Steel, regardless of its variety, is used extensively across multiple industries worldwide. It can be flat, high-temperature, fabricated, or stainless depending on usage. Steel provides strong foundation for buildings with high tensile strength and durability at an affordable cost.
Steel as Primary Material in Construction
The construction industry is the major user of steel materials. It serves as the main foundation for high and tall buildings at a relatively low cost. The metal can be mixed while surfaces are treated for additional toughness. Improvement of steel manufacturing processes in the 20th century paved the way for construction of high-rise buildings and modern railways in urban centers all over the world. Various steel products, such as galvanised steel, are also used to reinforce concrete as well as strengthen security fences.
The thick ropes of modern suspension bridges use many steel wires for added strength. Floorings are fabricated from steel plates or concrete supported by high-grade metal rods. Steel rafters and rectangular or circular tubes are widely utilized for support. Banisters and safety enclosures are constructed from different forms of steel. Steel bars are also designed for engineering purposes. These come in various dimensions, shapes and features to suit the customers’ needs. In some cases, lead is also added to steel to conserve energy.
Transport and Other Industries
Steel is also a key component in the transport industry. Wrought iron is designed specifically for greater strength, elasticity, ductility, and resistance to oxidation. While this type of steel is used in engineering and manufacturing, a greater part of it is used for vehicles. Research says that steel accounts for more than 50% of the weight of standard automobiles. This high-strength alloy is lightweight. It requires lesser energy and minimizes unhealthy emissions of carbon dioxide.
Household appliances also use steel. Body structures of freezers, refrigerators and air conditioning units are manufactured from coated steel sheets. Electric motors that power these electrical devices make use of steel mixed with silicon. Even technology equipment like personal computers and video players have cases made of steel plates. Almost all kitchen knives, kettles and sauce pans come from stainless steel. Cans of soda drinks are made of steel strips with thin layers of tin. The concept of steel packaging emerged to protect merchandise from unnecessary exposure to light, air and water. Steel for packaging is made with low-carbon sheets. It is covered with polymer and lacquer finish to prevent rusting.