When you hear the word "STEEL", you may think this word refers to a single type of metal. But actually, according to the World Steel Association, there are at least 3,500 different types (or grades) of steel. Also, did you know at least three-quarters of the products we know of as "steel" today have only been in existence for about two decades? Each generation of steel gets lighter and stronger than its predecessors, and advancements continue to be made daily. In this guest blog post, learn five fascinating facts you never knew about steel. By learning more about steel, you can better appreciate how this valuable alloy has contributed to our life today!
There are four major categories of steel.
According to the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI), the different components of steel place each type into one of four major categories. The four categories include these:
- Carbon. Carbon steel contains carbon in varying amounts ranging from low to high.
- Alloy. Steel that contains alloy makes it harder and stronger, especially in the presence of heat. Alloy materials can include copper, aluminum, nickel and others.
- Stainless. This category of steel includes products that contain at least 10.5 percent chromium content.
- Tool. Steel products used for making tools is especially hard and resistant to abrasion, bending or melting.
Stainless steel got its name from its resistance to rust.
According to Ken Research, the original name for the product known today as "stainless steel" was Staybrite. When manufacturers discovered that Staybrite was highly rust-resistant, the name was changed to "stainless". In France, stainless steel is often called Inox, which comes from the French phrase Acier Inoxydable (translation: "non-oxidized" steel).
Stainless steel is the best for brewing.
If you love beer, coffee, tea and other brewed beverages, chances are good that you think your favorite brews taste best when prepared in stainless steel equipment. This is because stainless steel doesn't interfere with the original flavor of what is being brewed. In other words, the steel itself does not change chemically in any way as a result of the brewing process.
Steel is one of the most frequently recycled products in the world.
Steel is incredibly easy to recycle and re-use. An estimated 80 million tons (or approximately 69 percent) of steel gets recycled in the United States each year. Steel can also be re-used an infinite number of times without losing its original strength. Not many products can claim the same.
All steel comes from iron.
An alloy is a combination of two or more melted components, one of which being a metal. Steel is an alloy of iron with the addition of carbon and (often) one or more additions such as copper or nickel. The use of alloys is generally preferable to pure metals because alloys have other properties, including superior strength or rust resistance.
Did we miss any fascinating steel facts? Let us know in the comments.
About the author: Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading steel tubing suppliers of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.
We thank you for your contribution, Jessica! If anyone else is also interested in construction related guest blogging for Harris, contact us. Feedback and questions welcome as always. Now go and impress your colleagues with your new knowledge about steel!