5 Sectors and Industries Where Steel Plays an Important Role

5 Sectors and Industries Where Steel Plays an Important Role

Published Date: 09 February, 2024
Updated On: 07 June, 2024

Importance of steel to economic growth

Steel is a popular commodity across industries that can be found anywhere and everywhere around you. From the house you live in and the car you drive to electrical gadgets and soda cans, steel is ubiquitous. The steel sector finds use in various sectors such as construction & infrastructure, engineering, fabrication, automotive, and packaging. Being the core sector in India, steel has been a major contributor to its manufacturing output and plays a vital role in the economic growth of the country. Therefore, there is no doubt that the steel sector forms a strong backbone of the nation.  Steel is made by mixing carbon and iron at very high temperatures. The primary steelmaking creates steel made from a product called “pig iron”. Pig iron is a basic steel grade obtained by smelting iron ore in a blast furnace. It is a solid form of hot metal obtained from iron ore or scrap recycling, and it is processed with a blast furnace. The blast furnace Is the first step in producing steel from iron oxides. The combustion of iron ore with other materials In the blast furnace produces molten pig iron, which is then converted to steel. 

Table of Content

Here are the industries that rely on steel

Steel is crucial globally for its strength, versatility, and durability. The extensive steel use by sector includes construction, infrastructure, automotive, machinery, and energy sectors. 5 uses of steel include structural framing in buildings, automotive components, machinery manufacturing, energy infrastructure such as pipelines, and durable packaging. Its ubiquity underscores its essential role in various industries worldwide.

  • Construction:

    Construction
    The building and infrastructure industry is the largest consumer, accounting for approximately 50% of total world steel consumption. Being highly durable and flexible, steel is the ideal choice for architects, engineers, designers, and contractors. Steel-frame constructions can withstand thunderstorms and earthquakes and have a long lifespan. Energy-efficient, long-lasting, and lightweight- all these properties make steel the ultimate choice for public and private construction projects.

    Steel plays a pivotal role in construction, and ace as a fundamental building material renowned for its strength, durability, and versatility. The construction industry heavily relies on steel for its ability to withstand environmental elements, seismic forces, and heavy loads, making it a cornerstone of modern infrastructure. Steel ensures the integrity and resilience of diverse architectural projects and is widely employed in structural frameworks, beams, and columns. Its malleability facilitates intricate designs while maintaining structural stability.  

  • Automotive and transportation:

    Automotive and transportation
    The transport sector ranks second in the world for steel consumption and use. Steel is a key material in the automotive industry. Over 50% of the composition of vehicles is made of steel. Most of this comprises the skeletal body of the automobiles, often referred to as the ‘body in white’. Steel is the material of choice for automotive manufacturers as it provides the desired strength and safety for all vehicles, big or small. From cars to trains, ships and aircraft, everything in the transportation industry owes to the incredible qualities of steel.

    As the automotive sector continues to evolve towards sustainability, advanced high-strength steel plays a vital role in developing lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles, contributing to both environmental conservation and technological innovation in the transportation industry. From reinforcing body frames to enhancing crashworthiness, the importance of steel is unmatched. Steel contributes significantly to overall vehicle safety standards. Furthermore, steel’s formability allows for the production of intricate parts crucial for manufacturing automobiles.

  • Packaging:

    Packaging
    Steel has many inherent qualities that make it an environmentally friendly packaging material. It has almost zero transmittance for gas, water, and sunlight, thus providing maximum protection to the goods. The weight of steel packaging is lightweight, and resistance is high to physical shocks. Hence, steel brings about low cost in loading, storing, and shipping in packaging. Steel packaging is also very common in food and beverages. It helps to retain the original taste and nourishing properties, prolonging the shelf life of many edible products.

    Steel packaging, often in the form of cans or containers, offers unparalleled durability, protecting contents from external factors such as light, air, and moisture. Its strength ensures the preservation of the product’s integrity, making it ideal for a variety of goods, including food, beverages, and chemicals. Steel’s recyclability further enhances its eco-friendly profile, with a high recycling rate that reduces environmental impact. The versatility and protective qualities of steel packaging make it a preferred choice for industries seeking reliable, long-lasting, and environmentally conscious solutions for packaging and preserving diverse products.

  • Energy:

    Energy
    No matter which energy sector you talk about, steel has a crucial role in it. Hydro, oil, solar, electric, wind, natural gas and just about any other energy source out there need steel in construction. Steel is and will be a critical component for supplying the world with energy. So, as long as energy is in demand (which it will be for the world to run), steel will be a necessity to produce and distribute energy.

    In the energy sector, steel plays a crucial role as a foundational material for infrastructure in power generation and distribution. From the construction of sturdy wind turbine towers to the development of robust transmission lines and pipelines, and solar panels, steel ensures the reliability and longevity of energy systems. Its high strength and durability contribute to the resilience of power plants and support structures. The versatility of steel makes it indispensable in creating a sustainable and efficient energy infrastructure, underlining its significance in powering the world.

  • Machinery:

    Machinery
    Most of the heaving metal machinery used in building and infrastructure projects is made of steel, more specifically stainless steel. These may range from bulldozers, cranes, and drills to scaffolding and portable shelters. Steel plays a major role in making agriculture earlier and more efficient. Agricultural machinery such as shovels, forks, modern ploughs and even irrigation systems all are made of steel. 

    In the realm of machinery, steel stands as the backbone of robust and reliable equipment. Renowned for its exceptional strength, durability, and versatility, steel is a fundamental material in the construction of machinery components. From gears and bearings to frames and casings, steel’s properties ensure the integrity and longevity of various industrial machines. The uses of steel in machinery underscores its essential role in driving efficiency, productivity, and innovation across diverse sectors of the manufacturing and industrial landscape.

Sree Metaliks: A pioneer in sustainable steel production

Sree Metaliks Limited is one of the best iron ore miners in the country, manufacturing products that safeguard the environment and save energy. We are an integrated mines-to-manufacturing steel company balancing the needs of our customers with independent and excellent products. We are one of the best illustrations of comprehensive integration of diverse products with synergetic forward and backward linkage that caters to its end-to-end gamut of manufacturing finished steel products. Browse through our website for more information.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is unique about steel?

Steel is unique for its exceptional combination of strength, durability, and versatility. A ferrous metal alloy primarily composed of iron and carbon, steel can be further alloyed with various elements to enhance its properties. Its malleability allows for diverse applications, from construction and machinery to automotive and packaging. Additionally, steel’s recyclability is remarkable, making it an eco-friendly choice.

2. Which type of steel is strongest?

The strongest type of steel is generally considered to be high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel. HSLA steel contains small amounts of alloying elements such as niobium, vanadium, titanium, or a combination of these, which contribute to its enhanced strength and toughness. This type of steel is often used in structural applications, including construction and manufacturing, where high strength and durability are critical requirements.

3. Which steel is most used?

TMT bars, extensively employed in construction projects, are a prominent and widely utilized form of steel in the building and infrastructure sector.

TMT bars are a type of steel reinforcement that undergoes a specialized heat treatment process for enhanced strength and ductility. This makes TMT bars crucial in reinforcing concrete structures, providing resilience to buildings and infrastructure. Their popularity stems from superior mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and adherence to safety standards.

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