7 Facts About Steel You Need to Know

Steel rail road tracks.

Consisting of iron and carbon, steel is one of the world’s most versatile alloys. It’s used to make everything from cars and trucks to railroad tracks, nails, appliances and more. Today, we’re going to explore seven fun and interesting facts about steel.

#1) Steel Is More Elastic Than Rubber

No, that’s not a typo. Steel is actually more elastic than rubber. Elasticity refers to a material’s ability to “bounce back” to its original shape after being deformed under stress. Based on this definition, steel is more elastic than rubber because it’s able to revert back to its original shape more quickly.

#2) Steel Is 1,000 Times Stronger Than Iron

Steel itself is an alloy consisting primarily of iron with a small amount of carbon (as well as other trace elements). When compared to pure iron, though, steel is roughly 1,000 times stronger. Adding just a small amount of carbon to steel significantly increases its tensile strength, resulting in a superior level of strength compared to pure iron.

#3) Steel Is One of the World’s Most Recycled Materials

Most steel products and objects aren’t made of new steel. They are made of recycled steel. Statistics show steel has a global recycling rate of roughly 60%, meaning over half of all steel is recycled and reused. Steel is easy to recycle because it can be smelted down.

#4) Over 2 Million People Work in the Steel Industry

The steel-making industry has been around for centuries, and while it’s experienced ups and downs, it’s safe to safe the industry is healthy. Globally, it’s estimated that over 2 million people work in the steel industry.

#5) A Scrapped Car Yields Enough Steel for Four Utility Poles

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), a typical scrapped car yields enough steel to produce four utility poles. When an old “beater” car reaches the end of its life, it heads to the scrapyard where it’s broken down for parts. Steel parts that can’t be reused are generally recycled — and this recycled steel can provide enough material for four utility poles.

#6) Carbon Content Affects the Properties of Steel

When producing steel, companies must pay close attention to the carbon content. If an insufficient amount of carbon is used, steel becomes susceptible to rust and corrosion. If too much carbon is used, steel becomes

#7) A Steel Roof Can Last for Over a Half-Century

Steel roofs have become increasingly common in recent years. While traditional shingle-covered woo roofs typically only last about 15 to 20 years, steel roofs can last for well over a half-century, making them a smart investment for homeowners and business owners.

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