This steel weight calculator will help you determine the weight of steel pieces of any size, no matter if they are rods, bars, or plates. We built this calculator to work with a variety of steel types, so you'll get the steel weight you need.
In this calculator, you will learn what steel is, the uses of steel, as well as how to calculate the weight of steel using its density and volume, just as if you were going to purchase some gravel or asphalt. If that sounds interesting, just keep on reading!
What is steel?
Steel is a metal alloy with iron as its main component and carbon as its primary alloying element. If carbon makes up anywhere from 0.05% to a little above 2% of the total weight of steel, the iron is stronger and more ductile. The more carbon we add to iron, the stronger the steel gets (up to 2.14% carbon). Adding other alloying elements results in four major steel types - carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, and tool steel.
- Carbon steel is pretty much the most basic kind of steel since it usually only has iron and carbon in it. In some cases, carbon steel can still have some elements, but only copper, manganese, and silicon.
- Adding other alloying elements in carbon steel results in our next steel type, the alloy steel. With other alloying elements like manganese (for additional surface hardness), molybdenum (for strength), nickel (for corrosion resistance), and so much more, we can get a more specific steel alloy that will suit our needs.
- One specific steel alloy with unique characteristics is stainless steel. By adding a minimum of 10% chromium, which provides a barrier from rusting and oxidation, we produce stainless steel. Stainless steels are strong, hard, corrosion-resistant, and usually very shiny, too.
- The last type is the tool steel. Tool steels are much harder and durable because of the additional heat-treatment procedures they undergo during their production. Because of their extreme properties, we can use tool steels for cutting tools, drill bits, and lots of other applications where the steel will be exposed to wear and tear.
Steel products and uses of steel
We see steel almost everywhere, from our kitchen utensils to the rebar at construction sites. Steel can either be molded, machined, or combined with other materials to form almost any product that we can imagine. In construction, steel is available in the form of rods, bars, tubes, wires, plates, and sheets. We can use steel rods as pins to connect hinged supports in steel frames and structures, or we can cut large-diameter rods to make gear "blanks."
On the other hand, we can use bars and wires for reinforcing concrete or for ornamental designs. Lastly, we can use steel plates and sheets for slabs and for the fabrication of water tanks, vaults, and molds, to name a few.
Why do we need to get the weight of steel?
In the construction industry, steel is commonly priced per unit weight, similar to other raw materials like gravel, sand, and concrete. Since steel is available in various types, shapes, and sizes, pricing steel per unit weight means a much more consistent pricing across the market. This way of pricing is why it is essential to know the weight of steel in general.
Other than that, determining the total weight of steel products is generally beneficial, especially during transport. Buying in bulk affects the cost of most materials as we can save money by properly organizing delivery and logistics instead of delivering small quantities in multiple trips. Aside from that, since steel can get really heavy in large volumes, calculating the steel weight is essential in the design of structures.
Steel weight calculator - How to calculate weight of steel?
Determining the weight of steel only takes a few steps to accomplish. First, we need to know the density of the steel alloy we are using. In our steel weight calculator, you will find the density values for the most common steel alloys in the Steel type part of our calculator. You can also see them listed here in the table below:
After determining the density of the steel alloy, the next step is to obtain the total volume of our steel material. Getting the volume of our steel material depends on its shape and dimensions. By applying the necessary formulas, we can obtain the volume for rods, bars, plates, tubes, and even other complicated shapes. You can check the how to calculate volume? section of our volume calculator for the different volume formulas for most shapes that our steel weight calculator does not cover. After obtaining the volume of steel material, we are now ready to use the formula below:
steel material weight = steel material volume * density
When using this formula, always make sure to multiply values with the same units of measurements. The resulting unit of measurement for volume must match the volume part in the density unit. If you need help converting the units of area or volume, you can check our area converter or our volume converter, respectively, especially if you have multiple values to convert.
If you have multiple steel pieces, you can input the number of steel pieces into our steel weight calculator to get the overall steel weight. As an exercise in finding the weight of steel, let us look at an example in this text's next section.
Sample computation of steel weight
For our example, let us consider calculating the weight of some square bars needed for a set of balusters. Let's say we need to cut
20 pieces of
1.2-m long cold-drawn steel (7,830 kg/m³)
square bars where the sides are
17-mm, as shown in the illustration below:
To calculate the weight of the square bars, let us first determine the volume of a square bar by getting its cross-sectional area and multiplying it by its length. Since the density of cold-drawn steel is given in kilograms per cubic meter, let us find the volume in cubic meters:
square bar volume = 0.017 m * 0.017 m * 1.2 m
square bar volume =
Solving for its weight, we have:
square bar weight = square bar volume * density
square bar weight = 0.0003468 m³ * 7,830 kg/m³
square bar weight = 2.715444 kg ≈
To get the total weight of our square bars, we need to multiply this figure by the number of square bars needed, which is 20 pieces. Having said that, our steel square bars' total weight would then be
2.7154 kg * 20 =
54.308 kilograms. That's quite a workout to carry!
Want to learn more?
If you found our steel weight calculator informative and would like to learn more about weights of other metals in general, perhaps you would also like to try our metal weight calculator. There, you will find much more information about other metals, their densities, and some of their uses.