Everyone has heard of steel, we all know that it is metal and that it is hard and silver in colour. But after that most people probably don’t know very much. Where does it come from, is it always stainless and how does it get from the ground (if indeed that is where it comes from) and into our lives? Quite simply, steel is a substance that we have come to see, expect and accept in our daily lives. We are so familiar with it that we take it for granted and never ask the questions that we should unpack its origins and uses. With this in mind, here are five things you probably never knew about this useful material.
It is very versatile
Steel is used in a wide variety of places because it is so versatile. It forms the skeletons of most buildings and stadiums, it is used in appliances, it is in vehicles, it is almost everywhere. In order to turn raw steel into a product, it needs to be worked. The process of creating something with this material is complicated and it can involve a range of things including welding, cutting or bending. People who perform this process are known as steel fabricators Campbellfield or other similar areas should have a few companies performing these tasks. Working the steel is not something you would want to try yourself, so, if this is a situation that you find yourself in, then rather consult with an expert.
Is it on the periodic table?
Steel is not an element that you would find on the periodic table. Rather steel is created when the iron is smelted, and the impurities are removed. Carbon is then added to the mix to form steel. In short, steel is approximately 99 percent iron and one percent carbon.
Where does it come from?
Because the production of steel is an industrial process it can be performed anywhere. Globally the largest producers of the material are China, Japan, America, and India. It is interesting to note that while the aforementioned countries are the biggest producers of steel, they are not the biggest miners or iron – that honour falls to Australia which is the biggest miner of the substance globally. South Africa and Brazil are also significant producers of the substance.
Does it rust?
Rust is what happens when the iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture for a prolonged period. Rust, which is also known as iron oxide can affect iron or alloys that contain iron – and steel is something that falls into this category of business.
Is stainless steel different from ordinary steel?
The answer to this question is yes. Stainless steel is not just a blend of iron and carbon, it also has significant amounts of chromium mixed into the alloy as well. By definition, stainless steel has a minimum quantity of 10.5 percent Chromium and a maximum of 1.2 percent carbon. The addition of the Chromium to the alloy makes it more resistant to corrosion and rust.