Without a doubt, steel is one of the most used materials in different sectors due to its extraordinary qualities. In this post we will discover 10 curious facts about steel that you may not know. We begin.

1. What is steel?

The steel is based on a alloy whose main compound is iron (98%) along with the carbon. Being an alloy, it is not considered a pure substance, however, it has magnificent properties. If you add chrome or nickel, different types of steel with more specific qualities are obtained.

2. Origin of steel

La history of steel It dates back to 2000 years BC. C. when humans discovered the smelting of minerals and metals. The ancient cultures of India and China also play an important role in the production of steel, since steel agricultural tools have been discovered dating between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries AD. C. and Damascus swords from the s. III a. C. made of steel wootz.

Already in the XNUMXth century, Henry Bessemer invented air blowing to make steel. Later, with the arrival of the world wars and the arms industry, steel experienced its greatest expansion and development. Furthermore, on Earth it is one of the most abundant metals, even a 5% of the earth's crust It is composed of this material.

3. Possibilities of use

Steel is present in all existing sectors. The industry It is one of the best known, along with the construction, but it also has great possibilities in the hospitality and farming. In addition, it is used in food for containers and for the preparation of of high resistance textiles.

4. Who are the largest steel producers?

El Chinese market leads steel production well it reached 50%. Japan also has a strong presence, along with India, Russia and the United States. It is a material with multiple qualities that favors its profitability and, therefore, is produced in many countries. Spain reaches a lower steel production, about 14 million tons in 2022, and its production is mainly located on the northern coast of the peninsula.

5. How is steel worked?

On our list of 10 curious facts about steel You cannot miss its manufacturing process. Steel is obtained from the smelting of 1500 degrees Celsius, a temperature that is difficult to achieve and which represents a certain complexity in the steel production process. For comparison, volcanic lava only reaches 1000ºC.

6. Types of steel

There are numerous types of steel around 3500 classes according to their finishes, alloys and ways of use. 75% of these variants have been researched and discovered in the last 20 years to achieve novel materials designed for high-tech processes such as the aerospace industry or robotic medicine. The most common is the stainless steel, which has at least 10% chromium and is very resistant. Another very common one is Galvanised steel, which has a layer of zinc and is used in furniture and infrastructure. Other types of steel are vitrified, enameled and porcelain.

7. Steel economy

The average cost of a kilo of steel is very economical, currently around €1.20 in Spainsame price as a loaf of bread. Curious, right? Plus, it's cheaper than plastic. It is also worth noting that this amount may vary according to the supply and demand situations that influence the final sales value in the market. It may also vary by country or area.

As for the price of the coils, it varies depending on the type required, finding the hot rolled coil for around €1100 (the most economical), the cold coil for €13 and the galvanized coils for around €500.

8. Extraordinary qualities

Some of the most notable properties of steel are these.

  • High electrical conductivity, which is why it is widely used in heating installations.
  • La steel density is 7850 kg/m³; contrasts with the 997 kg/m³ of water.
  • Great resistance, since it can be a thousand times stronger than iron.
  • Lightweight; Despite its resistance, this material is much lighter than others and is perfect for large constructions. In fact, if the Eiffel Tower were made of steel, it would weigh 4 times less.
  • Es elastic and malleable, allowing it to adapt to different shapes for different applications. Furthermore, it has good expansion capacity.

9. Steel is 100% recyclable

The marketing process includesseveral phases that are reflected below: steel recycling is one of curious facts about steel most unknown by many and, yet, it is one of the easiest materials to recycle. More of 60% of steel It is recycled at the end of its useful life. More than 700 tons of steel are recycled every minute. The useful life of steel is a minimum of 40 years, but can last up to 100, much longer than plastic. Furthermore, for every ton of steel, up to 400 kilos of slag can be produced, a used waste for construction, for example, to make cement.

10. How is the quality of steel checked?

A very simple trick to check the quality of a piece of steel is to make a magnetic test. When bringing a magnet close to steel, we must check its attractive force; If this strength is high, it means that the aluminum piece contains a higher percentage of iron and, therefore, the steel will be of poorer quality.

You can also check your resistance. Try scratching the piece with a wrench; If the steel is of quality, it will not suffer any damage thanks to its anti-corrosion properties.

These are some curious facts about steel. There is no doubt that it is a material with many properties, many of them unknown.

Visit the blog of Ferrostexar to discover more information and curiosities about steel.