Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2 percent carbon and 1 percent manganese and small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen. It is environmentally friendly in that it is recyclable and requires considerable less energy to produce than some other metals. On its own, basic steel will rust when it comes into contract with oxygen and moisture, however, when steel is coated, either by paint, enamel, or is galvanised, rusting can be prevented. Steel can also be alloyed with other metals to make stainless steel.
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Sample Steel News from FastMarkets ProfessionalCopper touches one-week highs, metals upbeat ahead of US monetary policy news by MHayes - 22-05-2013
Base metals pushed higher during Wednesday LME premarket trading, with signs of upside momentum emer...
BASE AND PRECIOUS METALS MORNING VIEW - Metals consolidate ahead of key data by WAdams - 22-05-2013
The metals put in a choppy and nervous day of trading yesterday, having started on a high note follo...
Base metals mixed in sideways trade, await mid-week news/data by MHayes - 21-05-2013
Base metals settled close to overnight closing levels during low-key Tuesday LME premarket trading, ...
BASE AND PRECIOUS METALS - European Morning View - Yesterday's show of strength suggests bases are in place by WAdams - 21-05-2013
London 21/05/2013 - The metals got off to a weak start in Asia on Monday, but recovered as the...
Steel Analysis and Forecast Q1 2013 by WAdams - 20-05-2013
Each Quarter FastMarkets and Sucden produce an analysis and forecast report for the Silver market, ...
Uses of steel
Steel is the most important engineering and construction material, it’s used in every aspect of our lives, from: railway tracks, electricity pylons, ships, office building, cars, household goods, radiators, cutlery, pots and pans down to paperclips and staples.
Steel is made either from raw materials, these being iron ore, limestone, and coke, or from scrap. The scrap method is by far the cheapest as it requires scrap iron and scrap steel plus various additives to produce the required end-product. In 2003, some 960 million tonnes of steel was produced, of this some 60% came from recycled steel.
Steel is made into various shapes and sizes:
Long steel products are rods, bars and sections, with rods typically used to reinforce concrete, bars are used in engineering products such as gears and tools, and sections are rolled steel joists, (RSJ’s) used for construction projects. Wire drawn productions and pipes are also long products.
Flat steel products are plates and hot or cold rolled strip. Plate products vary between 1cm to 2 cm in thickness and are used in construction, ship building, boilers and large pipes, while rolled products are used in vehicle body panels, casings for white goods, tin cans and host of other products.
China is the largest producer of steel, it produced 220 million tonnes in 2003, but with its consumption running at 245 million tonnes, it was also a large importer of steel to the tune of 29 million tonnes, just below US imports of 30 million tonnes. Japan is the second largest producer followed by the USA.
There are over 3,500 different grades of steel, each suited for its end-use and all with varying physical and chemical properties. 75% of these new steels have been developed in the past 20 years as industry strives to optimise the strength and weight of the steel it uses. China has become the largest consumer of steel, it consumed 245 million tonnes in 2003. As China and other parts of Asia look to expand their infrastructure demand for steel is booming. In the three years between 2001 and 2004, consumption of finished steel has increased from 766 mt to 918 mt, this is a year on year increase in excess of 6 percent. This compares to a annual increase of between 2.5 percent in the 1992 to 2002 decade and 1.2 percent annual increase seen in the 1970 to 2000 period.