When it comes to construction, the quality of materials can make a significant difference in safety, durability, and overall performance. As a leading scaffolding and event product manufacturer, Bil-Jax prides itself on using U.S. built, American-made steel, ensuring superior quality and reliability. 

Let’s take a closer look at steel specifications, the difference between U.S. and Chinese steel, and discuss why American-made steel is the superior choice for scaffolding.

Understanding Steel Specifications & Quality Standards

Steel specifications refer to the standardized measures of a steel’s properties and characteristics. These specifications are crucial for determining the steel’s suitability for various applications in construction and manufacturing. 

Key factors influencing steel quality include tensile strength, yield strength, ductility, and durability. The chemical composition and manufacturing processes also play vital roles in defining these properties.

Chinese Steel vs. U.S. Steel 

The United States and China are major players in the global steel industry. However, the production methods, quality control, and standards differ significantly between these two countries.

Chinese Steel Codes and Standards

Steel Specifications

While China is currently seen as the largest steel-producing country, high quantity doesn’t always mean high quality.

Chinese steel production often faces criticism for inconsistent quality due to less rigorous regulatory environments. Some key concerns include:

Quality Issues

Issues such as non-compliance with international standards, variations in chemical composition, and substandard manufacturing practices have raised doubts about the durability and safety of Chinese steel products.

Environmental Impact

China’s steel industry is notorious for its significant environmental footprint, including high levels of air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and resource depletion. The industry’s reliance on coal-fired furnaces and outdated technologies has contributed to environmental degradation and public health concerns in regions with heavy steel production.

China has been working to align its standards and practices with international norms to enhance the quality and competitiveness of its steel industry. However, challenges related to overcapacity, environmental sustainability, and trade disputes have prompted ongoing reforms and efforts to improve compliance with global standards.

U.S. Steel Codes and Standards

Two workers, checking quality of steel products.

In the United States, steel specifications are governed by various codes and standards that ensure consistent quality and safety in steel manufacturing and usage. Some of the key codes and standards involved in U.S. steel specifications include:

ASTM International

ASTM (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) develops and publishes technical standards for a wide range of materials, including steel. ASTM standards cover various aspects of steel production, properties, testing methods, and applications. For example, ASTM A500 specifies the requirements for structural steel tubing used in construction.

American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)

AISI is a trade association that develops and publishes standards for the steel industry. AISI standards cover the designations, chemical compositions, and mechanical properties of various steel grades.

Numerous case studies have shown that U.S. steel often outperforms Chinese steel in terms of strength, durability, and emissions. Industries that demand high-performance materials, such as aerospace and automotive sectors, frequently choose U.S. steel for these reasons

Advantages of American-Made Steel

American Economic Impact of Steel Industry

(Source: https://www.steel.org/economicimpact/)

Superior Quality Control

The stringent quality control processes in American steel manufacturing ensure that each batch of steel meets high standards for strength and durability.

Economic and Environmental Benefits

Supporting local industries has significant economic benefits. The U.S. steel industry accounts for 387k jobs, generates $207 billion in economic output, provides $33.5 billion in wages, and contributes $56 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. 

Moreover, the U.S. is the most energy-efficient steel producer globally, with the lowest CO2 emissions per ton, making American steel a more sustainable choice.

Consistency and Reliability

Choosing American-made steel ensures consistent quality, enhancing project outcomes and customer satisfaction. The reliability of U.S. steel means fewer replacements and repairs, leading to cost savings over time.

U.S. Steel Supply for Scaffolding

Myth: All Scaffolding is the Same

A common misconception is that all scaffolding, regardless of the steel used, is uniform in quality.

Fact: U.S. Steel = Superior Scaffolding

The reality is that the quality of scaffolding is directly impacted by the origin of the steel used. Scaffolding made from U.S. steel offers enhanced safety, durability, and performance compared to those made from Chinese steel.

The Importance of Using High-Quality Steel in Scaffolding


U.S. steel is produced to ASTM A500 standards, ensuring consistent quality of materials. This standardization is crucial for maintaining the integrity and safety of scaffolding structures.

Safety Considerations

Bil-Jax uses steel that meets higher tensile and yield strength requirements than those used by other scaffold manufacturers. High-quality steel is critical for ensuring the safety of scaffolding structures, minimizing the risks of failures and accidents.

Performance and Durability

Superior steel quality significantly impacts the longevity and reliability of scaffolding. U.S.-made steel’s consistent quality ensures that scaffolding can withstand heavy loads and harsh environmental conditions.

Bil-Jax’s Commitment to Quality

At Bil-Jax, 100% of the steel used to manufacture frame scaffolding is produced in the United States, adhering to higher strength requirements and meeting ASTM and AISI standards. 

Our engineering and manufacturing operations are located in Archbold, OH, where stringent quality control and superior manufacturing processes are in place to guarantee the best outcomes.

Choose a Superior Steel Product

American-made steel scaffolding

The importance of steel specifications and the superiority of American-made steel cannot be overstated. We encourage the industry to prioritize quality by choosing American-made steel and invite you to learn more about Bil-Jax’s products and our unwavering commitment to excellence.