Choosing the Right Materials: Facts About Steel

May 16, 2018

When you think of metalworking, the metal you probably think of is steel. But how much do you really know about steel? Here are some fun facts about this versatile metal that may surprise you.

1. There Are Thousands of Grades of Steel

It’s true. Different types of steel alloys and grades of steel number in the thousands. It’s actually hard to say exactly how many types there are, although the World Steel Association says that there are over 3,500 different steel grades.

2. Steel Is the Most Recycled Material in the World

You might have guessed plastic, right? After all, it’s not girders you’re throwing into those bins you drag out to the curb every week. However, since most steel is magnetic, it is quite easy to separate it from other solid waste and recycle it into another useful function. Furthermore, you can use and reuse steel again and again with little effect on its chemical properties. Steel is about as sustainable a material as you can get.

Steel recycling is extremely successful both in the United States and the world, with 73 million metric tons of ferrous scrap recycled in the United States in 2014.

3. Stainless Steel Is Not Completely Rust-Proof

The primary attraction of stainless steel is that it resists rust in a way that other steel cannot. What actually happens, though, is that the high concentration of chromium in stainless steel essentially “takes the bullet” for the steel. It bonds with the oxygen that attacks the steel so that the metal underneath, which would combine with the oxygen to form rust, doesn’t have to.

That being said, if something removed the layer of chromium, it would then leave the steel vulnerable to corrosion from oxygen exposure.

4. America’s Steel Scrap Comes Largely From Manufacturing and Industrial Plants

This one you might have guessed. Manufacturing plants and industrial plants produce a lot of metal. While we make an effort to perform all of our metalworking processes at Fairlawn Tool as efficiently as possible, there’s still plenty of metal scrap left over. Fortunately, it is extremely recyclable, as mentioned, and as a result, almost half the country’s metal scrap supply comes from manufacturing and industrial applications. That usually amounts to more than 35 million tons of recycled metal scrap per year.

5. Steel Is One of the Toughest Substances There Is

There’s a reason so many important parts in so many industries are made out of steel. Steel has tremendous strength and durability, is highly temperature-resistant and can stand up to serious impacts. From automobiles to washing machines, products built with steel are built to last.

For more information about the wonder material known as steel or for information on how our many effective metalworking processes can turn steel into just the parts you need for your business, contact Fairlawn Tool online today. For more information on our full-service metal fabrication capabilities, feel free to explore our site.

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