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Steel is an alloy

Steel is an alloy which mostly consists of iron together with carbon contents which vary in percentages depending on the grade of the steel. Carbon element is the most common and cheap alloying element for iron, though other materials are used to harden iron preventing it from dislocating. Though steel there have been fabricated by various ineffective methods over the years; it become more cost effective in the 19th century when mass production methods started to be used. The improved of producing steel for example “basic oxygen steelmaking” highly lowed production cost and at the same time increased the quality of steel.

Presently, steel is among the most widespread resources in the whole world, and it being used extensively as a main constituent in buildings, automobiles, tools and other appliances. In modern world steel is basically identified by different grades of steel which are defined using different organizations standards. (Michael & David, 1992) Contemporary steel Currently steels are being made with different combinations of alloy materials so that they can fulfil the many different purposes of steel being used today. However, carbon steel which is made up of carbon and iron still account for about 90% of total steel being produced in the world.

Alloy steel and stainless steel are some of steel being used currently. Tool steel, is other modern steel which is being produced currently. More type of steel also exists and they keep on being modified to cater for new demands that come up. (Michael & David, 1992) Uses of steel Steel is commonly classified according to the amount of carbon present, for example, high –carbon steel is used of servicing dies and making of cutting tools because the high-carbon steel is highly hard and it is brittleness. Depending on the type of steel, it is used in different places and in different way according to the requirements of the products being made.

(Michael & David, 1992) Industrial use of steel Steel is used in many industries around the world in various different ways depending on the requirements of the industry. Industrial use of steel, mainly utilizes tool steel in various functions. Many industries, especially transport industry highly uses steel in modern world in different ways that will be underlined below. (Michael & David, 1992) Uses of steel in buildings Currently, all modern building being built contains steel in their structure, even those buildings that which are built using concrete.

A lot of innovative building designs make use of the versatility provided by steel, for example steel frames which are made form “H” or “I” segments, or they can be produced by use of tubular steel, which are placed below the building. Strength of provided by steel ensures large section to be spanned without the requiring to use intrusive columns. Buildings such as modern theatres are using this method in their buildings. In addition concretes that is used in the buildings needs to be reinforced with steel bars to give it the required strength. (Warren, 2001) However, uses of steel in building are more than providing building structures.

Sheets of steel which are stainless or pre-painted can be used to provide inexpensive wall cladding on the buildings and also on the roofs. Steel sheets are being used to raise floors and phoney ceilings that are used in modern buildings especially meant for offices by providing versatile systems for partitioning. More so steel framed houses have been developed which are more environmental friendly, than those provided by timber. Uses of steel in railways Over the years steel has been used in building rail lines all over the world, different grade of stainless steel have been used in rail building.

Steel that used in building rail lines are normally required to be of high quality to be able to maintain high integrity of the rail line structure in order to withstand the environment and resist corrosion. Railway use stainless steel since it is easy to fabricate and at the same time resists corrosion, and provides excellent mechanical properties. Example of steel used in railways include, austenitic steel which is appropriate for gentle services, and it is used in building of railways carriages, stainless steel is used for fabricating freight wagons.

In addition, stainless steel is currently also being used in extensive in construction and building of railway buildings. Specifically steel has been used in underground railway stations because of its fire resistant. (Warren, 2001) Use of steel in automobile industry Currently, the automobile industry is among the larges industries in the world, the demand of vehicles have continued to increase and steel has extensively been used in this industry in building automobile structures and bodies of vehicle. Steel provides a strong structure on which the body of the vehicle is built one.

At the same time alloy steel provides beautiful vehicle bodies of vehicle. Chromium steel is also highly used in automobile industry because it is hard, strong and elastic. At the same time the chromium-vanadium steel variety is also used in the industry because of it properties. Nickel steel is highly used in making of alloys because of its nonmagnetic properties and it is highly suitable for making of armour plates. The plates are used in different military vehicle which and other vehicles which needs high level of security. Also the aviation industry utilizes the steel in airplane manufacturing. (Warren, 2001)

Use of steel in ship industry Tankers and hauls of ships and ferries are manufactured from steel which have a special quality. The ship structure is also fabricated from steel sections; in addition the decks of the ship forming the bulkheads and the ship walls are also manufactured from steel. More the engine of the ship is fabricated using various components of steel. When building the ship the derricks and also the gantries are normally fabricated from steel sections, whereas the rope of the ship is woven from steel wire. Other part of the ship which is made from steel includes anchor chains which are created from steel bars.

Steel in oil refinery Oil refinery, is an important industry in the world that highly utilizes steel, oil rigs are extensively fabricated using steel structures, the oil rigs are made using steel plates. The steel used to make these oil rigs are able to withstand the hostile and stresses conditions of different regions. The drilling oil rigs and tubes which encase the drills and also the pipes that are used to in drilling oil are fabricated from steel. (Carr & Taplin, 1962) Use of steel in domestic appliances Domestic appliances which are known as “white goods” heavily rely on steel.

Bodies of domestic appliances are coated using steel sheet. In situations where hygienic is significant, for example, in washing machines drums or the inside of dishwashers, the coating sheets used are fabricated from stainless steel. In electrical domestic appliances, the motors present are made from unique steel fabricated using silicon to give the domestic appliances needed electrical properties. However, steel is not only used in domestic appliances, it is also used in other “high tech” appliances for example video and computer relies on steel to provide a sheet of robust casing.

(Lee, 2000) For a long time stainless steel have been used in domestic appliances for its ability to, provide hygienic property, low cost and easy cleaning. Most of cutlery and also kitchen wares currently are produced from stainless. Good examples of kitchen ware made are saucepans, kettles and kitchen sinks. Other appliances include furniture, beds and many cans. (Lee, 2000) Steel use in engineering purposes Many structures in engineering use steel in its formations. Steel bars are normally fabricated for the purposes of engineering.

Steel bars are made in different sizes, shapes and qualities to suit the different engineering purposes. Lead is normally added to steel in making them easier to use them and save time and energy. This type of steel are termed as free cutting which can be found on electrical appliances and mechanical goods. Gears, electrical motors and engines are some of the examples of engineering products made from steel. (Lee, 2000) Conclusion Steel remains important in today world as it is used in different industries to make different appliances and products which are useful in everyday use.

For the years steel has been produced and its quality and production improved. Today, high quality and cheaper steel is being produced in different parts of world. The uses of steel as mention are many and steel will continue to be useful in many different ways.


Carr, J. C. & Taplin. W (1962): History of the British Steel Industry Harvard University Press, Harukiyu, H (1996); The Steel Industry in Japan: A Comparison with Britain; Retrieved from; www. questia. com King, P. W (2003): The Cartel in Ore grounds Iron: trading in the raw material for steel during the eighteenth century’ Journal of Industrial History

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