Did you know that within North America, almost 69 percent of all the steel here has been recycled. That is more than aluminum, paper, plastic or glass combined. In fact, since 1970, North America has had an average recycling rate that was in excess of 60 percent. What are some of the other little-known facts that people do not realize about steel?
Unknown Fact #1: The Coining of "Stainless" Steel
It was first called "stainless" steel when researchers learned that they could use it for cutlery applications because it was resistant to rust. Before they coined that term, stainless steel was originally referred to as Staybrite. In the modern world, stainless steel has also sometimes been called Inox. That comes from a French word that is called, "Acier Inoxydable." It literally translates to mean non-oxidized steel.
Unknown Fact #2: Countries Leading in Steel Making
Nowadays, you have several major countries making steel, but during the 18th century, steel was almost insignificant in production. The leading maker of steel during the 18th century was Sweden, and in the 19th century, the United States started to produce steel in a greater quantity up until 1980. After 1980, that is when Russia surpassed the US in steel production. Once the 21st century hit, China started to industrialize, and they took over as the leading maker of steel.
Unknown Fact #3: Why Stainless Steel is Used for Brewing Equipment
Stainless steel has often been used to make brewing equipment because there is no chemical reaction that releases unpleasant flavors. Beer often corrodes the manufacturing tank because of its acidic properties, and stainless steel is resistant to corrosion. As a result, there are no off-flavors from the corrosive byproduct, and it was cheaper and easier to use than copper.
Unknown Fact #4: A Metal with a High Melting Point
In the past, steel was not popular with blacksmiths because it had such a high melting point. For that reason, it was hard to produce. The heat that can melt steel uses a ball deep inside the center of coal. It has to be in this region because that is where the temperatures rise to over 1500 degrees Celsius. At those temperatures, it makes the heat reflect and become a ball.
Unknown Fact #5: What Qualifies Steel as Stainless?
For steel to qualify as stainless, it will first have to meet specific requirements. A requirement of that is having minimum weight of chromium that reaches 10.5 percent. It can, however, be more, but that depends on the conditions in the environment.
What is interesting about steel is how it has continued to evolve and improve. More than half of the steel types that exist in cars today did not exist 10 years ago. Did you know that steel doors are actually fireproof? This is why some companies have started to make use of steel doors is because it gives their documents and other valuable possessions an added layer of security. Steel is a popular metal today, and because so much of it is recycled, it is good for the environment too.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.