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Steel

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Steelisanalloyofironandotherelements,primarilycarbon,thatiswidely
usedinconstructionandotherapplicationsbecauseofitshightensile
strengthandlowcost.Steel'sbasemetalisiron,whichisabletotakeon
twocrystallineforms(allotropicforms),bodycenteredcubicandface
centeredcubic(FCC),dependingonitstemperature.Itistheinteractionof
thoseallotropeswiththealloyingelements,primarilycarbon,thatgives
steelandcastirontheirrangeofuniqueproperties.Inthebodycentred
cubicarrangement,thereisanironatominthecentreofeachcube,andin
thefacecentredcubic,thereisoneatthecenterofeachofthesixfacesof
thecube.Carbon,otherelements,andinclusionswithinironactas
hardeningagentsthatpreventthemovementofdislocationsthatotherwise
occurinthecrystallatticesofironatoms.

Thecarbonintypicalsteelalloysmaycontributeupto2.1%ofitsweight.
Varyingtheamountofalloyingelements,theirpresenceinthesteeleither
assoluteelements,orasprecipitatedphases,retardsthemovementofthose
Thesteelcableofacollierywinding
dislocationsthatmakeironcomparativelyductileandweak,andthus
tower
controlsitsqualitiessuchasthehardness,ductility,andtensilestrengthof
theresultingsteel.Steel'sstrengthcomparedtopureironisonlypossibleat
theexpenseofiron'sductility,ofwhichironhasanexcess.

Steelwasproducedinbloomeryfurnacesforthousandsofyears,butitsextensiveusebeganaftermoreefficient
productionmethodsweredevisedinthe17thcentury,withtheproductionofblistersteelandthencruciblesteel.
WiththeinventionoftheBessemerprocessinthemid19thcentury,aneweraofmassproducedsteelbegan.This
wasfollowedbySiemensMartinprocessandthenGilchristThomasprocessthatrefinedthequalityofsteel.With
theirintroductions,mildsteelreplacedwroughtiron.

Furtherrefinementsintheprocess,suchasbasicoxygensteelmaking(BOS),largelyreplacedearliermethodsby
furtherloweringthecostofproductionandincreasingthequalityoftheproduct.Today,steelisoneofthemost
commonmaterialsintheworld,withmorethan1.3billiontonsproducedannually.Itisamajorcomponentin
buildings,infrastructure,tools,ships,automobiles,machines,appliances,andweapons.Modernsteelisgenerally
identifiedbyvariousgradesdefinedbyassortedstandardsorganizations.

Contents
1 Definitionsandrelatedmaterials
2 Materialproperties
2.1 Heattreatment
3 Steelproduction
4 Historyofsteelmaking
4.1 Ancientsteel
4.2 WootzsteelandDamascussteel
4.3 Modernsteelmaking
4.3.1 Processesstartingfrombariron
4.3.2 Processesstartingfrompigiron
5 Steelindustry
6 Recycling
7 Contemporarysteel
7.1 Carbonsteels
7.2 Alloysteels
7.3 Standards
8 Uses
8.1 Historical
8.2 Longsteel
8.3 Flatcarbonsteel
8.4 Weatheringsteel(CORTEN)
8.5 Stainlesssteel
8.6 Lowbackgroundsteel
9 Seealso
10 References
10.1 Bibliography
11 Furtherreading
12 Externallinks

Definitionsandrelatedmaterials
ThenounsteeloriginatesfromtheProtoGermanicadjectivestahlijorstakhlijan(madeofsteel),whichisrelated
tostahlazorstahlij(standingfirm).[1]

Thecarboncontentofsteelisbetween0.002%and2.1%byweightforplainironcarbonalloys.Thesevaluesvary
dependingonalloyingelementssuchasmanganese,chromium,nickel,iron,tungsten,carbonandsoon.Basically,
steelisanironcarbonalloythatdoesnotundergoeutecticreaction.Incontrast,castirondoesundergoeutectic
reaction.Toolittlecarboncontentleaves(pure)ironquitesoft,ductile,andweak.Carboncontentshigherthan
thoseofsteelmakeanalloy,commonlycalledpigiron,thatisbrittle(notmalleable).Whileironalloyedwith
carboniscalledcarbonsteel,alloysteelissteeltowhichotheralloyingelementshavebeenintentionallyaddedto
modifythecharacteristicsofsteel.Commonalloyingelementsinclude:manganese,nickel,chromium,
molybdenum,boron,titanium,vanadium,tungsten,cobalt,andniobium.[2]Additionalelementsarealsoimportant
insteel:phosphorus,sulfur,silicon,andtracesofoxygen,nitrogen,andcopper,thataremostfrequentlyconsidered
undesirable.

Alloyswithahigherthan2.1%carboncontent,dependingonotherelementcontentandpossiblyonprocessing,
areknownascastiron.Castironisnotmalleableevenwhenhot,butitcanbeformedbycastingasithasalower
meltingpointthansteelandgoodcastabilityproperties.[2]Certaincompositionsofcastiron,whileretainingthe
economiesofmeltingandcasting,canbeheattreatedaftercastingtomakemalleableironorductileironobjects.
Steelisalsodistinguishablefromwroughtiron(nowlargelyobsolete),whichmaycontainasmallamountof
carbonbutlargeamountsofslag.

Materialproperties
IroniscommonlyfoundintheEarth'scrustintheformofanore,usuallyanironoxide,suchasmagnetite,
hematiteetc.Ironisextractedfromironorebyremovingtheoxygenthroughitscombinationwithapreferred
chemicalpartnersuchascarbonthatisthenlosttotheatmosphereascarbondioxide.Thisprocess,knownas
smelting,wasfirstappliedtometalswithlowermeltingpoints,suchastin,whichmeltsatabout250C(482F)
andcopper,whichmeltsatabout1,100C
(2,010F)andthecombination,bronze,
whichisliquidatlessthan1,083C
(1,981F).Incomparison,castironmeltsat
about1,375C(2,507F).[3]Small
quantitiesofironweresmeltedinancient
times,inthesolidstate,byheatingtheorein
acharcoalfireandthenweldingtheclumps
togetherwithahammerandintheprocess
squeezingouttheimpurities.Withcare,the
carboncontentcouldbecontrolledby
movingitaroundinthefire.Unlikecopper
andtin,liquidorsolidirondissolvescarbon
quitereadily.

Allofthesetemperaturescouldbereached
withancientmethodsusedsincetheBronze
Age.Sincetheoxidationrateofiron
increasesrapidlybeyond800C(1,470F),
itisimportantthatsmeltingtakeplaceina
lowoxygenenvironment.Smelting,using
carbontoreduceironoxides,resultsinan Ironcarbonphasediagram,showingtheconditionsnecessarytoform
alloy(pigiron)thatretainstoomuchcarbon differentphases
tobecalledsteel.[3]Theexcesscarbonand
otherimpuritiesareremovedinasubsequentstep.

Othermaterialsareoftenaddedtotheiron/carbonmixturetoproducesteelwithdesiredproperties.Nickeland
manganeseinsteeladdtoitstensilestrengthandmaketheausteniteformoftheironcarbonsolutionmorestable,
chromiumincreaseshardnessandmeltingtemperature,andvanadiumalsoincreaseshardnesswhilemakingitless
pronetometalfatigue.[4]

Toinhibitcorrosion,atleast11%chromiumisaddedtosteelsothatahardoxideformsonthemetalsurfacethisis
knownasstainlesssteel.Tungstenslowstheformationofcementite,keepingcarbonintheironmatrixand
allowingmartensitetopreferentiallyformatslowerquenchrates,resultinginhighspeedsteel.Ontheotherhand,
sulfur,nitrogen,andphosphorusareconsideredcontaminantsthatmakesteelmorebrittleandareremovedfrom
thesteelmeltduringprocessing.[4]

Thedensityofsteelvariesbasedonthealloyingconstituentsbutusuallyrangesbetween7,750and8,050kg/m3
(484and503lb/cuft),or7.75and8.05g/cm3(4.48and4.65oz/cuin).[5]

Eveninanarrowrangeofconcentrationsofmixturesofcarbonandironthatmakeasteel,anumberofdifferent
metallurgicalstructures,withverydifferentpropertiescanform.Understandingsuchpropertiesisessentialto
makingqualitysteel.Atroomtemperature,themoststableformofpureironisthebodycenteredcubic(BCC)
structurecalledalphaironoriron.Itisafairlysoftmetalthatcandissolveonlyasmallconcentrationofcarbon,
nomorethan0.005%at0C(32F)and0.021wt%at723C(1,333F).Theinclusionofcarboninalphaironis
calledferrite.At910Cpureirontransformsintoafacecenteredcubic(FCC)structure,calledgammaironor
iron.Theinclusionofcarboningammaironiscalledaustenite.ThemoreopenFCCstructureofaustenitecan
dissolveconsiderablymorecarbon,asmuchas2.1%[6](38timesthatofferrite)carbonat1,148C(2,098F),
whichreflectstheuppercarboncontentofsteel,beyondwhichiscastiron.[7]Whencarbonmovesoutofsolution
withironitformsaveryhard,butbrittlematerialcalledcementite(Fe3C).
Whensteelswithexactly0.8%carbon(knownasaeutectoidsteel),arecooled,theausteniticphase(FCC)ofthe
mixtureattemptstoreverttotheferritephase(BCC).ThecarbonnolongerfitswithintheFCCaustenitestructure,
resultinginanexcessofcarbon.Onewayforcarbontoleavetheausteniteisforittoprecipitateoutofsolutionas
cementite,leavingbehindasurroundingphaseofBCCironcalledferritewithasmallpercentageofcarbonin
solution.Thetwo,ferriteandcementite,precipitatesimultaneouslyproducingalayeredstructurecalledpearlite,
namedforitsresemblancetomotherofpearl.Inahypereutectoidcomposition(greaterthan0.8%carbon),the
carbonwillfirstprecipitateoutaslargeinclusionsofcementiteattheaustenitegrainboundariesuntilthe
percenageofcarboninthegrainshasdecreasedtotheeutectoidcomposition(0.8%carbon),atwhichpointthe
pearlitestructureforms.Forsteelsthathavelessthan0.8%carbon(hypoeutectoid),ferritewillfirstformwithin
thegrainsuntiltheremainingcompositionrisesto0.8%ofcarbon,atwhichpointthepearlitestructurewillform.
Nolargeinclusionsofcementitewillformattheboundariesinhypoeuctoidsteel.[8]Theaboveassumesthatthe
coolingprocessisveryslow,allowingenoughtimeforthecarbontomigrate.

Astherateofcoolingisincreasedthecarbonwillhavelesstimetomigratetoformcarbideatthegrainboundaries
butwillhaveincreasinglylargeamountsofpearliteofafinerandfinerstructurewithinthegrainshencethe
carbideismorewidelydispersedandactstopreventslipofdefectswithinthosegrains,resultinginhardeningof
thesteel.Attheveryhighcoolingratesproducedbyquenching,thecarbonhasnotimetomigratebutislocked
withinthefacecenterausteniteandformsmartensite.Martensiteisahighlystrainedandstressed,supersaturated
formofcarbonandironandisexceedinglyhardbutbrittle.Dependingonthecarboncontent,themartensiticphase
takesdifferentforms.Below0.2%carbon,ittakesonaferriteBCCcrystalform,butathighercarboncontentit
takesabodycenteredtetragonal(BCT)structure.Thereisnothermalactivationenergyforthetransformation
fromaustenitetomartensite.Moreover,thereisnocompositionalchangesotheatomsgenerallyretaintheirsame
neighbors.[9]

Martensitehasalowerdensity(itexpandsduringthecooling)thandoesaustenite,sothatthetransformation
betweenthemresultsinachangeofvolume.Inthiscase,expansionoccurs.Internalstressesfromthisexpansion
generallytaketheformofcompressiononthecrystalsofmartensiteandtensionontheremainingferrite,witha
fairamountofshearonbothconstituents.Ifquenchingisdoneimproperly,theinternalstressescancauseapartto
shatterasitcools.Attheveryleast,theycauseinternalworkhardeningandothermicroscopicimperfections.Itis
commonforquenchcrackstoformwhensteeliswaterquenched,althoughtheymaynotalwaysbevisible.[10]

Heattreatment

Therearemanytypesofheattreatingprocessesavailabletosteel.Themostcommonareannealing,quenching,
andtempering.Heattreatmentiseffectiveoncompositionsabovetheeutectoidcomposition(hypereutectoid)of
0.8%carbon.Hypoeutectoidsteeldoesnotbenefitfromheattreatment.

Annealingistheprocessofheatingthesteeltoasufficientlyhightemperaturetorelievelocalinternalstresses.It
doesnotcreateageneralsofteningoftheproductbutonlylocallyrelievesstrainsandstresseslockedupwithinthe
material.Annealinggoesthroughthreephases:recovery,recrystallization,andgraingrowth.Thetemperature
requiredtoannealaparticularsteeldependsonthetypeofannealingtobeachievedandthealloying
constituents.[11]

Quenchinginvolvesheatingthesteeltocreatetheaustenitephasethenquenchingitinwateroroil.Thisrapid
coolingresultsinahardbutbrittlemartensiticstructure.[9]Thesteelisthentempered,whichisjustaspecialized
typeofannealing,toreducebrittleness.Inthisapplicationtheannealing(tempering)processtransformssomeof
themartensiteintocementite,orspheroiditeandhenceitreducestheinternalstressesanddefects.Theresultisa
moreductileandfractureresistantsteel.[12]

Steelproduction
Whenironissmeltedfromitsore,itcontainsmorecarbonthanisdesirable.
Tobecomesteel,itmustbereprocessedtoreducethecarbontothecorrect
amount,atwhichpointotherelementscanbeadded.Inthepast,steel
facilitieswouldcasttherawsteelproductintoingotswhichwouldbe
storeduntiluseinfurtherrefinementprocessesthatresultedinthefinished
product.Inmodernfacilities,theinitialproductisclosetothefinal
compositionandiscontinuouslycastintolongslabs,cutandshapedinto
barsandextrusionsandheattreatedtoproduceafinalproduct.Todayonly
asmallfractioniscastintoingots.Approximately96%ofsteelis
continuouslycast,whileonly4%isproducedasingots.[13]
Ironorepelletsfortheproductionof
steel
Theingotsarethenheatedinasoakingpitandhotrolledintoslabs,billets,
orblooms.Slabsarehotorcoldrolledintosheetmetalorplates.Billetsare
hotorcoldrolledintobars,rods,andwire.Bloomsarehotorcoldrolledintostructuralsteel,suchasIbeamsand
rails.Inmodernsteelmillstheseprocessesoftenoccurinoneassemblyline,withorecominginandfinishedsteel
productscomingout.[14]Sometimesafterasteel'sfinalrollingitisheattreatedforstrength,howeverthisis
relativelyrare.[15]

Historyofsteelmaking
Ancientsteel

Steelwasknowninantiquity,andpossiblywasproducedinbloomeriesand
crucibles.[16][17]

Theearliestknownproductionofsteelarepiecesofironwareexcavated
fromanarchaeologicalsiteinAnatolia(KamanKalehoyuk)andarenearly
4,000yearsold,datingfrom1800BC.[18][19]Horaceidentifiessteel
weaponslikethefalcataintheIberianPeninsula,whileNoricsteelwas
usedbytheRomanmilitary.[20]

ThereputationofSericironofSouthIndia(wootzsteel)amongsttherest
oftheworldgrewconsiderably.[17]SouthIndianandMediterraneansources
includingAlexandertheGreat(3rdc.BC)recountthepresentationand
exporttotheGreeksof100talentsworthofsuchsteel.Metalproduction
sitesinSriLankaemployedwindfurnacesdrivenbythemonsoonwinds,
capableofproducinghighcarbonsteel.LargescaleWootzsteelproduction
inTamilakamusingcruciblesandcarbonsourcessuchastheplantAvram
occurredbythesixthcenturyBC,thepioneeringprecursortomodernsteel
productionandmetallurgy.[16][17]
BloomerysmeltingduringtheMiddle
TheChineseoftheWarringStatesperiod(403221BC)hadquench Ages
hardenedsteel,[21]whileChineseoftheHandynasty(202BC220AD)
createdsteelbymeltingtogetherwroughtironwithcastiron,gaininganultimateproductofacarbonintermediate
steelbythe1stcenturyAD.[22][23]TheHayapeopleofEastAfricainventedatypeoffurnacetheyusedtomake
carbonsteelat1,802C(3,276F)nearly2,000yearsago.EastAfricansteelhasbeensuggestedbyRichard
Hookertodatebackto1400BC.[24][25]
WootzsteelandDamascussteel

EvidenceoftheearliestproductionofhighcarbonsteelintheIndianSubcontinentarefoundinKodumanalin
TamilNaduarea,GolcondainAndhraPradeshareaandKarnataka,andinSamanalawewaareasofSriLanka.[26]
ThiscametobeknownasWootzsteel,producedinSouthIndiabyaboutsixthcenturyBCandexported
globally.[27][28]Thesteeltechnologyexistedpriorto326BCintheregionastheyarementionedinliteratureof
SangamTamil,ArabicandLatinasthefineststeelintheworldexportedtotheRomans,Egyptian,Chineseand
ArabworldsatthattimewhattheycalledSericIron.[29]A200BCTamiltradeguildinTissamaharama,inthe
SouthEastofSriLanka,broughtwiththemsomeoftheoldestironandsteelartifactsandproductionprocessesto
theislandfromtheclassicalperiod.[30][31][32]TheChineseandlocalsinAnuradhapura,SriLankahadalsoadopted
theproductionmethodsofcreatingWootzsteelfromtheCheraDynastyTamilsofSouthIndiabythe5thcentury
AD.[33][34]InSriLanka,thisearlysteelmakingmethodemployedauniquewindfurnace,drivenbythemonsoon
winds,capableofproducinghighcarbonsteel.[35][36]SincethetechnologywasacquiredfromtheTamiliansfrom
SouthIndia,theoriginofsteeltechnologyinIndiacanbeconservativelyestimatedat400500BC.[27][36]

ThemanufactureofwhatcametobecalledWootz,orDamascussteel,famousforitsdurabilityandabilitytohold
anedge,mayhavebeentakenbytheArabsfromPersia,whotookitfromIndia.Itwasoriginallycreatedfroma
numberofdifferentmaterialsincludingvarioustraceelements,apparentlyultimatelyfromthewritingsofZosimos
ofPanopolis.In327BCE,AlexandertheGreatwasrewardedbythedefeatedKingPorus,notwithgoldorsilver
butwith30poundsofsteel.[37]Recentstudieshavesuggestedthatcarbonnanotubeswereincludedinitsstructure,
whichmightexplainsomeofitslegendaryqualities,thoughgiventhetechnologyofthattime,suchqualitieswere
producedbychanceratherthanbydesign.[38]Naturalwindwasusedwherethesoilcontainingironwasheatedby
theuseofwood.TheancientSinhalesemanagedtoextractatonofsteelforevery2tonsofsoil,[35]aremarkable
featatthetime.OnesuchfurnacewasfoundinSamanalawewaandarchaeologistswereabletoproducesteelas
theancientsdid.[35][39]

Cruciblesteel,formedbyslowlyheatingandcoolingpureironandcarbon(typicallyintheformofcharcoal)ina
crucible,wasproducedinMervbythe9thto10thcenturyAD.[28]Inthe11thcentury,thereisevidenceofthe
productionofsteelinSongChinausingtwotechniques:a"berganesque"methodthatproducedinferior,
inhomogeneous,steel,andaprecursortothemodernBessemerprocessthatusedpartialdecarbonizationvia
repeatedforgingunderacoldblast.[40]

Modernsteelmaking

Sincethe17thcenturythefirststepinEuropeansteelproductionhasbeenthesmeltingofironoreintopigironin
ablastfurnace.[41]Originallyemployingcharcoal,modernmethodsusecoke,whichhasprovenmore
economical.[42][43][44]

Processesstartingfrombariron

Intheseprocessespigironwasrefined(fined)inafineryforgetoproducebariron,whichwasthenusedinsteel
making.[41]

TheproductionofsteelbythecementationprocesswasdescribedinatreatisepublishedinPraguein1574andwas
inuseinNurembergfrom1601.Asimilarprocessforcasehardeningarmourandfileswasdescribedinabook
publishedinNaplesin1589.TheprocesswasintroducedtoEnglandinabout1614andusedtoproducesuchsteel
bySirBasilBrookeatCoalbrookdaleduringthe1610s.[45]
Therawmaterialforthisprocesswerebarsofiron.Duringthe17thcenturyitwas
realizedthatthebeststeelcamefromoregroundsironofaregionnorthof
Stockholm,Sweden.Thiswasstilltheusualrawmaterialsourceinthe19th
century,almostaslongastheprocesswasused.[46][47]

Cruciblesteelissteelthathasbeenmeltedinacrucibleratherthanhavingbeen
forged,withtheresultthatitismorehomogeneous.Mostpreviousfurnacescould
notreachhighenoughtemperaturestomeltthesteel.Theearlymoderncrucible
steelindustryresultedfromtheinventionofBenjaminHuntsmaninthe1740s.
Blistersteel(madeasabove)wasmeltedinacrucibleorinafurnace,andcast
(usually)intoingots.[47][48]

Processesstartingfrompigiron

ThemodernerainsteelmakingbeganwiththeintroductionofHenryBessemer's ABessemerconverterin
Bessemerprocessin1855,therawmaterialforwhichwaspigiron.[49]Hismethod Sheffield,England
lethimproducesteelinlargequantitiescheaply,thusmildsteelcametobe
usedformostpurposesforwhichwroughtironwasformerlyused.[50]The
GilchristThomasprocess(orbasicBessemerprocess)wasanimprovement
totheBessemerprocess,madebyliningtheconverterwithabasicmaterial
toremovephosphorus.

Another19thcenturysteelmakingprocesswastheSiemensMartin
process,whichcomplementedtheBessemerprocess.[47]Itconsistedofco
meltingbariron(orsteelscrap)withpigiron.

ThesemethodsofsteelproductionwererenderedobsoletebytheLinz ASiemensMartinsteelovenfrom
Donawitzprocessofbasicoxygensteelmaking(BOS),developedinthe theBrandenburgMuseumof
1950s,andotheroxygensteelmakingmethods.Basicoxygensteelmaking Industry.
issuperiortoprevioussteelmakingmethodsbecausetheoxygenpumped
intothefurnacelimitedimpurities,primarilynitrogen,thatpreviouslyhad
enteredfromtheairused.[51]Today,electricarcfurnaces(EAF)area
commonmethodofreprocessingscrapmetaltocreatenewsteel.Theycan
alsobeusedforconvertingpigirontosteel,buttheyusealotofelectrical
energy(about440kWhpermetricton),andarethusgenerallyonly
economicalwhenthereisaplentifulsupplyofcheapelectricity.[52]

Steelindustry
Itiscommontodaytotalkabout"theironandsteelindustry"asifitwerea Whitehotsteelpouringoutofan
singleentity,buthistoricallytheywereseparateproducts.Thesteel electricarcfurnace.
industryisoftenconsideredanindicatorofeconomicprogress,becauseof
thecriticalroleplayedbysteelininfrastructuralandoveralleconomic
development.[53]

In1980,thereweremorethan500,000U.S.steelworkers.By2000,thenumberofsteelworkersfellto224,000.[54]
Theeconomicboomin
ChinaandIndiahas
causedamassive
increaseinthedemand
forsteelinrecentyears.
Between2000and
2005,worldsteel
demandincreasedby
6%.Since2000,several
Indian[55]andChinese
steelfirmshaverisento
prominence,suchas
TataSteel(which
boughtCorusGroupin Steelproduction(inmilliontons)bycountryin2007
2007),BaosteelGroup
andShagangGroup.
ArcelorMittalishowevertheworld'slargeststeelproducer.

In2005,theBritishGeologicalSurveystatedChinawasthetopsteel
producerwithaboutonethirdoftheworldshareJapan,Russia,andtheUS
followedrespectively.[56]

In2008,steelbegantradingasacommodityontheLondonMetal
Exchange.Attheendof2008,thesteelindustryfacedasharpdownturn
thatledtomanycutbacks.[57] AsteelplantintheUnitedKingdom.

Theworldsteelindustrypeakedin2007.Thatyear,ThyssenKruppspent
$12billiontobuildthetwomostmodernmillsintheworld,inCalvert,AlabamaandSepetiba,RiodeJaneiro,
Brazil.TheworldwideGreatRecessionstartingin2008,however,sharplylowereddemandandnewconstruction,
andsopricesfell.ThyssenKrupplost$11billiononitstwonewplants,whichsoldsteelbelowthecostof
production.

Recycling
Steelisoneoftheworld'smostrecycledmaterials,witharecyclingrateofover60%globally[58]intheUnited
Statesalone,over82,000,000metrictons(81,000,000longtons)wasrecycledintheyear2008,foranoverall
recyclingrateof83%.[59]

Contemporarysteel
Carbonsteels

Modernsteelsaremadewithvaryingcombinationsofalloymetalstofulfillmanypurposes.[4]Carbonsteel,
composedsimplyofironandcarbon,accountsfor90%ofsteelproduction.[2]Lowalloysteelisalloyedwithother
elements,usuallymolybdenum,manganese,chromium,ornickel,inamountsofupto10%byweighttoimprove
thehardenabilityofthicksections.[2]Highstrengthlowalloysteelhassmalladditions(usually<2%byweight)of
otherelements,typically1.5%manganese,toprovideadditionalstrengthforamodestpriceincrease.[60]
RecentCorporateAverageFuelEconomy(CAFE)regulationshavegiven
risetoanewvarietyofsteelknownasAdvancedHighStrengthSteel
(AHSS).Thismaterialisbothstrongandductilesothatvehiclestructures
canmaintaintheircurrentsafetylevelswhileusinglessmaterial.Thereare
severalcommerciallyavailablegradesofAHSS,suchasdualphasesteel,
whichisheattreatedtocontainbothaferriticandmartensitic
microstructuretoproduceaformable,highstrengthsteel.[61]
TransformationInducedPlasticity(TRIP)steelinvolvesspecialalloying
andheattreatmentstostabilizeamountsofausteniteatroomtemperaturein BethlehemSteelinBethlehem,
normallyaustenitefreelowalloyferriticsteels.Byapplyingstrain,the Pennsylvania,wasoneoftheworld's
austeniteundergoesaphasetransitiontomartensitewithouttheadditionof largestmanufacturersofsteelbefore
heat.[62]TwinningInducedPlasticity(TWIP)steelusesaspecifictypeof itsclosurein2003andlater
straintoincreasetheeffectivenessofworkhardeningonthealloy.[63] conversionintoacasino.

CarbonSteelsareoftengalvanized,throughhotdiporelectroplatingin
zincforprotectionagainstrust.[64]

Alloysteels

Stainlesssteelscontainaminimumof11%chromium,oftencombinedwithnickel,toresistcorrosion.Some
stainlesssteels,suchastheferriticstainlesssteelsaremagnetic,whileothers,suchastheaustenitic,are
nonmagnetic.[65]CorrosionresistantsteelsareabbreviatedasCRES.

Somemoremodernsteelsincludetoolsteels,whicharealloyedwithlargeamountsoftungstenandcobaltorother
elementstomaximizesolutionhardening.Thisalsoallowstheuseofprecipitationhardeningandimprovesthe
alloy'stemperatureresistance.[2]Toolsteelisgenerallyusedinaxes,drills,andotherdevicesthatneedasharp,
longlastingcuttingedge.OtherspecialpurposealloysincludeweatheringsteelssuchasCorten,whichweather
byacquiringastable,rustedsurface,andsocanbeusedunpainted.[66]Maragingsteelisalloyedwithnickeland
otherelements,butunlikemoststeelcontainslittlecarbon(0.01%).Thiscreatesaverystrongbutstillmalleable
steel.[67]

Eglinsteelusesacombinationofoveradozendifferentelementsinvaryingamountstocreatearelativelylowcost
steelforuseinbunkerbusterweapons.Hadfieldsteel(afterSirRobertHadfield)ormanganesesteelcontains12
14%manganesewhichwhenabradedstrainhardenstoformanincrediblyhardskinwhichresistswearing.
Examplesincludetanktracks,bulldozerbladeedgesandcuttingbladesonthejawsoflife.[68]

In2016abreakthroughincreatingastronglightaluminiumsteelalloywhichmightbesuitableinapplications
suchasaircraftwasannouncedbyresearchersatPohangUniversityofScienceandTechnology.Addingsmall
amountsofnickelwasfoundtoresultinprecipitationasnanoparticlesofbrittleB2intermetalliccompounds
whichhadpreviouslyresultedinweakness.Theresultwasacheapstronglightsteelalloynearlyasstrongas
titaniumattenpercentthecost[69]whichisslatedfortrialproductionatindustrialscalebyPOSCO,aKorean
steelmaker.[70][71]

Standards

Mostofthemorecommonlyusedsteelalloysarecategorizedintovariousgradesbystandardsorganizations.For
example,theSocietyofAutomotiveEngineershasaseriesofgradesdefiningmanytypesofsteel.[72]The
AmericanSocietyforTestingandMaterialshasaseparatesetofstandards,whichdefinealloyssuchasA36steel,
themostcommonlyusedstructuralsteelintheUnitedStates.[73]TheJISalsodefineseriesofsteelgradesthatare
beingusedextensivelyinJapanaswellinthirdworldcountries.

Uses
Ironandsteelareusedwidelyintheconstructionofroads,railways,other
infrastructure,appliances,andbuildings.Mostlargemodernstructures,
suchasstadiumsandskyscrapers,bridges,andairports,aresupportedbya
steelskeleton.Eventhosewithaconcretestructureemploysteelfor
reinforcing.Inaddition,itseeswidespreaduseinmajorappliancesand
cars.Despitegrowthinusageofaluminium,itisstillthemainmaterialfor
carbodies.Steelisusedinavarietyofotherconstructionmaterials,suchas
bolts,nails,andscrewsandotherhouseholdproductsandcooking
utensils.[74]

Othercommonapplicationsincludeshipbuilding,pipelines,mining, Arollofsteelwool
offshoreconstruction,aerospace,whitegoods(e.g.washingmachines),
heavyequipmentsuchasbulldozers,officefurniture,steelwool,tools,and
armourintheformofpersonalvestsorvehiclearmour(betterknownasrolledhomogeneousarmourinthisrole).

Historical

BeforetheintroductionoftheBessemerprocessandothermodern
productiontechniques,steelwasexpensiveandwasonlyusedwhereno
cheaperalternativeexisted,particularlyforthecuttingedgeofknives,
razors,swords,andotheritemswhereahard,sharpedgewasneeded.It
wasalsousedforsprings,includingthoseusedinclocksandwatches.[47]

Withtheadventofspeedierandthriftierproductionmethods,steelhas
becomeeasiertoobtainandmuchcheaper.Ithasreplacedwroughtironfor
amultitudeofpurposes.However,theavailabilityofplasticsinthelatter Acarbonsteelknife
partofthe20thcenturyallowedthesematerialstoreplacesteelinsome
applicationsduetotheirlowerfabricationcostandweight.[75]Carbonfiber
isreplacingsteelinsomecostinsensitiveapplicationssuchasaircraft,sportsequipmentandhighendautomobiles.

Longsteel

Asreinforcingbarsandmeshinreinforcedconcrete
Railroadtracks
Structuralsteelinmodernbuildingsandbridges
Wires
Inputtoreforgingapplications

Flatcarbonsteel
Asteelbridge
Majorappliances
Magneticcores
Theinsideandoutsidebodyofautomobiles,trains,andships.

Weatheringsteel(CORTEN)
Intermodalcontainers
Outdoorsculptures
Architecture
Highlinertraincars

Stainlesssteel
Cutlery
Rulers
Surgicalinstruments
Watches Asteelpylonsuspendingoverhead
Guns powerlines
Railpassengervehicles
Tablets
TrashCans
Bodypiercingjewellery

Lowbackgroundsteel

SteelmanufacturedafterWorldWarIIbecamecontaminatedwith
radionuclidesbynuclearweaponstesting.Lowbackgroundsteel,steel
manufacturedpriorto1945,isusedforcertainradiationsensitive Astainlesssteelgravyboat
applicationssuchasGeigercountersandradiationshielding.

Seealso
Carbonsteel RustBelt
Damascussteel SecondIndustrialRevolution
Galvanising Siliconsteel
Globalsteelindustrytrends Steelabrasive
Ironinfolklore Steelmill
Knifemetal Tamahagane,usedinJapaneseswords
Machinability Tinplate
Pelletizing Wootzsteel
Rolling
Rollingmill
RustBelt
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Furtherreading
MarkReutter,MakingSteel:SparrowsPointandtheRiseandRuinofAmericanIndustrialMight(https://bo
oks.google.com/books?id=bdkUfDoY24QC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Making+Steel:+Sparrows+Point+an
d+the+Rise+and+Ruin+of+American+Industrial+Might&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NxHuVIe6DIzcoASoICICQ&
ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Making%20Steel%3A%20Sparrows%20Point%20and%20the%20Ris
e%20and%20Ruin%20of%20American%20Industrial%20Might&f=false)(2005).DiscussionwithMark
Reutter,part1of3(http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=
74&jumival=13277)(February2015),part2of3(http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content
&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=13284)(February2015),part3of3(http://therealnews.com/t2/in
dex.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=13298)(March2015),TheReal
News
DuncanBurn,TheEconomicHistoryofSteelmaking,18671939:AStudyinCompetition(http://questia.co
m/PM.qst?a=o&d=3914930).CambridgeUniversityPress,1961.
HarukiyuHasegawa,TheSteelIndustryinJapan:AComparisonwithBritain(http://questia.com/PM.qst?a
=o&d=108742046).1996.
J.C.CarrandW.Taplin,HistoryoftheBritishSteelIndustry(http://questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=808791).
HarvardUniversityPress,1962.
H.LeeScamehorn,Mill&Mine:TheCf&IintheTwentiethCentury(http://questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=94
821694).UniversityofNebraskaPress,1992.
Needham,Joseph(1986).ScienceandCivilizationinChina:Volume4,Part1&Part3.Taipei:Caves
Books,Ltd.
Warren,Kenneth,BigSteel:TheFirstCenturyoftheUnitedStatesSteelCorporation,19012001(http://eh.
net/bookreviews/library/0558).UniversityofPittsburghPress,2001.

Externallinks
WorldSteelAssociation(worldsteel)(http://www.worldsteel.org/)
steeluniversity.org:Onlinesteeleducationresourcesfromworldsteel WikimediaCommonshas
mediarelatedtoSteel.
andtheUniversityofLiverpool(http://steeluniversity.org/)
Hugearchiveonsteels,CambridgeUniversity(http://www.msm.cam.
ac.uk/phasetrans/2005/Fealloys.html) Lookupsteelin
CookingwithSteels(http://www.wastedtalent.ca/comic/cookingstee Wiktionary,thefree
l) dictionary.
MetallurgyfortheNonMetallurgistfromtheAmericanSocietyfor
Metals(https://books.google.com/books?id=brpxLtdCLYC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&d#v=onepage&q&f=tru
e,)
MATDATDatabaseofPropertiesofUnalloyed,LowAlloyandHighAlloySteelsobtainedfrom
publishedresultsofmaterialtesting(http://www.matdat.com)
Newsfeatureon"openhearth"steelworkersattheU.S.SteelFairlessMillsnearPhiladelphia(https://news.
google.com/newspapers?id=ArNdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0V0NAAAAIBAJ&pg=1275%2C782046)

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