Things You Never Knew Steel Was Used For
Steel is used in thousands of industries around the world and it is also the most-widely-used and most-recycled metal material. Steel is a mixture of several metals, which is called an alloy, but it is mostly composed of iron, but it is harder and stronger than iron. The metal's combination of high strength and a relatively low production cost allows steel to be used in countless products.
Sheet metal of iron and other materials with high magnetic permeability, also known as laminated steel cores, has applications in transformers and electric machines. Historically, an important use of sheet metal was in plate armor worn by cavalry, and sheet metal continues to have many decorative uses.
The use of steel can be broken down into five different sectors, construction, transportation, energy, packaging and appliances and industry. Construction is by far the industry leader in steel usage. Steel structures are built quickly and relatively inexpensively, making it a convenient choice for projects large and small. Steel, in its various forms and alloys, can be designed to meet the requirements of unique projects allowing it to be incorporated into almost all types of infrastructure environments.
The development of efficient steel production techniques at the end of the 20th century contributed to the advent of the high-rise building. Many famous historical structures, such as Empire State Building, contain steel as a primary construction material.
The next sector is the travel and transportation industry. Over half the weight of the average car comes from steel, in the form of parts like engines, transmissions, wheels and car bodies. It is also used to manufacture jet engine parts, anchor chains for ships and submarines, and the undercarriages of airplanes. Sheet steel specifically is used for car bodies, airplane wings, medical tables, roofs for buildings (architecture) and many other applications.
Steel is utilized in the energy industry as well. All segments of the energy sector, including nuclear, wind power, electric and natural gas, demand steel for infrastructure. Pipelines, wind turbines, gas wells and transformer cores all use steel in their basic makeup. Steel is also used for resource extraction, such as in offshore platforms, earth-moving and quarrying equipment, cranes and fork-lifts.
Using steel as a method for storage has been around for over 200 years. This type of packaging protects goods from water, air and light exposure, and is fully recyclable. It also allows for high-speed filling and lightweight, easy to open packaging. The majority of steel packaging goes towards food and beverage containers, aerosols, closures (e.g. bottle caps), and paint, chemical and household cleaner containers.
About 75% of the weight of typical household appliances comes from steel. It is found in appliances like fridges, washing machines, ovens, microwaves, and sinks.
As you can see, there isn’t much in our industrialized world that isn’t touched by steel in either the form of sheet steel or structural steel. It is a very important manufacturing material in which steel distributors keep in steady supply.