Amsteel International  

materials we use

For over 150 years, steel has been used in the North American market. Today, all over the world, it remains one of the most resistant and durable materials. Although customarily associated with skyscrapers and bridges, steel has now become a material of choice in the construction of homes. The word 'steel' normally suggests a heavy and difficult to use material. However, the galvanized steel used in the construction of homes is precisely the opposite of that. Galvanized steel is light, easy to handle, dimensionally stable and highly resistant. This durable and easily recyclable material satisfies increasingly the ever-growing world environmental concerns. All Amsteel constructions use hot-dipped galvanized cold–formed steel that has high resistance and low weight among some of its qualities. All the metallic components use are resistant to corrosion, non-flammable, stable and durable and are compatible with virtually all the materials traditionally used for finish and decoration.

Oriented Strand Board
Sheets of particleboard designated as OSB (Oriented Strand Board) are available in several dimensions and thickness. These sheets are produced from obtaining wood particles from quick growing trees such as the marine pine. These particles are agglomerated under heat and pressure using resins and chemical products that turn the wood completely inert and resistant to water. Some manufacturers also add products that increase the resistance to fire. OSB first appeared in the United States at the beginning of the 80’s and quickly won acceptance among the technicians, engineers and builders. In 1994, more than 250 million sheets were used in the industry in United States and Canada alone. In the mid 1990’s when more than two dozens of large groups of companies began the production of OSB worldwide, a representative association for this industry appeared. The Structural Board Association was not only responsible for promoting and it developing this product, it took part in the standardization quality control of the product. Sheets of particleboard are generally applied as the covering (sheathing) for steel structures, improving the structural stability. OSB acts as support for the interior insulation and the external covering, also as a thermal shield dispenser. In a time of growing environmental concerns, OSB proves to be an advantageous material; the trees used as the primary material for these sheets are grown in special forests that are continuingly replanted. The production process uses more than 90% of the tree; the remaining percentage is the production of energy. Since OSB is a relatively new material, each factory was built to satisfy the most stringent quality, environmental and safety standards. The sheets are cured completely during the manufacturing process so no measurable emanation of gases exists as they being handled and applied.

In all Amsteel homes, the interior walls are usually covered to sheets of drywall.  This material has been used in various construction projects for many years and its benefits are well-known to construction experts worldwide. First used in the United States in 1890, it appeared in Europe in 1917 and since then more than a hundred thousand million square meters have been used around the globe. Listed below are some the advantages of this material.

• Protection against Fire - Before it catches fire an extreme amount of heat must occur for this material to totally dehydrate. Until this dehydration happens, drywall stays between 100ºC and the 160ºC, avoiding thermal shock and the transmission of heat, and delaying the spread of the fire during for about one hour. This fire resistance limits the dilation of the structures, especially steel, allowing the thermal flow to be evenly distributed, avoiding points of heat concentration that would damage the structure.

• Acoustic Insulation - The sheets of drywall form a continuous surface and although they are not of high density or great thickness, the porous interior structure, as well as its significant elasticity, are characteristics that allow it be to be absorbent and thus a good acoustic shock absorber.

• Thermal Insulation - A badly insulated home requires a larger consumption of energy to provide a comfortable atmosphere. However, a powerful heating source doesn't guarantee a comfortable atmosphere, the area around the source may heat up, but the walls remain cold. A continuous wall made of drywall of only 0.042' (13 mm), has a low coefficient of thermal conductivity (0,26 Kcal/h/m ºC), and guarantees an evenly comfortable atmosphere with an insulating power three times better than brick and four and a half times superior than concrete.

One of the main concerns of Amsteel International is to guarantee a home with balanced interior temperature year long. According to the climatic demands, the insulation process most appropriate for the given situation is chosen; a good insulation should stabilize the interior temperature independently of the external conditions while still allowing the building to breathe. One method of achieving this is to use mineral wool or similar material for the external walls and roofs. Steel is a good thermal driver it should be insulated properly to impede the diffusion of heat from the home. (OSB) generally used to totally cover the metallic structure, already act as thermal shield dispenser, however Amsteel buildings can also have the added protection of using Extruded Polystyrene, when applied to the exterior further increases the thermal protection of the building

Mineral Wool
This material from the mineral fibers of volcanic rock, impregnated and agglomerated by resins, available in sheet or blanket form, and is inserted in the spacing between beams or steel profiles, it is totally immune to fire and possess excellent insulating properties. Insulating with mineral wool guarantees an excellent comfort level within the home. This level of comfort is very difficult to attain with many construction methods. Some of the main advantages mineral wool is that it provides excellent levels of thermal and acoustic insulation, it does not provoke allergies, does not absorb water, there is no deterioration, it allows the passage of air and has limitless durability.

Expanded Polystyrene
Plastic foam of a sealed cellular structure, presented in form of sheets, was especially developed to eliminate thermal bridges such as those formed by the use of studs. Possessing a null capillarity, it is resistant to the diffusion of water vapor and is impermeable to rain. It is easy to work with and dispenses the need of a vapor barrier or air pocket and can be used as a superficial finish, which facilitates the adherence of the final finish.