steel stairs and handrails

Steel – the backbone of industrial economies

Steelwork Engineering steelwork manufacturing

Iron and steel has been in production for many hundreds of years and from humble beginnings steel manufacturing is now the backbone of modern, industrial economies. It is now impossible to visualise a world without steel and whether it is used in machines, engines or construction, it has a presence is almost everything we use and make.

Versatility and strength of steel

Steel offers unparalleled strength and versatility. The strength-to-weight ratio of steel and its ability to be recycled into new products has helped to make steel the ultimate future-proof product and one that is already playing a crucial role in the circular economy’s development.

Structural steel is so tough because it is an alloy of iron and other materials which have had the majority of carbon extracted. Steel needs to be strong and as such is available in varying grades, each of which has its own specific chemical composition and properties, designed to meet the requirements of different applications.

Nowadays steel is made using two major processes: basic oxygen steelmaking and electric arc furnace manufacturing. Converters (modern furnaces) have the capability to take up to 350 tonnes of iron ore, coking coal and steel scrap before converting it into steel in just 15 minutes or so. Electric arc furnaces pass a powerful electric current through cold scrap metal; with modern electric arc furnaces having the capability to make up to 150 tonnes of steel at a time.

Molten steel has to be allowed to solidify into basic shapes – slabs, billets or blooms – before it is rolled or formed into finished products. Continuous casting machines are used to draw steel downwards from a mould where it can be automatically cut into the lengths required. To change the shape of a material with the strength of steel, the thickness must be reduced; resulting in flat products or long produces.

Despite the fact that steel has been in production for many hundreds of years, the production process continues to develop and evolve in an effort to reduce costs and minimise any impact upon the environment.

Steel construction services provided by Steelwork Engineering

Here at Steelwork Engineering all of the steelwork we use is manufactured to the highest standards and to meet CE Marking legislation, to enable us to provide our clients with strong, durable products. If you would like to find out more about the benefits of using structural steel, or to discuss your requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.