Time: 2019-05-21 From: Dahezhongbang (Xiamen) Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.


Steel is one of the most common building materials in use today. Yet, there are a lot of things about steel that you may not know. From the origins of steel to the amount recycled, here is a list of 100 fun facts about steel that you can learn and impress your friends with.

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1. Millions of tons of iron and steel are diverted from the waste stream to the recycling stream due to steel’s magnetic properties that make it the easiest material to separate from the solid waste stream.
2. Almost 69 percent of all steel is recycled in North America each year – more than paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass combined. North America’s average recycling rate has been in excess of 60 percent since 1970.
3. More than 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year in North America.
4. For every ton of steel recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.
5. Steel products can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength.
6. Recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power about 18 million households for a year.
7. When you buy steel, you’re always buying recycled.
8. More than 95 percent of the water used for making steel in North America is now recycled.
9. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the steel companies in North America have invested more than $7.5 billion in capital equipment for the control of water and air pollution and the treatment of solid waste.
10. Since World War II, the North American steel industry has reduced its energy intensity by 60 percent. This conservation of energy has also contributed to a significant reduction in the generation of carbon dioxide.
11. The North American steel industry has achieved a 90 percent reduction in the discharge of air and water emissions versus 10 years ago.
12. The amount of energy needed to produce a ton of steel has been reduced by 34 percent since 1972.
13. $10 billion has been invested in creating a New Steel that is better for the environment.
14. Steel parts are more dent-resistant and are up to 30 percent stronger than they were a decade ago.
15. More than 14 million cars in North America were recycled in 2006.
16. In 2006, the steel industry recycled enough steel from old cars to produce nearly 13.5 million new ones.
17. The first steel-made automobile was introduced in 1918.
18. A steel beam is placed inside car doors to better protect passengers in side-impact collisions.
19. Steel door latches help keep your car’s doors closed during a crash.
20. Your car’s safety buckles (seat belts) are made with steel.
21. A car’s structure, the safety cage, is made from steel.
22. An ULSAB Advanced Vehicle Concept is light yet safe, and it means better gas mileage and savings at the pump.
23. Over half of all the types of steel present in today’s automobiles did not even exist 10 years ago.
24. One scrapped car produces more steel than four steel utility poles.
25. 95 percent of the steel taken from commercial construction demolition sites was recycled and made into new steel products in 2002.
26. 100 percent of your steel roof can be recycled. Asphalt roofs – zero percent.
27. It takes more than 40 trees to build a wood-framed home. A steel-framed home—eight recycled cars.
28. Steel framing contains more than 28 percent recycled steel and is completely recyclable.
29. Steel roofs provide your family with excellent protection against wind, water, snow, ice, and fire, and are even hail-resistant.
30. Asphalt roofs actually weigh twice as much as steel roofs.
31. Steel roofs can last over 50 years, while traditional roofs last only 17 years.
32. Steel doors are fireproof.
33. Steel doors can provide up to 10 times more protection against intruders than wooden doors.
34. Steel-framed homes won’t crack, warp, twist, rot, split, or settle.
35. Steel-framed homes are impervious to termites.
36. 83,000 tons of steel was needed for the Golden Gate Bridge. Only half of that would be needed now.
37. Steel was first used for skyscrapers in 1883.
38. The New Steel makes it possible to build a high-rise building with at least 3 percent less steel than 20 years ago.
39. Steel food cans are the most recycled food package.
40. 24,000 community recycling programs in North America collect steel cans.
41. Canned food is as nutritious as its fresh and frozen counterparts upon preparation.
42. Canned goods do not contain preservatives.
43. Canned foods are the most tamper-resistant food packaging option available today.
44. 600 steel cans or tin cans are recycled every second.
45. More than 1,500 food items come in steel cans.
46. 90 percent of retired appliances are driven to recycling centers in North America for their steel.
47. All 99 pounds of steel in the average major appliance can be recycled to make new steel products.
48. Appliance motors are made from steel.
49. Steel hinges on refrigerators can support more than 140 pounds of door weight without sagging.
50. Steel comprises approximately 75 percent of all major appliances.
51. Average world steel use per capita has steadily increased from 150kg in 2001 to 217 kg in 2014, making the world more prosperous.
52. Steel is used in every important industry; energy, construction, automotive and transportation, infrastructure, packaging, and machinery.
53. The steel industry is the second biggest industry in the world after oil and gas with an estimated global turnover of 900 billion USD.
54. By 2050, steel use is projected to increase to be 1.5 times higher than present levels in order to meet the needs of our growing population.
55. The housing and construction sector is the largest consumer of steel today, using around 50% of steel produced.
56. The steel industry publishes data on production, demand, and trade at national and global levels, which is used for analyzing economic performance and making forecasts.
57. Steel offers the most economic and the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material.
58. Steel buildings are designed to be easy to assemble and disassemble, ensuring big environmental savings.
59. Steel bridges are four to eight times lighter than those built from concrete.
60. New lightweight steel makes applications lighter and more flexible while retaining the required high strength.
61. Modern steel products have never been more sophisticated. From smart car designs to high-tech computers, from cutting edge medical equipment to state-of-the-art satellites.
62. Architects can create any shape or span they desire and steel structures can be designed to suit their innovative designs.
63. Over 75% of the steel in use today did not exist 20 years ago.
64. Steel is the main material used in delivering renewable energy: solar, tidal, and wind.
65. Carbon nanotubes were used in a Damascus steel sword from the 17th century. It is thought that the nanotubes along with nanowires give the legendary steel its strength.
66. Because of Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Cold War Nuclear Testing, steel used for radioactive-sensitive purposes must be harvested from pre-WWII naval vessels. Modern steel production is all tainted with radioactivity.
67. In 1880, an Australian outlaw and his gang smithed steel suits out of steel and held off the Victorian Police with their bulletproof armor.
68. There exists a battleship named USS New York, which was built with 24 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center to commemorate the victims of 9/11.
69. The US recycles enough steel to build 25 Eiffel Towers and enough copper for 71 Statues of Liberty each day.
70. Japan Steel Works is the only plant in the world capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor’s containment vessel from a single 600-ton ingot. They also still make traditional samurai swords.
71. Because steel and iron expand when heated, the Eiffel Tower is about six inches taller in the summer than in the winter.
72. Steel doors are fireproof.
73. Steel is an alloy of iron with small amounts of other elements, most commonly carbon. The earliest known examples of steel were in weapons and ironware dating back to 1,800 BC.
74. Steel can be 1,000 times as strong as iron.
75. The weight of crude steel made in the world in 2013 was about equal to 160,000 Eiffel Towers.
76. Stainless steel contains at least 11 percent chromium, often combined with nickel, to resist corrosion. It was developed on an industrial scale in Sheffield by Harry Brearley 100 years ago.
77. The amount of steel in use in the world today is equal to about 500lb per person on earth.
78. “If you had teeth of steel, you could eat iron coconuts.” (Proverb in Senegal).
79. All steel is made from iron. Many people believe steel is a material unto itself and it is produced into the steel beams that hold up homes or is made into cars. Actually, 90% of all metals refined are made of iron. Most of it is crafted into steel.
80. 2.2 million tons were used to create packaging and containers which is equal to the amount of steel produced in the U.S. in 2012.
81. Steel has been recycled for over 150 years. Recycling for steel such as angle iron has been occurring since the 1800s.
82. Steel is 100% recyclable.
83. It is cheaper to recycle steel than mine iron ore.
84. Steel manufacturing waste is reduced by reducing thickness.
85. Much of recovered steel comes from the construction and transportation industries.
86. Most of the steel recovered from the World Trade Center after 9/11 was recycled.
87. An integrated steel plant contains three installations: the blast furnace, the steel furnaces, and the rolling mills. The blast furnace converts iron ore to pig iron; the steel furnaces convert the pig iron into steel; and the rolling mills shape the steel into bars, slabs, or sheets.
88. The top three steel producers in the world are China, the United States, and Japan (in that order).
89. Stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant type of steel available. It contains at least 12-30% chromium and also some nickel. The common ratio is 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
90. By 2003, there were about 160 steel mills. Most of them were so-called mini-mills: scrap recycling plants that account for about half of steel production in the U.S.
91. It was discovered in the 1700s that, by reducing the impurities and adding carbon to wrought iron, a metal alloy called steel is produced.
92. An Englishman named Henry Bessemer is credited for creating a process in 1855 to produce inexpensive steel by using forced cold air to remove silicon, carbon, and other impurities from iron and producing structural steel.
93. The first large-scale use of steel in construction was the laying of railroads.
94. The first steel bridge was the Eads Bridge, a railroad bridge built in St. Louis in 1874.
95. Steel naturally rusts from a chemical reaction when exposed to oxygen and water. To prevent rusting, steel is often coated or painted with a material, using a process such as galvanization, which coats steel with zinc.
96. Rusting of steel slows down or even stops entirely when an electrical current is passing through steel. This is known as Cathodic Protection and is used for pipelines, ships, and steel in concrete.
97. Stainless steel is a non-magnetic material, in most cases. However, this is not true for all types of stainless steel. Stainless steel’s magnetic properties depend on its microstructure. Stainless steel in the ferritic and martensitic groups is ferromagnetic because it contains lower amounts of nickel and carbon.
98. Many reputable manufacturers produce stainless steel soap, which is essentially a piece of stainless steel in the shape of a soap bar. While stainless steel soap does not kill germs or other bacteria like regular soap would, stainless steel soap can neutralize strong odors on the hands.
99. Stainless steel clothing is thermal and radiation resistant, so it is often used in the electrical and textiles industries.
100. Stainless steel thread is a key component in the tech industry and is often used in touchscreen gloves. Capacitive touchscreens can detect the presence of an electrically conductive object (such as a finger). Stainless steel gloves conduct electricity in a way that mimics a finger’s electrical current.

Steel can honestly be said to have built the world we live in. Steel is a highly sustainable material that can be reused and recycled endlessly. Building and manufacturing with steel decreases mining and smelting processes, keeping the air clean and the landfills emptier.

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