provide the necessary safety to the high rises through its structural integrity.
The steel framing market is primarily driven by new building constructions across the world. Steel framing is mostly used in commercial building constructions in order to provide the requisite strength and design. Steel has an inherent strength which enables curves and long spans to be easily incorporated in the building design. Steel framings are most important components in buildings, which are required to endure harsh environmental conditions. Steel does not require pesticide treatment, or preservatives and glues unlike timber.
It is also safer alternative for the people handling the materials. The market for steel frames is directly related to the construction volume. Favorable macro-economic conditions generally translate into increased construction activities. Improvement in the building and construction scenario in North America, Asia Pacific and Middle East has been the driving force for the steel framing market.
However, in spite of the various benefits of steel frames there are some disadvantages to the steel structures, which act as market restraints. The general cost of steel structures are on the higher side compared to certain other structural materials. The strength of steel frames reduces considerably on exposure to heat commonly experienced in building fire.
Steel being a good conductor of electricity transmits heat from the burning section of the building in a rapid fashion. In order to counter the effect, effective fire proofing measures need to be undertaken. Moreover steel structures such as bridges, which are exposed to the atmosphere are prone to corrosion and must be coated with paints regularly to maintain efficiency. These are few of the concerns of steel framing market. However, the benefits of steel framing far outnumber its deficits and the market is expected to overcome the difficulties and enforce growth.
North America accounts for the largest market for steel framing, primarily owing to the number of highrising commercial buildings in the region. Asia Pacific region is the second largest in terms of demand for steel frames, led by demand from Middle Eastern countries, China, Japan and South Korea. Asia pacific region is also estimated to exhibit the fastest growth rate in the world riding on improved socio-economic scenario in the region.
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Some of the major companies engaged in the steel framing market are Keymark Enterprises, LLC, Aegis Metal Framing, The Steel Framing Company, Voestalpine Metsec Plc and Hadley Group among several others.