Steel has been a driving force behind modern industrialisation and as we look forward into this century it appears as if it will continue to do so. With steel, manufacturers can create structural angles, universal beams, columns and all sorts of architectural feats. The usefulness in reinforcing the skeletal structure of a building like those used in infamous structures around the world like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or The Empire State Building in NYC, are insurmountable. As China and India exert their international influence, they will begin to become key players in the steel industry.
The steel industry has found innovative ways to create tons of steel and to turn that steel into different trends that can be used by the industry to build civilization changing structures from sea-faring vessels to machinery and great tools. Despite the world economic downturn and a massive slowdown of steel demand, there will be significant use for steel in the future as new technologies mean there are new uses for the metal.
The Indian steel industry for example has traditionally been strong and is forecasted to grow by 6% in 2015 – though as of late it has suffered, particularly in regards to stainless steel, as a result of cheap Chinese imports. The battle between the two will be a defining part of the future of the global steel industry. China currently has almost 50% of the world’s total steel demand, making it a huge force.
Of all the metals out there steel is considered environmentally safer, because unlike its counterparts, like iron, it won’t corrode, which would otherwise contaminant the water supply in the pipes of a plumbing network. In addition, you’ll find that metal is also recyclable. Okay, so it’s not biodegradable but it can be scrapped, melted or remoulded into something completely new.
As the environmental movement continues to hold a greater significance over the lobby makers in government, the steel industry has proven a solid model for efficiency. The industry has fortunately cut its energy consumption per tonne of steel produced by 60% over the past 50 years. However, in order to make significant strides in this area in the future, it is clear that new technology will need to be developed. Fortunately, steel has a great ability to be recycled and thus fits in nicely with the growing sustainability ethos.
As we get deeper into the 21st century, the future of the steel industry look bright, though not without its challenges. Steel will undoubtedly play a large role in the developed of new technologies related to energy and is thus something to watch for in the redistribution of power over the coming century.