It could be argued that steel is the framework of our society and many of us depend on it in order to live our modern-day lives. From the cutlery that we use to eat our food to the houses that we live in, and even the laptop that I happen to be typing this article on, stainless steel is everywhere. As you can imagine, not only is steel incredibly versatile but because it’s made from iron (one of the most common substances found on our planet) it’s relatively cost effective to produce. So in a kind of homage to steel, I thought it would be fun to give you six top facts you mightn’t already know.
Fact 1 – Although there are different types of steel, all steel is made by removing the impurities from iron ore and adding carbon. While iron is a relatively strong material in its own right, steel can be up to 10 times stronger and is lighter in weight than cast iron.
Fact 2 – Until 1856 the steel making process was long, labour intensive, and incredibly expensive Then engineer and inventor Henry Bessemer produced the Bessemer converter which removed the impurities from pig iron using a giant air blast. It became the world’s first cost-effective process for steel manufacture, and the rest as they say, is history.
Fact 3 – There are more than 3500 different types (grades of steel) although they can be broken down into four categories. Carbon, Alloy Steel, Stainless steel and Tool Steel. 75% of them have been invented within the last 20 years, with the most common type being 304 steel, otherwise known as A2 stainless steel.
Fact 4 – in 2015 world crude steel production reached 1.665 million tonnes with China being the largest producer. In fact China outstrips it’s nearest competitor the USA by as much as 3:1 That’s enough steel to build over 160,000 Eiffel Towers.
Fact 5 – Steel is completely recyclable. Unlike any other metal, steel can be recycled over and over again without losing any strength or quality. At present around 69% of all steel is recycled and by 2030 governments hope this to be somewhere near the 95% mark. You could say that stainless steel is perhaps the most environmentally friendly product on the planet.
Fact 6 – A typical house and the contents within contains around 65% of steel products. Did you know that steel makes up around 25% of your average computer and two thirds of all tin cans aren’t actually made of tin, they’re made of steel
Here at Metro Steel we process and fabricate our own steel for use on a wide variety of projects. If you have a project in mind, or are simply in need of ‘off the shelf’ steel parts, come and speak to us. To find out more about what we do visit our website at www.metrosteel.com.au or contact us directly on 07 3204 1000.