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Steel is the world's most important engineering and construction material. It is used in every aspect of our lives; in cars and construction products, refrigerators and washing machines, cargo ships and surgical scalpels. It can be recycled over and over again without loss of property.
What is steel ？
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese and small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen. Steel is the world's most important engineering and construction material. It is used in every aspect of our lives; in cars and construction products, refrigerators and washing machines, cargo ships and surgical scalpels.
How many types of steel are there ?
Steel is not a single product. There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel with many different physical, chemical, and environmental properties.
Approximately 75% of modern steels have been developed in the past 20 years. If the Eiffel Tower were to be rebuilt today, the engineers would only need one-third of the steel that was originally used.
Modern cars are built with new steels that are stronger but up to 35% lighter than in the past.
How much steel products in a year?
World crude steel production reached 1,621 million tonnes (Mt) in 2015. In 2014, 1,670 million tonnes (Mt) of steel were produced.
Is steel environmentally friendly and sustainable?
Steel is very friendly to the environment. It is completely recyclable, possesses great durability, and, compared to other materials, requires relatively low amounts of energy to produce. Innovative lightweight steel construction (such as in automobile and rail vehicle construction) help to save energy and resources. The steel industry has made immense efforts to limit environmental pollution in the last decades. Producing one tonne of steel today requires just 40% of the energy it did in 1960. Dust emissions have been reduced by even more.
Who invented steel ?
It is not known who produced the first steel. Since 200 BC, many cultures have produced steel in one form or another. A British inventor, Henry Bessemer, is generally credited with the invention of the first technique to mass produce steel in the mid 1850s. Steel is still produced using technology based on the Bessemer Process of blowing air through molten pig iron to oxidise the material and separate impurities.
Why does steel rust ?
Many elements and materials go through chemical reactions with other elements. When steel comes into contact with water and oxygen there is a chemical reaction and the steel begins to revert to its original form - iron oxide.