Steel is one of the most common and highly used materials in the world. It is an alloy whose invention has changed the way in most industries work, from construction to fashion.
People rely on it for their housing, transport supplies, everyday tool and machines, energy production, as well as food and water supplies. Nearly everything around us is made of steel or contains parts made of steel.
Steels are alloys of iron – which means that they are made up of a combination of different metals in some very specific conditions and quantities. They are moulded with multiple other metals and elements in small amounts to create desired properties such as stiffness, strength and ductility. This not only makes them more useful, but also provides a wide range of steels depending on how they are going to be put to use. As you can see, this makes them an incredibly versatile innovation.
However, the steel industry plays an essential role in the sustenance of a green economy as well.
- Steel is one of the main materials used to provide solutions for clean energy delivery. It is an essential part of wind power generation – windmills are made of iron alloys. Every single part of a wind turbine is made of iron and steel.
- Steel is recyclable and its life cycle is endless. This makes is nearly a permanent resource for people. Recycling helps maintain a green economy by conserving valuable resources and preventing wastage of useful materials.
- With regards to water conservation, steel plants can recycle and reuse almost 98% of their water using advanced technology.
- Besides, 98% of the raw materials used for making crude steel are also converted to products and by-products. Steel industry has a zero-waste goal. Some companies even report a 99% rate of co-products utilisation and recycling.
- In the areas of construction of structures, steelmakers around the world offer more intelligent steel construction solutions for energy-efficient and low-carbon-neutral buildings. Plus, such steel solutions will also improve affordability and make construction faster, safer and less noisy.
- Apart from this, obsolete structures such as warehouses and train stations can be converted into modern day workspaces, buildings, and so on, thus facilitating recyclability, preventing wastage of resources and saving costs.
- There have been innovations in design and development of novel high-strength steels, improving many industries including automobiles. This has the capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 70%.