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23 Things You Didn’t Know About Steel

As specialist steel fabricators, we have substantial knowledge about the material of steel. It’s an incredibly popular material for a variety of projects, from forming the framework of a house, to being used for stairs, balconies and many other functions. Here are 23 things that you probably didn’t know about steel:

1. It is estimated that steel is up to 1,000 times stronger than iron when in its purest form.

2. Steel is one of the few metals that can be recycled from its purest form without losing any of its original strength.

3. The main material used in generating renewable energies such as solar, hydro and wind power is steel.

4. The steel industry generates an estimated £900 billion turnover each year, which means that it is the second largest industry in the world; oil and gas being the largest.

5. Over two million people are currently employed in the steel industry worldwide, and this figure is constantly growing as the demand for steel fabricators and other specialists increase.

6. Only 31,000 of those two million are employed in the UK.

7. Around 75% of all major appliances are made of steel, and 25% of an average computer is made purely from steel.

8. The Eiffel Tower is primarily made of iron and steel, which are both materials that expand when heated. This means that this grand structure can grow to up to 6-inches taller during the warmer months.

9. In 1918, the first steel made-car was introduced.

10. To build a wooden frame for an average UK home, it can take up the resources of more than 40 trees. If the same frame is built from steel, however, it can be made from just eight recycled cars!

11. The innovations in the steel industry over the last ten years means that the ‘new steel’ is up to 30% stronger than ever before.

12. Within the ‘new steel’ creations, lightweight alternatives have also been created with a greater level of flexibility, without compromising on strength.

13. The most substantial consumer of steel is the housing and construction sector, which uses around 50% of all steel produced globally.

14. Steel is actually made from refined iron, as most metals are. The majority of iron is crafted into steel.

15. It is easier and cheaper to recycle steel than it is to mine new iron ore.

16. China is the top producer of steel in the world, followed by the United States and then Japan. In 2015, China produced 804 million tonnes, while the UK only produced 11 million.

17. Steel was first discovered in the 1700s. They found that by reducing the impurities and adding carbon to wrought iron, they could create the metal alloy that we know as steel.

18. The first steel bridge was built in 1874 in St. Louis; it is called the Eads Bridge.

19. If all of the steel in the world today was divided up by all of the people on the earth today, each person would have around 500lb of steel each.

20. According to the World Steel Association, there are more than 3,500 grades of steel, each possessing its own unique environmental, chemical and physical properties. This is part of the reason why steel is so versatile and diverse.

21. Stainless steel soap bars became popular in the early 2000s because although the unique bar did not kill germs or bacteria, it has the properties to neutralise strong odours such as garlic on the hands.

22. Stainless steel gained its name largely from the fact that it is the most corrosion-resistant type of steel available today.

23. More than 50% of all products in the world come from steel fabrication processes from bridges, staircases and balconies to boats, aircrafts, office blocks and many other things (including space stations)!

If you’re in need of structural steelwork, Devon, get in touch with us today and see how we can help you through the designing, manufacturing and installation of your next project!