Steel is a highly versatile and durable material used in a wide range of industries, including construction, automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. The modern steel industry began in the 19th century, but the history of steel production dates back to ancient times.
There are many different types of steel, each with its own unique properties and characteristics. The versatility and durability of steel make it an essential part of modern society, and it is likely to continue to play a key role in shaping the world we live in for many years to come.
It is worth remembering that iron is an element, while steel is an alloy of which iron is the main component.
So far, the oldest excavation site where steel production was carried out is located in Anatolia in present-day Turkey.
The father of the process was Sir Henry Bessemer, an English inventor. His method was widely used for nearly 100 years until it was replaced by more efficient and cheaper ones. Bessemer's method relied on the use of "pig iron" - an intermediate product made by smelting iron ore in a blast furnace.
Other additives such as manganese, nickel, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum or tungsten give the alloy specific properties.
This means that approximately 5.2 million metric tons of steel are produced every day.
It can have aditional elements but in small quantities. Carbon steel is used in the construction of buildings, bridges, railroad tracks, automobile parts, and pipes for the oil industry. Since it is susceptible to corrosion, it shouldn't be used with water and in humid conditions. To protect it from rusting, it is coated with protective coatings such as paints.
Steel becomes harder but less plastic as more carbon is added.
The melting temperature depends on its composition. In general, high-alloyed steels containing more alloying elements have higher melting points than low-alloyed steels.
Tungsten is one of the oldest elements used in steel alloys. It is used in many industries that rely on high durability, such as rocket engine nozzles, gears, bearings, valves, cutting equipment and surgical tool manufacturing.
Such alloy is perfect for food or pharmaceutical purposes. It is worth mentioning that stainless steel is not completely immune to corrosion. It is generally considered to be biologically inert, but it can release small amounts of nickel and chromium during the preparation of highly acidic foods.
While nickel is known to increase the risk of cancer, there is no scientific evidence that stainless steel cookware can cause this disease.
Manganese is added to steel to make it tougher, stronger and more resistant to wear and abrasion. It is also used to remove any impurities and as a deoxidizer. Mangalloy is used in the mining industry and in high-impact environments.
The European Union is the second largest producer and India is the third largest producer. Other major global steel producers are: Japan, USA, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.
Approximately 60% of steel is recycled. However, because more steel is produced than is recycled, only about 40% of steel produced comes from recycling.
Construction began in 1867 and was completed in 1874 at a cost of about $10 million. It is a combined road and railroad bridge that is still in use. It was designed by James Buchanan Eads, a famous American inventor and engineer.
The building was designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney. It had 10 stories and a height of 42.1 m (183 ft) and was later raised to 12 stories in 1891.
The building weighed about 30% of a masonry building, which caused panic among Chicago officials. They were so concerned about safety that at one point they stopped construction to make sure it wouldn't collapse.