Why are Steel Structures Used in Most Construction?


Empire State Building
The Brooklyn Bridge
Burj Khalifa


Did you know that steel is a high-strength grade of construction material?

Steel, known for its reliability and cost efficiency, is considered the go-to material for construction purposes. How are steel structures cost-effective and at the same time the go-to material? Well, it requires fewer raw materials, is lower-maintenance and inexpensive to manufacture, and steel structures are generally more durable than those constructed from other materials because the alloy can endure severe weather conditions. It also staves off rust and mold accumulation, giving the material a longer lifespan. For all these reasons, using steel is widely considered a great long-term investment.

Modern contractors and designers use the material for all types of structural engineering work. Steel can be shaped to accommodate each project’s unique specifications – some of the potential forms it can assume include round tube (HSS), plate, an angle, and wide flange, among others. Its flexibility allows engineers and architects to bring their beautiful designs to life. So, if you’ve ever passed a modern bridge, building, or tower that caught your attention and wondered what it was made of, the answer is probably, at least partially, steel!

If you are curious about buildings and/or bridges built with steel, here are three famous examples:
1. The Empire State Building, located in New York City, was constructed in 1931. The Empire State Building once held the record for being the world’s tallest building. It was designed by William F. Lamb, who drew inspiration from art deco aesthetics.

2. The Brooklyn Bridge, also located in New York City, was constructed in 1883. It is known for having been the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world. The original designer was John Augustus Roebling, who sadly succumbed to injuries he obtained from an accident he had on the bridge. His son, Washington Roebling, continued his work, but also suffered an accident that led to him developing a sickness, and his wife Emily Warren Roebling subsequently stepped in to help him finish the bridge.

3. The Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was constructed in 2006. This building is currently the tallest in the world. It was designed by Adrian Smith, and according to the ruler of Dubai, the inspiration that led to its construction struck him during a previous visit to the Empire State Building.

The Role of 3D Modeling in Researching the Human Brain

3D modeling was developed in the 1960s by the creator of Sketchpad, Ivan Sutherland, and is used to create a 3-dimensional digital representation of any surface or object.

A variety of fields utilize 3D modeling, including video games designers and movie / illustration animators, to bring their creative ideas to life.  In addition, it is no secret that 3D modeling is an important factor for many careers, especially for engineers and architects. For example, engineers and architects use 3D modeling when planning and designing their work. This software helps engineers and architects save time and money by allowing scenario visualization before execution of their projects.

In the science world, 3D modeling has been a complete game changer, as scientists are using it as an advanced tool to study the human brain for common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. After many failures of trying to convert the findings from animal-based cell models to human patients, brain cell models created with 3D modeling have advantages including:

  • Replacing the old 2D model;
  • Minimizing failures by having better translations of the findings; and
  • Having a higher degree of improvements and solutions for these neurodegenerative diseases.

For more information about the role of 3D modeling in researching the human brain, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5762251/