5 Things You Didn’t Know About Steel

Stainless Steel Sheet, Plate, Strip, Coil, Circle. Photograph by Jatinsanghvi.

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Other elements are added to produce alloys with desired properties. For example manganese is added to make Mangalloy, an alloy that has high impact strength and resists abrasion. While iron is soft and easily corroded, steel is hard and resist rust. Because of these qualities, steel is used to make everything from cars, household appliances, and power generators to newspaper clips and thumb tacks. It’s among the world’s most important metals.

Iron makes up about 4.7% of the planet’s crust, where it exists mainly in the form of oxides. Due to its inferior attributes, it’s converted to steel, which is stronger and also the cheapest of all metals.

Below are some of the things you never knew about steel:

1. Coining of the term ‘stainless’

The term ‘stainless’ was first coined when steel was discovered to produce cutlery applications that were rust-resistant. Before the coining of this period, stainless steel has been known as Staybrite. Today, another name given to stainless steel is Inox. This term was derived from a French expression called ‘acier inoxydable,’ which actually means ‘non-oxidized steel.’

2. Making Of Steel

Steel production is central to many countries’ industrial policy, and many countries have attempted to protect their markets from steel imports. Throughout the 18th century, Sweden was the principal manufacturer. For the most part of the 19th century, most companies from the US started producing steel in large quantities. After 1980, Russia surpassed it. At the onset of the 21st century, China took over as the world’s leading producer of Steel.

3. Stainless steel is used to make brewing equipment

Stainless steel is used to make brewing gear since it does not release any off-flavors. Just in case you don’t know, beer corrodes manufacturing lines and tanks because it’s acidic in character. It also contains micro-organisms that corrode and foul metals. Stainless steel resists corrosion, so it does not create off-flavors brought on by compounds that are corrosive.

4. Steel has a high melting point

Blacksmiths forgo melting steel since it’s among those metals with a high melting point. That is why they find it really hard to work with steel. The heat that’s used to oxidize or melt steel is deep inside the center of coal. Inside this area (the heart of the fire) is where the temperature climbs past 1500 degree Fahrenheit because a layer of coke and cinders surrounds the center. This layer keep the heat insulated as well as reflect it back into the heart.

5. Qualifications of steel as ‘stainless’

For steel to qualify as stainless, it must meet specific technical requirements. For example, the Code of Federal Regulations requires a minimum content of 10.5 percent chromium.

These are some of the things that you may not have known about steel; however there are many others. Always remember that around 60 percent of stainless steel folks use now is recycled.

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