The Endless Versatility of Steel

 

Professional Shopfitting Service and Retail Store Fit Out Contractors, Project Management Specialists

 

steelYou would be hard pushed to find a material as useful and versatile as steel, used widely in all industries. It is the material behind the toughest, most colossal steel bridge as well as the finest precision designed surgeons scalpel. Endlessly manipulable steel can be fashioned into practical and necessary components or spectacular and beautiful artworks. We use steel in our everyday lives in an infinite number of ways, shaped, polished and moulded into cars, refrigerators, saucepans, locks, lamps, furniture, tin cans etc. The list goes on as steel makes our lives easier, whatever the item or appliance there is usually some part of it that contains a form of steel.

Around 70% of steel is produced by reducing iron ores to iron, also called hot metal or pig iron. Then the iron is converted to steel, cast and rolled finally ending up as coil, bars or plate sections. As most produced steel remains in use for decades, there is always a demand for recycled steel. Once steel structures are no longer wanted, they are generally dismantled, melted down and recycled. This is typically the way things have been done in the past, but there is now a definite push towards reusing steel.

Recycling steel can be a costly process as well as not all that environmentally friendly, which is why reusing the material is an excellent option. Of the thousands of construction projects carried out within the UK, many are cancelled for one reason or another. This surplus steel would at one time have been melted down as a matter of course. However, there has been a rethink, and where possible, sections are reclaimed, bolts removed and girders etc are primed ready for their new function.

The change will benefit forward thinking companies within the industry such as Salford Engineering. There are still a few issues around re-using steel, such as the quality of the existing steel, which has to be up to standard. According to the Steel Construction Institute (SCI), the steel must have been produced after 1970. There can also be no evidence of fire or impact damage, which could affect the material’s integrity.

 

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