Think of the fascinating and huge range of human-made objects such as warships, skyscrapers, and space rockets— you will be thinking of steel.    Let’s take a closer look at the properties, uses, and types of this superb material and discover what makes steel very popular.

What is steel?

Steel is an alloy which is composed of iron, 1 percent carbon, and traces of other elements such as manganese, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and oxygen. It is the main product of iron, which acts as the hardening agents and enables the structure of steel to be hard and corrosion-resistant. It is known to be the least expensive and the most widely used of all metals.

What are the uses of steel?

Steel is one of the important materials that is widely used to make to make almost everything from skyscraper girders, space rockets, automobiles, bridges, home construction, and appliances to thumb tacks and paper clips. It is classified by its carbon content.  For high-carbon steel, it is used for cutting tools due to its great hardness and brittleness. With low or medium content of carbon steel have characteristics such as amenability to welding and tooling.  For this reason, this type of material is best for sheeting and structural forms.

What are the types of steel?

The varieties of steel make it much useful for different purposes. Here is the list of different types of steel:

Carbon steel has carbon content which is usually less than 1 percent. It also contains a small proportion of manganese.

Stainless steel originated in England. It has chromium content that ranges between 12 to 30 %, and it usually also contains nickel. This has high tensile strength and has resistance with abrasion and corrosion that is attributed to its high content of chromium.

Alloy steel contains one or more other elements in order to provide their specific qualities. These contain a little carbon, and sometimes silicon.  In addition, alloy steels mainly contain added metals  such as manganese for hardness, nickel for strength, molybdenum for improved wear), tungsten for high temperature strength, chromium for corrosion resistance), and vanadium for toughness.

Galvanized steel is coated with zinc as an effective agent against corrosion. The coating is usually done by a hot dip process.

Electroplated steel is commonly used tin as a coating of another metal.  This is which applied by the use of an electric current. Cans and other containers make use of tin-plated steel.

Tool steel is described as very hard steel which is made by tempering.  This involved heating the steel to a very high temperature, and then subjecting it to a quick cooling.

Damascus steel is developed in India.  It is known as high quality ancient steel because of its beautiful wavy surface pattern that is suitable in making sword blades.

Wootz steel the very fine steel made in ancient India and it has a common name called “wook.” It has the same type of material as Damascus steel.

The varieties of steel make it much useful for various purposes. Truly, the value of this alloy is undeniably important.