Steel. One word, one metal that drives America’s economy. But, what is steel?
What Are The Elements In Steel?
The prime component of steel is Iron; which also happens to be one of the most common elements on Earth! In fact, you find iron and carbon in all steel alloys. The carbon bonds with iron to build a strong molecular structure. Usually, the carbon is 0.002–2.1 % carbon by mass.
However, different types of steel contain different percentages of each element. Some of the most common other elements are nickel, molybdenum, manganese, titanium, boron, cobalt, and vanadium. Adding these different elements to a steel alloy changes its material properties. For instance, the famous “stainless steel” is a steel alloy that contains chromium.
How Do You Make Steel?
If you mix carbon and iron at extremely hot temperatures (above 2600°F) you make the most basic steel.
The steelmaker bubbles oxygen through melting iron. This action makes equal oxidation throughout the melted metal. Oxidation gets rid of carbon. Additionally, it binds elements like silicon, phosphorus, and manganese in the mixture.
Another way to make steel is by melting scrap. The steelmaker adds elements to get a specific alloy, then the scrap is heated and cooled to the temperatures needed for the necessary chemical processes.
How Does Steel Become Magnetic?
A wonderful aspect of steel is that it can be made to be magnetic or not! As stated, steel is mainly iron, which is magnetic. You can find other magnetic elements, like cobalt and nickel, in steel to make it magnetic.
Is Steel Recyclable?
Another terrific feature of steel is that its scrap can be used to make new metal. Simply melting and alloying surplus steel can create a completely new product. 98% of steel is actually recyclable, making steel one of the world’s most recyclable products!
Visit Tampa Steel & Supply for Steel
Are you in need of steel supplies? Look no further than the professionals at Tampa Steel and Supply. We stock an extensive list of steel products for whatever project you need to tackle. We’re proud to have served our customers for nearly four decades and are ready to assist you with your steel needs. Have questions? Give us a call today to learn more, or stop by our beautiful Tampa showroom.