Steel vs Concrete: Which Material Is Stronger And More Durable?

Steel vs Concrete: Which Material Is Stronger And More Durable?

15 August 2023
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

When building structures, two common materials are used for their strength and durability: concrete and steel. The best option depends on various factors, such as the structure's design and the forces to which the structure will be subjected.

Understanding Ready-Mix Concrete

Ready-mix concrete is manufactured and then brought to a worksite by a truck. This type of concrete is very convenient for construction sites because it is already mixed and ready to use. It is also very consistent in quality and strength because it is manufactured in a controlled environment. Ready-mix concrete is used in all sorts of projects.

Steel, on the other hand, must be manufactured off-site. Then the steel is transported to the construction site, where the steel structure is erected, and sections of the steel structure must be welded into place.

Compressive Strength

Durable materials have the capacity to withstand stress without undergoing deformation or fracture. The capability of a material to resist crushing is its compressive strength. Concrete has high compressive strength, particularly when reinforced with tension-resisting materials like steel.

Tensile Strength

Due to its exceptional tensile strength, steel is an ideal material for constructing beams, columns, and cables that support vertical loads. Additionally, steel can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing it to be tailored to specific design needs.

Shear Strength

This type of strength is important when resisting the force of earthquakes or strong winds. Concrete can provide shear strength by using stirrups, which are short perpendicular bars that tie the vertical bars together. Steel can also resist shear forces using connections, braces, and trusses.

Ready-mix concrete can be reinforced with steel to improve its performance. The choice of material ultimately depends on the design and purpose of the structure.


Highly durable materials withstand environmental conditions without deteriorating or losing their properties. Both concrete and steel are durable materials that can last decades if properly maintained. However, there are some circumstances where ready-mix concrete performs better.

Concrete is resistant to wind, fire, moisture, and insects. Concrete can be protected by using sealants, coatings, admixtures, or cathodic protection so they can perform well under other conditions.

Steel is also resistant to fire, wind, water, and pests. However, it can rust or corrode due to oxygen, moisture, salt, or acid exposure. Once you know the upsides and downsides of each option, you can move forward with your construction project while using the right materials.

For more information about the benefits of ready-mix concrete, reach out to a local supplier, such as Puente Ready Mix.