Structural Steel in Marine Applications

Structures commonly used in marine applications must withstand extreme conditions, taking into account factors like temperature, pressure, water flow rates, and a higher salt content. Structural steel structures can withstand these factors, enabling teams to complete complex projects that may otherwise have been impossible.

Whether you need steel plates for shipbuilding or custom steel tubing, we have you covered. Read on to discover how marine applications utilize structural steel in various structures and the unique advantages it offers.

Role of Steel in the Marine Industry

Structural steel is used to produce lighter, stronger, and more durable products for use in marine applications. Structural steel can be transfixed into a variety of shapes, depending on the specific criteria of a given project. Common standard shapes for steel sections include:

  • Angles
  • Channels
  • Plates
  • Pipes
  • Tubes
  • Wide flange beams

These steel-formed shapes are essential for constructing various parts of structural framing, such as columns, purlins, girders, and beams.

There are several different methods used in the manufacturing process. Hot-rolled sections can be made by rolling structural steel in a monolithic manner. Built-up sections, on the other hand, can be formed into the desired shapes by welding steel plates together.

Benefits of Using American-Made Structural Steel

Shipbuilding is part of America’s identity; our country’s ingenuity shines through in our cruise ships, yachts, aircraft carriers, and submarines. That’s why we use high-quality, American-made steel to manufacture components for our marine-based clients.

Using American-made structural steel products ensures optimal performance while offering the following advantages:

  • A broad range of engineering and technical specifications
  • Enhanced corrosion resistance
  • Decreased brittleness (even in cold temperatures)
  • Ductility
  • Durability and toughness
  • Increased strength to resist vibration and force trauma
  • Yield strength

Steel Applications in the Marine Industry

Steel offers excellent strength and adaptability in challenging marine environments. It is one of the most commonly used materials for building structures, proving beneficial for a variety of applications.


Shipbuilding is a primary application in the marine industry that uses steel. Its high tensile strength and structural integrity make it a perfect material for constructing superstructures, hulls, and other critical ship components.

Steel plates are major components used to build ships and barges. The durability of these steel plates and their ability to withstand the corrosive effects of saltwater contribute to the reliability and longevity of marine vessels.

Marine Structures

Structural steel marine hardware, equipment, and components such as anchors, propellers, and winches are manufactured with structural steel. Steel offers the following benefits when used in marine structures:

  • Strength
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Ability to withstand harsh marine environments

Offshore Platforms

Offshore drilling platforms are critical to extracting and exploring oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. Steel strengthens the towering legs that support the complex infrastructure required for drilling operations. Steel also provides the sturdiness and resistance needed for structures and their respective components to withstand harsh offshore environments such as saltwater exposure, wind, and waves.

Ship Repairs and Maintenance

The marine industry relies on steel for construction and various repair and maintenance activities. The material’s machinability and weldability make it an optimal choice for:

  • Ensuring compliance with safety standards
  • Repairing damaged parts and components in ships or barges
  • Ensuring vessels remain seaworthy

Containers and Cargo Ships

Steel’s versatility and robustness are evident in the construction of containers and cargo ships. Steel containers used to transport goods overseas provide a durable, secure enclosure that protects cargo from the elements. Cargo ships equipped with superstructures and steel hulls are built to navigate the world’s oceans, carrying valuable goods efficiently while facing varying weather conditions.

Choose Infra-Metals for Your Structural Steel Needs

Since 1990, Infra-Metals has offered a comprehensive selection of products and services, including forming, saw cutting, and drilling to meet the structural carbon steel requirements for various applications. We carry the following products in our inventory:

  • Channels
  • Plates
  • Sheets
  • Steel beams
  • Tubes
  • And more!

We guarantee timely delivery, competitive pricing, and efficiency, making us a reliable structural steel service center for our customers. Our knowledgeable and experienced distributors ensure the structural steel they offer meets exacting standards for durability testing, tolerance dimensions, and composition to support a broad range of industries.

Contact us or request a quote to learn more about Infra-Metals and our growing capabilities. With locations extending along the East Coast from Florida to New England and Ohio through Illinois, we’re poised to provide quality structural carbon steel solutions tailored to your application’s requirements.