The Future Lies in Steel: 3 Global Trends
Steel metal and the industry at large have stood the test of time. Instead of fabricators researching new materials they could use in place of steel, much of the research is often based on ways of improving the technology used in the steel industry.
The entire metal fabrication industry seems to be in agreement over the importance of steel.
The replacement of blast furnace with EAFs
Since the discovery of steel, there has been only one way of converting cast iron to steel. A visit to your nearest steel service center will reveal that the largest portion of steel is produced using a blast furnace, which utilizes coal as its main source of heat.
The use of coal means that it is not possible to switch the furnace on and off at will. That is because the associated operating costs will be too high. Steel industries are therefore considering the integration of EAFs to improve the flexibility of the process.
Tackling global warming
When iron exists as an ore, it contains sulfates, nitrates and carbonates. Those compounds reduce, resulting in the production of SO2, NO2 and CO2, respectively. Some of these gases are released to the atmosphere, which results in the formation of acid rain and the destruction of the ozone layer.
Due to such effects, the American steel industry is emphasizing the importance of steel plants, integrating catalytic converters into their processes to reduce the impact of the industry on the environment.
The development of steel vehicles
A study conducted in 1998 revealed that the introduction of steel vehicles could reduce life-cycle emissions by up to 35 percent. The emissions would be decreased by double that figure if the steel vehicles would be electric.
Currently, some steel companies have indicated an interest in following the findings of the 1998 study to develop more eco-friendly vehicles.
As the steel industry has been in existence for many centuries, it has found new ways of making steel to be a more integral part of life. The future trends will see steel cement its position as a necessity to the human race.