The iron and steel sector serves as a foundation for the growth of a variety of sectors in the international market, notably defense, transportation and heavy engineering, energy, and construction (including aeronautical and shipping construction). Furthermore, the iron and steel sectors are intertwined with the chemical and light industries. It demonstrates that the iron and steel sectors have the capacity to boost national producers’ competitiveness and the national economy’s growth.
In the current global economy, iron in all of its forms (cast iron, steel, and rolled metal) is the most often utilized building material. It continues to outperform wood in the building industry, battling with cement and combining with it (ferroconcrete), and contending with new forms of constructional materials (polymers, ceramics).
For decades, more than almost any other industry, the engineering sector uses ferrous materials. Steel usage throughout the world is increasing. In 2014, the average rate of consumption increase was 3%. In developed nations, the growth rate is lower (2 percent ). Steel usage is higher in developing nations.
The importance in the Economy
Steel production is currently the measure of national wealth and the base for the large-scale production of shipbuilding, car manufacture, construction, apparatus, equipment and household and industrial technology in many other industries.
Transport growth, particularly by sea, has brought economic benefit to worldwide interchange of necessary raw materials (iron ores, coal, fuel oil, scrap and additives). Thus, iron ore resources are no longer restricted to nations near coal fields. In the coastal regions of major industrialised countries, large smelting facilities and steelworks have been erected.
They are provided with raw materials from exporting nations that fulfil current high-quality material standards.
Throughout the last decade we have created and achieved successful so-called techniques for direct reduction. The iron ores are converted to sponge iron by removal of their oxygen and therewith obtained a ferrous substance which substitutes the scrap, in particular high grade or reclassified ores.
Types of Iron & Steel processes.
Pig iron includes significant quantities of carbon and other contaminants (mainly Sulphur and phosphorus). Consequently, it must be polished. It is necessary to decrease the carbon content, oxidize and eliminate the impurities and turn the iron into a relatively flexible metal, which is welded and manufactured.
This is the aim of the steel production activities. The steel furnaces are three types: an open-hearth furnace, the process converter for basic oxygen and the electric arc furnace. Open heart furnaces were mostly superseded by basic oxygen transformers (where steel is produced of molten iron by blowing air or oxygen) and electric arc furnaces.
Applications in the Industry
Steel industry co-products have several applications inside the industry, as well as in other sectors and in society as a whole. In some situations, the physical characteristics, such as steelmaking slag used as aggregates in road building; in others, the chemical composition, such as process gases used as fuel to generate heat and/or power, determines the use.
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