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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #1
Jim856796
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Which steel frame of a skyscraper is stronger: Concrete or Steel?

I have thought about which frame (skeleton) of a skyscraper is stronger: concrete or steel. I thought a building made out of steel was stronger because it is of a much higher quality than a building whose skeleton is made of concrete. I thought concrete is stronger because a building whose frame is made out of concrete can withstand a disaster if the frame suffers little or no damage or is weakened. So which frame of a highrise building is stronger: steel or reinforced concrete?
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Old January 14th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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As far as I see, modern designs favorite concrete , as seen in this forum. Modern concrete has all the attributes of steel, its is far cheaper, can give many more structural and aesthetic solutions, but prolongs the construction time a bit. With steel becoming more expensive due to huge increase in demand the last decade, concrete is the material of the future and its the most produced and used man made material on earth, with annual production of more than 7 cubic kilometres.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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Wait a minute. I thought steel was the material of the future. Concrete skeletons in Asia, Africa, and South America are liable to rust, especially the projects that are on hold.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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I think future is in combination, concrete for lower floors because it is cheaper and have great compression strenght and steel for upper floors, because its lighter.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #5
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better?

steel - stronger, lighter.

concrete - cheap.

if the price of steel would be the same as concrete, only steel would be used.

a ton of steel is ~1000$

a ton of concrete is ~100$
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #6
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Building with steel is more expensive due to higher quilified working force, plus concrete has the strength to send you higher and higher.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
Wait a minute. I thought steel was the material of the future. Concrete skeletons in Asia, Africa, and South America are liable to rust, especially the projects that are on hold.
Concrete is liable to rust? Do you even know what "rust" mean?
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Old February 8th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
I have thought about which frame (skeleton) of a skyscraper is stronger: concrete or steel. I thought a building made out of steel was stronger because it is of a much higher quality than a building whose skeleton is made of concrete. I thought concrete is stronger because a building whose frame is made out of concrete can withstand a disaster if the frame suffers little or no damage or is weakened. So which frame of a highrise building is stronger: steel or reinforced concrete?
Well depends what kind of disaster, each material has its own strengths. If you are in a fire it would be safer to be in a concrete structure due to steel loses strength when heated, but if there was an earthquake it will be better to be in a steel building due to its flexibility were concrete will crack.

Modern concrete is the way to go in my opinion. And now with macines that build cores floor by floor and jack theirselfs up as soon as the concrete sets building time with concrete has been greatly reduced. Which was one of the main advantages of steel.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 04:51 AM   #9
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Guangzhou Citic Plaza,391M, currently the tallest concrete structure in the world and one of the strongest buildings in the world.

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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Wait a minute. I thought steel was the material of the future. Concrete skeletons in Asia, Africa, and South America are liable to rust, especially the projects that are on hold.
That's dumb...does concrete rust?
The new "concrete" buildings are a combination between concrete and steel,the concrete wouldn't hold without the steel inside the blocks.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #11
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You're right. Concrete does not rust. Rain probably contributes to all the darker-coloured areas in a concrete frame. In South America, Asia, and Africa, we have to build skyscrapers and other structures out of reinforced concrete because there is not much steel in those areas.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 02:29 AM   #12
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Hybrid/Composite construction is the way of the future i believe, even if an expensive avenue at this present time.

The other things that might contribute to darker coloured concrete members revolve around the design/construction issues such as form/additives/curing/drip grooves/compaction, etc. There's simply so many things to be wary of when detailing concrete yet alone an entire frame.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:07 AM   #13
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Concrete can't have all the attributes of steel. Ferroconcrete or not, strength in steel will always be tensile dominant, and in concrete compression dominant. I like Lagoya's idea. A mixture may end up satisfying our needs.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luci203 View Post
better?

steel - stronger, lighter.

concrete - cheap.

if the price of steel would be the same as concrete, only steel would be used.

a ton of steel is ~1000$

a ton of concrete is ~100$
You are fairly off the mark here. Its not as clear cut as that, by the time you have added in form work and reinforcing steel it is not that much less than steel, in some situations it can even cost more. Also you are comparing prices by ton, but you will need far more concrete than steel.

Steel would not be chosen everytime, you are forgetting that concrete has got a lot of favourable qualities over steel such as inherent mass damping, acoustic damping and fire resistance etc. Also there is a lot of new concretes coming out like fibre reinforced and super high strength frc which are incredibly stron and expensive!

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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:11 AM   #15
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Isnt Burj Dubai the world's tallest concrete structure?
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Old May 31st, 2009, 03:16 PM   #16
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Why, is there an even taller steel structure?

Seriously though, the reinforced concrete structure goes up to the height of 587.5 meters and above that till the top of the spire at 818 meters, it's a steel structure.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:33 PM   #17
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In Chile many buildings are made of reinforced concrete, and our two tallest (under construction) of 200m and 300m high are being built with concrete too. Considering that Chile is a seismic country concrete has worked really well in our buildings.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 06:01 AM   #18
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either structural system can be designed to be just as strong as the other... it comes down to a matter of design and cost...

typically you choose a system based upon some criteria for the building, program, location, costs, labor force, etc that push you in a particular direction...

we see a lot of concrete structures these days mostly due to cost, location and labor force... concrete production can be done just about anywhere in the world and although it is very labor intensive for custom formwork work, it can be very cheap when you are repeating floor plates and not site building all the forms....combine this with an unskilled extremely cheap work force and it becomes a no brainer to use concrete instead of steel...

at the end of the day either can work as well as the other, each has some distinct advantages but none are so great that the other cannot do the very same thing...

it comes down to design and economics
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Old June 1st, 2009, 06:12 AM   #19
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definitely steel, but it also varies, depending on if you mean overall or on the basis of certain types of stresses, with the combination of steel and concrete, buildings can withstand more stresses. steel is good for tension, but concrete is good for compression, for this reason a mix of the two makes a super strong building
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Old June 1st, 2009, 10:44 PM   #20
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It depends on WHERE you're building. It all boils down to economics really.
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