Steel Supplies Might Not Be As Valuable As Gold, But They Are Far More Sought After
On an ounce for ounce basis, gold is of course significantly more valuable than steel, but only in terms of cost. If we look at the bigger picture, steel supplies are far more valuable to the human race compared to gold. In fact, if gold reserves got depleted tomorrow, life would go on as normal, and none of us would be affected by it in any significant sort of way.
What would life on earth be like if we never had any steel? Take a look around you the next time you walk around in town. Without steel, you’d probably not see a single building towering into the sky; you wouldn’t see buses and trains, and the streets would be free of cars.
People are concerned regarding the human race’s dependency on oil, but let’s face it; we’ll probably find a viable solution before oil reserves run dry. On the other hand we don’t know of any other type of material which could replace steel.
Now that we’ve had some time to reflect on our reliance on steel, let’s go ahead and look at steel itself. What is steel, and where does it come from? Contrary to what some people believe, steel is not a mined metal. Instead, it’s manufactured using a number of mined materials.
Steel, like various other metals, is an alloy. In the case of steel, iron ore is the primary material used. Manufacturers then add carbon, along with various other elements, including things like tungsten, chromium, and etc. The ratio in which these elements are added depends primarily on what purpose the steel is being manufactured for.
As is to be expected, the quality of steel can vary tremendously between different steel suppliers. That having been said, the vast majority of suppliers comply with internationally recognized standards. This is essential in order to ensure steel is suitable for the purpose for which it’s intended. Also, many countries have to import steel in order to meet their requirements, and for obvious reasons, they will not import steel which is below international standards.
One of the most important qualities of steel is its relatively low melting point. Unlike iron which only turns into a liquid at around 1539 degrees centigrade, the average melting point of carbon steel is approximately 1130 degrees centigrade. As a rule, the melting point increases as more carbon is added. Other materials which are routinely added to steel also have a direct impact on the melting point.
So, what is the most important thing to look for when it comes to steel suppliers? If your business relies heavily on the use of steel, you would obviously need to take cost into consideration, but at the same time, you also need to focus on the quality of any steel supplies you order. After all, depending on what it’s being used for, lives could be depending on it.