Although the use of steel dates back to thousands of years, it was not until the mid-19th century that the Bessemer Process was formed, allowing for its cheap mass production. Steel is now used in many vehicles, buildings, and tools. In fact, is it the most widely used and recycled metal material. Its ability to flex and mold into various types helps it meet a broad range of use. With over 1.3 billion tons of steel produced every year, what are the top 3 industrial applications?
Though you may not need steel packaging when moving, the storage method has been in use for over 200 years. Packaging made from steel protects its contents from natural exposure, keeping out air, water, and light from ruining the product. Steel only weighs about .283 pounds for every cubic inch, making it a relatively lightweight option compared to other metals. One possible danger for anything made out of steel is corrosion. Manufacturers apply a coat of polymer to help protect against exposure that may cause the degradation to occur. Most steel packaging is used today to protect food, water, and everyday plastic appliances.
As mentioned before, steel is a relatively flexible metal. This means certain niches have been carved out for specific tasks. Engineering Steel is a type of steel that fills one such niche, being of an individual strength, elasticity, and ductility to help build vehicles. Over 50% of the weight of a typical car is due to steel; the material typically needs less energy for production and does not emit as much CO2 into the atmosphere as other metals. Depending on the car part (doors, gearbox, body, suspension, etc.) different type of steel may be used. This does not only apply to consumer vehicles; trucks, trains, ships, and many other forms of transportation also rely on steel.
The construction industry uses the majority of steel produced in the world. Structures with steel frameworks can be quickly formed at low prices, and are able to mold into unique shapes and sizes for more creative projects. Like with packaging, steel used in construction is often alloyed or surface treated to account for more humid environments. It is thanks to steel that railways grew around the world and skyscrapers rapidly increased in number during the 20th century. The Empire State Building is one such project that benefited from steel.
Steel can be found in many forms, but some types may be more rare than others. Need a particular kind of steel or other metal for your project? Contact us at Avion Alloys for availability and a free quote!