Steel – 10 Facts

Steel is one of the most popular materials in contemporary constructions. However, despite its commonplace usage, there is much information about the metal that isn’t known.

Below are 10 interesting facts about steel.

  • Steel components are 30% stronger than they were ten years ago
  • Steel goods can be continuously recycled without any loss of strength
  • 75% of major appliances are made of steel
  • Steel was utilised in the construction of skyscrapers from 1883
  • Doors made of steel are fireproofed
  • Half of the steel types used in modern vehicles did not exist a decade ago
  • 600 steel & tin cans are recycled in America every minute
  • Refrigerator steel hinges can support over 140 pounds of door
  • The Golden gate bridge was built from over 83,000 tonnes of steel
  • Over 1,500 food items are provided in steel cans
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Men of Corby – Film

Year: 1961

Directed by: Philip Donnellan

Starring: John Rogerson & other Corby residents

A documentary produced on & featuring the prosperous iron & steel making trade within Corby & its workers. The film focuses upon how the industry transformed Corby from a men_of_corby_01small village to a bustling town that attracted males in need of work from places as far as Poland.

The documentary, which is now difficult to find, featured the voices of the workers of the Corby steel-mills, whom were mainly Scottish migrants. The steel workers discuss their aspirations, lives & love for poet Robbie Burns.

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Steel – History

Iron – an element

Steel – an alloy

Metal – anything metallic

The first evidence of steel use is traced to the beginnings of the Iron Age, 4000 years ago. The Iron Age, named such due to its peoples’ usage of iron, saw a number of comprehensive changes in culture, including in art, religion & construction. The material of steel, which was discovered to be more durable & stronger than bronze, began to be used in lieu of the antiquated metal.

However, for the first few thousand years of usage of the material, the quality of the iron would depend upon the ores utilised & the method of production. The benefits & detriments of the metal were understood but a lack of alternative left no choice but to include it in structures.

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That was until the 1800s, in which the majority of iron was bring used in the construction of railroads. A less frail alternative to the material was sought by metallurgists. This was discovered in 1856, when inventor Henry Bessemer developed a method to reduce carbon in content, thereby kick starting the steel industry as is recognised today.

The Bessemer Process involved iron being placed into a pear shaped receptacle & heated, whilst oxygen is blown through it. This process cause the metal to release carbon dioxide & produce a purer iron than had previously been achieved.

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The Great Jib – Corby Steel

Post-war, the Corby steel company of Stewarts & Llyods commissioned the building of the ‘Great Jib’. The ‘Jib’, which was a revolutionary invention, was completed in 1951. It was the world’s largest dragline excavator.

Dragline Excavator

 The dragline excavator is a piece of equipment that is utilised in both civil engineering & surface mining

The building of the massive excavator – which aided with iron ore mining considerably – showcases the ambition of the Corby steel-works. It is also representative of the financial successes & engineering capabilities of the locale.

The town reaped the benefits of the machine as the town entered a new financial prosperity. Extensive building & migration bolstered the already impressive reputation of Corby.

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Steel Marvels

Steel has been a material in regular construction usage since the 1600s, during which the industrial revolution occurred. Following the onset of extensive steel usage, numerous, large scale & impressive structures have been built, including bridges, libraries & stadiums.

Some of these internationally recognised steel marvels are detailed below.

Seattle Central Library

The library, situated in the centre of the American city of Seattle, is a deft, modern combination of steel & glass. Constructed upon the outlines established by architects Joshua-Prince Ramus & Rem Koolhaas, the structure attracted more than 2 million guests upon opening.

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An interesting & notable effect of the impressive steel building is that Seattle residents have been statistically proven to read more books than residents in any other city throughout the Americas.

Millau ViaductFrance

The tallest bridge in the world, at 343 meters high, the Millau is a masterful joining of steel & concrete in the South of France. Based upon designs by famed architect Norman Foster, the bridge has been awarded an Outstanding Structure Award.

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Beijing National Stadium

The national stadium in China, hosting space of the 2008 Olympic Games, is purported to be the largest steel structure in the world, with over 26 km of unwrapped steel used in its construction. The stadium was said to be designed as representative of the future of China.

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The stadium can seat 80,000 peoples, with 11,000 demountable seats also available. The construct, & its interiors, also incorporates aspects of Chinese folklore.

Gateway Arch

The Gate to the West, the arch is an astounding monument situated in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park in St Louis. It is 630 feet tall &, at the base, 630 feet wide. Completed in October of 1965, the arch is intended to be symbolic of the Americas’ expansion westward & is also representative of its industrious steel works, incorporating over 900 tons of the material.

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The arch was constructed with the capacity to sway in high weather conditions.

U.S Steel Tower

Situated in Pittsburg, the steel tower is one of the top 40 tallest buildings in the U.S & the tallest skyscraper in its city. The main frame of the building is made of steel, as is its exterior, which serves to resist the negative effects of any adverse weather conditions. The tower is constructed in a unique triangular shape.

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The tower can be seen from up to 50 miles away.

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