What Is Steel?

What Is Steel?

Steel is a metal alloy that consists primarily of iron. It may also contain a small amount of carbon, which improves its strength and fracture resistance. Other elements may also be included in steel fabricator alloys, including chromium, which makes stainless steels more resistant to corrosion. But these are just a few of the many elements that are found in steel.


Steel is a material composed mainly of iron, the most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Although it is ductile and malleable, steel is also very hard. This hardness is achieved through the presence of small amounts of carbon. Typical steel alloys contain between 0.002 and 2.1 percent carbon. Iron is present in two different crystalline forms: ferrous and non-ferrous.

Steel is used for a wide variety of applications. Some of its properties include toughness, tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, and fatigue strength. Steel can be forged, welded, or formed into various shapes and sizes. All of these properties can be controlled through different processing methods, including hot and cold working.

Iron is the primary component of mild carbon steel. However, it also contains small amounts of carbon and manganese. The carbon content in mild steel is 0.28%, while the manganese content is 0.50% or less. Manganese helps improve the strength of mild steel.


Steel is an extremely versatile material that can be used for various purposes. Its availability, cost, and ease of processing make it an attractive material for many engineering applications. It is also widely available in many forms and can be shaped to suit any need. For example, steel can be rolled to a very thin thickness of 0.01 cm. Moreover, steel is a low-carbon metal, which lends it superior strength and drawability. All of these characteristics have increased the range of applications of steel. Moreover, it can be alloyed with other metals to provide unique properties.

Steel is widely used in the construction of infrastructure and buildings. More than half of all steel produced each year is used in the construction industry. Most of the steel used in construction is found in reinforcing bars, sheet products, and structural sections. Other than construction applications, steel is also used in the manufacturing of automobiles, aircraft, and railways.


Steel production is a key contributor to the global carbon footprint. It is estimated that over the last two decades, carbon emissions from the production of steel have increased eight-fold. During this time, the number of tons of steel produced per year increased from 68 Mt/yr in 1995 to 914 Mt/yr in 2015. However, the share of the world’s production of steel from low carbon-intensive regions decreased dramatically, from 83% to 43%.

Steel production is a 24/7 process, requiring huge amounts of energy and consistent supplies of raw materials. According to the World Steel Association, world crude steel production has increased from 851 Mt in 2001 to 1,606 Mt in 2013. The average amount of steel used per capita has steadily risen from 150kg in 2001 to more than 225 kg in 2013.

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, with other elements added to change the material’s properties. Stainless steel, for example, is made from carbon and chromium. Some steels are heat-treated or undergo other processes that alter their properties, including alloying with other metals, such as nickel.