Steel is what is classified as an alloy metal, made from iron and other materials which primarily include carbon. Due to its high tensile strength, and low cost, steel is widely utilized in a number of different ways in this day and age, which includes the utilization of steel in the development of new technologies.

A significant number of industries rely on steel, including the use of steel in such things as buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, machines, appliances, and weapons.

#1 Steel Expands Significantly When Heated
All metals expand, at least to some degree when they are heated. Ultimately, they reach a point at which the expansion moves to liquefaction. Mercury, a metal, is actually in a liquid state at room temperature.

Steel has an expansion level that is significant relative to many other metals. This is likely to have application in a number of areas, including when it comes to the use of steel in green technologies. The ability of steel to expand, even with more incremental increases in ambient temperature levels, is being analyzed and considered by researchers and inventors in the realm of advancing green energy technologies in the 21st century.

The Eiffel Tower is a prime illustration of the expansion rate of steel when it heats up. The Eiffel Tower is actually a full six inches taller in the summer time than is the case throughout other times of the year.

Image courtesy of Saurav Rastogi

#2 Steel is Amazingly Eco-friendly
A growing segment of the population is becoming more concerned with protecting the environment. These individuals continue to look for ways in which they contribute to protecting, and even bettering, the world around us. In this regard, the use of steel is a means of making a positive contribution to the environment.

At first blush, you might not think of steel as being associated with “going green” or protecting the environment. The reality is, thanks to technological advancements at the end of the 20th and into the 21st centuries, steel has become one of the most eco-friendly products available.

What’s more, steel can be reused time and again. Unlike many other metals, steel doesn’t lose any of its strength through the recycling process. This has made steel one of the most recycled items in the world today.

The net effect of the technological advancements that have resulted in the massive amount of steel being recycled each year is profound. Due to this evolution, the energy required to produce steel has been cut by more than half in the past 30 years. This has resulted in a significant benefit to the environment through reduced pollution through the utilization of far less energy.

Image courtesy of American Public Power Association

#3 Steel is Universal — Literally
Not only is steel widely available and utilized on Earth, but scientists believe that it can be found throughout the universe. Indeed, scientists and researchers concluded that steel is the sixth most common element to be found in the universe.

Image courtesy of NASA

#4 Steel: It All Started Working on the Railroad
Steel is not only at the heart of many technological advances in the 21st century, it has been in such a position throughout history. Steel was one of the most important products needed to build the railroad system in the United State in the 1800s. The use of steel in building the rails resulted in one of the most significant advances in the commercial life of the United States, and the world.

Image courtesy of Tiago Gerkin

#5 Your Home: It’s a Steel Environment
You likely have not given this much thought, but your home is an environment that depends heavily on steel. Virtually any appliance in your residence has steel elements on it or in it. Indeed, the typical appliance in your home is likely to be composed of about 65% steel. This includes common appliances such as:

  • refrigerator
  • microwave
  • oven and stove
  • toaster

The reality is that even the computer you are reading this blog on contains a notable amount of steel. The typical computer is comprised of about 25% steel.

Recently, there has been a movement towards installing steel pipes in residences as well. In fact, there is an array of different derivations of steel used for residential, commercial, and industrial pipe installations. Further, technological advances in regard to residences are also utilizing steel, including utilizing steel in more effective insulation panels.

Image courtesy of Naomi Hébert

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.

 

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