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Different types of metal used in the construction industry

There are many different types of metal used in the construction industry. Designers, architects and builders use metal in construction and manufacturing because of its durability, resistance to all forms of weather and all-round strength and resilience. However the types of metals used may differ depending on the circumstances. For example, what are the differing benefits of aluminium, steel and copper? Where and in which circumstances would you consider using each one of these?

There are advantages to each of them depending on what look or finish you want to achieve, or job you want the particular metal to perform.

Metal used in construction – Aluminium

One of the most popular metals used in the construction industry, aluminium is strong, yet lightweight by comparison to other metals. Its fluidity and versatility gives architects a great deal of scope and the metal can be used in a range of projects. The most common metal on Earth, aluminium can be found being used for jobs as varied as window frames, ceilings, roof covers as well as for major projects such as stadiums and bridges. It is usually one of the first metals to be chosen by designers and architects for its strength, durability and manageability and also because of its ability to be formed into many different shapes.

Perforated aluminium panels by Arrow Metal with bespoke design was installed at the Oatley Station Footbridge

Metal used in construction – Steel

Steel is the “go-to” metal for many builders, architects and others working in the construction industry. It is a byword for strength and remains at the heart of any building work where the need for this hardiness and durability is paramount. This can be as varied in building programs as varied as skyscrapers to houses, bridges to stadiums. However while used primarily for its strength, steel also adds an aesthetic quality to construction projects. It is also adaptable and its inherent strength allows for design flexibility in other parts of the building or infrastructure. It also recyclable brings environmental benefits by being easily recyclable.

Metal used in construction – Stainless Steel

This metal is widely favoured in the building industry because of its ability to add strength and extra support to buildings. Stainless steel is also largely resistant to corrosion and can withstand hot and cold temperatures. It is also its aesthetic appearance that makes it such a popular choice for designers and architects. These characteristics make it one of the most versatile metals available for use by builders.

Wynyard to Barangaroo walkway tunnel featuring perforated metal panels by Arrow Metal

Stainless steel perforated panels by Arrow Metal were used on the ceiling of the Wynyard to Barrangaroo Walkway.


An alloy of copper and zinc, brass has a number of applications in the construction industry. It can be used exclusively for its stunning gold-like decorative look in buildings, in areas such as locks or door knobs where there is a low friction requirement. Special corrosion resistant brass is also suited where water temperatures are high or where contamination is present in the water.


A softer, more malleable metal, copper is popular in the building industry mainly as the chief component of pipes. The metal is ductile and resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for hot and cold water outlets. Copper is also ideal for heating, ventilation and air conditioning applications for these reasons. It is also the most electrically conductive of the metals and is an important part of the world’s telecommunications systems. While not as strong as steel it is tough and malleable making it useful for many building applications.

Interested in finding out more about the durability and versatility of these metals and how they can be incorporated in your building designs? Please contact us at Arrow Metal to hear more about how we can help you source the type of product designed specially for your construction or architectural requirements.

Posted: April 12, 2017

One response to “Different types of metal used in the construction industry”

  1. Tyler Meredith says:

    I like what this article mentions about steel being the go-to metal for builders due to its price and strength. It makes sense that since steel is relatively cheap compared to other metals, buildings can be built easily using it whether it’s a large or small structure. I’ll have to remember this for whenever I need metal because steel seems like it could be the best option for a lot of applications given its strength.

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