A36 steel plates are incredibly strong in terms of construction, but the material has some weak points that require special care when trying to store the material. The composition of the steel makes it more susceptible to problems when not protected. The steel is still an excellent construction material, but once it's actually used, the steel is covered, shielded, coated, and so on. In storage, it's left untouched in terms of coatings and similar protective features, so you need to step up and ensure the steel is stored in appropriate conditions.

They Need Protection From Corrosion

This type of steel has a very low percentage of chromium in it, which makes it much less resistant to corrosion. Rust is your main enemy, so this steel needs to be kept out of the rain and away from water. You also need to watch out for the humidity levels in the storage area; keep them moderate and install a dehumidifier if needed. If moisture, even in the form of humid air, rests on the metal for a prolonged time, the moisture can react with oxygen to form rust. That ultimately weakens the metal.

Watch out in Colder Facilities

Most steel will more than likely be stored in relatively moderate environments, and most of the non-moderate environments will have modifications like air conditioning or added ventilation that makes the storage conditions less extreme. But in very extreme conditions, such as regions where the overnight lows drop well below freezing in winter (higher elevations and the Upper Midwest/Plains can see these), the steel can become very brittle. You have to ensure the steel is stored in a way so that these more extreme lows won't affect it. Storing it indoors is essential as that allows you to control the environment around it.

Stacking Plates Properly

These plates can be of varying thicknesses, and that means a tall stack can be very heavy and even dangerous if it's not stable. If you stack a few plates, keep the overall pile height low. Thicker plates might be able to be stored on their sides if prolonged storage that way won't cause them to bend (again, they have to be thick). Storing the plates on a rack with shelves that can hold the weight is another option. People tend to think that very heavy steel plates aren't going to slide around, but in a quake or an accident that causes the building to shake, that pile might not be as secure as you think it is.

Using A36 steel plates in construction requires those plates to be in very good condition. The storage environment that you put them in must protect the plates and you and your workers.