Steel is not typically a subject that most people find interesting, unless of course you are steel supplier or something of the sort. Generally speaking, it’s not the first topic of conversation that people tend to venture towards. An ice breaker it is not, but maybe it should be. This article is designed to show you how amazing steel can be and how without it, our world would not be anywhere close to what it is today. Here are some fascinating facts about steel that are worth mentioning:
Steel is probably the number one most recycled material on the Earth. The American Iron and Steel Institute stated that approximately 88% of steel is recycled throughout the world. Two out of every 3 tons of new steel actually comes from recycled stock, like processing liquids and still making dust and slags. This is fantastic, because while many other types of recycled materials are okay to use again and again, every time they go through the recycling process, a lot of their strength and integrity is lost. Steel, however, can be recycled over and over again, and never loses its strength.
The strength of steel
While we know that steel is strong — strong enough to be a hinge on the fridge that can support more than 140 pounds of door weight — we really don’t know just how strong it is. A lot of our society is made from steel and concrete. Here are a few things made from steel because of its strength:
5. Communication towers
There have been several tests done to determine the strength of steel, and there have been some interesting finds as well: steel has a melting point of 1660 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 3287 degrees Celsius. It’s safe to say the weather will not affect steel. Steel can also resist the equivalent of an F5 hurricane. It takes about 40,000 pounds of force to bend a 1-inch-by-1-inch piece of steel.
Galvanized steel strapping
Galvanization is when steel is coated in zinc in order to stop it from rusting. This enhances the value of the steel, so that not only does it have all the benefits of the above point, it also will not corrode or rust.
Galvanized steel strapping is used for some major heavy duty bending. High strength and minimal stretch are the benefits of galvanized steel strapping seals — or as it’s also called, galvanized steel banding. The military will often use this material to secure shipments.
The history of steel
Steel is probably the oldest material used in construction because it comes from iron ore, which has been used for thousands of years. However, even with all the technology that we have now, steel is still the best. In the 1700’s, someone realized that if you reduce the impurities and add carbon to wrought iron, steel is produced. They did this by adding charcoal powder to iron and then heating it up. A little later, the new steel that was discovered was heated at even higher temperatures and a more pure steel was discovered.
Will we run out of steel?
Fortunately, that is one thing that we don’t have to worry about yet. Steel is very cheap and very accessible. With the amount of iron in the world, steel will probably be around for a while. Refer to the first fact about how much steel is recycled and you’ll see that as humans we are doing a good job of keeping it around.
Because of how great stainless steel, galvanized steel strapping, and other types of steel are, you can pretty much see items made of steel wherever you look, from cans in your pantry to skyscrapers downtown. It is and extremely useful metal and very versatile it its functions. As long as we keep on recycling and reusing, steel is here to stay.