Why Using Cheap Steel (Chinese Steel) May Be Unsafe for Your Metal Building Project

Posted by Ben Sparhawk on Apr 25, 2019 10:20:54 AM

Chinese Steel is Unsafe and Should Not Be Used for Your Metal Building

Chinese-made steel is a massive problem in the steel industry because people are unaware of the quality of the steel they are purchasing.

Many individuals and businesses do not realize that Chinese steel firms are buying and partnering with American companies behind the scenes.

In fact, according to CNN Money, in 2015 alone 10,258 L-series visas were issued to Chinese workers, and that number is undoubtedly much higher now.

Chinese steel companies are sending workers to America and moving their production to the states.

This not only threatens the American steel industry and jobs, but it is also putting millions of people at risk because many of today’s prefabricated metal buildings are built with low quality steel, which means they lack structural integrity, unbeknownst to the builder.

Keep reading to learn more about the many issues associated with using cheap, Chinese-made steel, for your metal building projects.

Why Using Cheap Steel for Your Metal Building is a Bad Idea

You may be wondering how this applies to you.

Why should you care where your steel comes from? A bargain is a bargain, right?


There are countless reasons why cheap Chinese steel is a bad investment, but the two main reasons are that it is hazardous to use, and more costly because of the issues you will face down the road.

Chinese Made Steel Is Unsafe

In addition to costing you more money than you could have ever expected, cheap steel is very unsafe to use. 

Chinese companies do not have to meet the same standards or undergo the same rigorous testing that American steelmakers do.

American steel must meet specific regulations and quality control. With the recent rise in steel buildings being used as recreational facilities it is important to make sure that the steel is made from passes these standards.

Benefits of Using Quality Steel for Your Metal Building

Low-quality steel is not structurally sound and has an increased potential to collapse or break.

For example, in 2015 Chinese steel companies added the element Boron to their steel.

This allowed companies to receive a tax rebate, which is great for profit. However, the element Boron causes welds to crack. This is a terrifyingly huge safety hazard.

This means your cheap, outsourced steel could fail at any moment, putting yourself, your employees, your facility, production equipment, product, and entire business at risk.

This is a chance you do not want to take. It is not a matter of if your cheap Chinese steel will fail; it’s a matter of when.

Chinese Made Steel Is Not Cost-Effective

While using cut-rate steel may save you some money upfront, it will prove to be an expensive mistake in the long run.

Low-quality steel will not last. It will need to be replaced or repaired relatively quickly after building, depending on just how cheap the quality is.


Another primary concern you should have is the cheap steel breaking and your building collapsing. This can result in expensive damages, serious injuries, and even a career-ending lawsuit.

Save yourself the headache and pay for quality steel upfront and your metal building will last a lifetime.

What Are Steel Building Brokers and Why Should I Question Them?

Steel building brokers are essentially middlemen that find their customers the steel they need to build their metal buildings.

When an individual or business comes to a broker to engineer and fabricate their metal building, they are not actually manufacturing or engineering anything in-house.

Rather, they take your building dimensions and needs and shop around to find the cheapest manufacturer and contractor to get the job done.

They then charge their customer more than the job costs so that they can turn a profit on the job.

While this seems like a typical business, these brokers are solely looking out for their best financial interests. They use foreign partners and cheap steel so they can turn a more substantial profit.

This outsourced steel is cheaper because it is low quality, not tested for safety, or held to the same standards as their American-made counterparts.

American companies that refuse to be bought out and continue to deliver a high-quality products are now being threatened because they can’t compete with the low prices charged by Chinese steelmakers, so they are constantly being outbid.

Therefore, it is essential to know the source of your steel.

Why Should the Quality of Your Steel Building Matter to You?

You may be wondering why you should spend more money on your steel building.

It is in your best interest to buy quality steel and investigate where a company is sourcing its steel. After all, you get what you pay for.

First-time builders may not notice a difference in quality, but the difference is there.

Dangers of Using Cheap Chinese Steel

Foreign steel manufacturers are valuing profits over safety, and I don’t know about you, but I do not want to support a company that is making a conscious decision to put profit over human safety.

You want a quality product that is going to last.

So, ask your steel building manufacturer the hard questions.

How to Find Out the Quality of Steel You Are Purchasing?

Unfortunately, it is not always apparent when a company is using cheap steel, and a broker may not be upfront about the source of your pre-engineered building.

In fact, many companies hide the fact that they are brokers and outsource their steel manufacturing.

The easiest way to find out if a company is a broker is just to ask.

“Are you a broker?”

“Where is your steel sourced?”

The answer to these two questions should tell you everything you need to know.

Schedule a Free Consultation with the Quality Steel Providers at CDMG

CDMG is a proud provider of Nucor steel.

Nucor Building Systems is a leader in Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings.

We chose to partner with Nucor because of their high-quality, American-made steel that is environmentally-friendly and made from 90% recycled steel.

Building with Nucor steel allows CDMG to provide our valued customers with safe and sustainable metal buildings that adhere to the highest standards.

If you would like more information about the high-quality steel metal building provided by CDMG, you can schedule a free consultation below.best-industrial-metal-building-quote
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Original content written here.

Topics: Steel building construction

About The Author

ben-sparhawkI'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for CDMG. I write to showcase the work that CDMG does and everything related to the pre-engineered metal building industry as well as their engineering capabilities. When I'm not working on content, you can find me spending time with my wife and children. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.