Different Types of Structural Steel Elements For Single Project

Structural Steel Tower containing various structural steel fabrication elements

When you walk into a building, you probably don’t notice the various structural steel fabrications that surround you. This is because the elements work together cohesively to create a seamless experience.

If you take a moment to study your environment, though, you will likely notice at least a handful of important steel components. In one project, there can be dozens of structural steel elements all working together. In a manufacturing plant, for example, you might find elements such as:


The towers of a manufacturing plant are heavy, complex steel structures that enable advanced production capabilities. Structural steel towers must accommodate specialized, high-demand production, efficient automation, and uniform series production. Otherwise, the manufacturing plant could not guarantee safe, consistent, or successful product manufacturing.

Towers use special coatings, finishes, and paints to stay safe from outside elements. Different industries require different finishes to obey federal health and safety regulations, as well as to enjoy dependable, long-lasting structures. Depending on the function of the manufacturing plant, it may need evaporative cooling towers, wind turbine towers, or a number of other tower types for standard operations. Steel towers are strong, sturdy, and reliable for a number of industry-specific applications.


Manufacturing facilities rely on a great many structural steel platforms in and around the facility. Workers may use steel platforms for the loading bay, storage facilities, decks, ramps, and more. It is important for platforms to adhere to specific height and clearance needs, non-slip flooring regulations, and ergonomic considerations for the optimal safety and health of workers. Experienced steel fabricators will understand industry-specific platform needs and associated OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations. For example, some manufacturers may request platforms with alternating tread designs to minimize slip risk.


Walkways need to prioritize worker safety, using special designs, types, materials, and finishes to enable navigation through a manufacturer plant without dangerous slips, trips, and falls. Walkways should implement smart layout designs to create efficient pathways throughout a building. Many plants require elevated walkways and industrial catwalks. These must meet OSHA height and safety standards, as well as prevailing building codes according to the type of facility.


Staircases are integral parts of most industrial complexes. Steel stairs are durable, strong, and resilient – ideal for high-density foot traffic. Metal stair fabrication can create staircases that are perfectly suited for individual needs, conditions, stress expectations, temperatures/humidity, and use. With the right vendor, a manufacturing company can customize stairs to any shape, size, or style.

Hand Rails

A plant’s handrails are crucial to worker safety. Poorly functioning handrails risk the lives of workers navigating catwalks and staircases, especially if the plant deals with hazardous materials or dangerous equipment into which workers may fall. Hand rails should provide a sturdy point of contact for workers, offering traction and support to help prevent falls. Custom stair fabrication is important for safety in a variety of environments.

Build Structure

The build structure is the main framework of a building. It encompasses the trusses, girders, and beams that make up the foundation of a manufacturing plant or other facility. A plant’s build structure must be strong, sturdy, and capable of lasting for decades without fail. The success of any building is dependent on the build structure. Steel is an excellent material for commercial and industrial builds, as it resists corrosion and retains its strength.

Structural steel fabrications are all around us in the places we work and visit. Next time you walk into a building, examine all the components that come together to create one unified room. If you are interested in ordering custom structural steel components for any application, contact Swanton Welding for a free quote.

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