Steel is the world's most important engineering and construction material. It is used in every aspect of our lives; in cars and construction products, refrigerators and washing machines, cargo ships and surgical scalpels. It can be recycled over and over again without loss of property.
Steel is not a single product. There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel with many different physical, chemical, and environmental properties.
Approximately 75% of modern steels have been developed in the past 20 years. If the Eiffel Tower were to be rebuilt today, the engineers would only need one-third of the steel that was originally used.
Modern cars are built with new steels that are stronger but up to 35% lighter than in the past.
Steel is an alloy made up of iron with typically a few tenths of a percent of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance compared to iron. So, steel is an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese and small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur, and oxygen.
Iron is made by removing oxygen and other impurities from iron ore. When iron is combined with carbon, recycled steel, and small amounts of other elements it becomes steel.
On the basis of chemical composition, steels can be grouped into three major classes: carbon steels, low-alloy steels, and high-alloy steels.
Carbon steel, composed simply of iron and carbon, accounts for 90% of steel production. Low alloy steel is alloyed with other elements, usually molybdenum, manganese, chromium, or nickel, in amounts of up to 10% by weight to improve the hardenability of thick sections.
Carbon Steels are often galvanized, through hot-dip or electroplating in zinc for protection against rust.
Carbon steel grades are stocked in round bar, flat bar, and steel plate. Carbon steel grades such as mild steel can be supplied flame cut from plate. Steel profiles can be cut to your required sizes and if required surface ground on thickness.