Steel is an iron alloy with a small percentage of carbon. It is found all over the world in a variety of applications, and it’s a strong metal with many desirable qualities. If you’re using steel in your project, you may wonder where it comes from and how else it’s used in the modern day. Here, the steel distributors at PIPE PLUS INC in Willow Springs, MO, explains how steel processing works and what its most common applications are today.

What to Know About Steel Processing & Usage

How It’s Made

Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries around the world, and most of that is used to create steel. The ore is placed into a blast furnace, or a large cylindrical steel shell that’s lined with heat-resistant brick. The iron ore, coke, and limestone are charged into the furnace from the top. Hot air — heated to about 1200 degrees Celsius — is blown into the lower section of the furnace.

steel processingThe materials get hotter as they move their way downward, and the coke burns. This produces carbon monoxide, which reacts with the ore to melt the iron. The limestone collects the impurities and the coke to form a slag. At the bottom of the furnace, where it is hottest, the molten iron sits with a layer of molten slag on top of it. The slag is drained out through a notch in the furnace to leave behind the purified iron.

How It’s Used

Most steel is used in the construction industry, such as in the form of structural steel or steel piping. This is found in everything from reinforced concrete to high-rise buildings. Steel is also used in the transportation industry to create ships, trains, aircraft, trucks and more. Steel infrastructure is used in the energy industry, such as for pipelines, wells, and wind turbines. You’ll also find steel in your own home, as it’s used for household appliances, tanks, tools, and more.

PIPE PLUS INC can help with all of your steel needs and for all of your fabrication needs, PIPE PLUS INC has a large fabrication shop that is well equipped to help you with your project.

Contact PIPE PLUS INC at (417) 469-5292 for all of your steel needs or to plan a fabrication proposal today.