What is Steel? 

Steel is a ferrous alloy composed mostly of iron and carbon. A lot of people believe that steel is a metal, but that’s not true. Since it has similar properties to metals, it is formerly known as an alloy. Metals appear naturally as an element, whereas alloys comprise several composite parts and components, which are not naturally classified as an element. Of course, you will find iron as an ingredient as it is a part of the iron and steel making process.

How is Iron Turned into Steel?

For the integrated steelmaking process, iron ore is warmed and melted in furnaces where contaminants are separated and carbon added. Today, much of the steel is manufactured using the first or second steel making process.

Steel making steps

Blast Furnace

The current blast furnace is a giant steel shell built like a cylinder and packed with heat-resistant bricks. For the coke steel making process, iron ore, coke, and limestone are pumped into the furnace from the top and eventually sink straight to the bottom, becoming hotter as they go down. In the upper half of the furnace, coke-burning gas releases oxygen from the iron ore. In the lower half of the furnace, the limestone responds with the contaminants in the ore and the coke creating the slag. The temperatures at the bottom of the boiler are more than 3000 Fahrenheit. The molten slag remains on top of the molten steel, causing it to be pumped into the furnace’s slag. 

Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)

In this, one of the first steel making process steps is that the scrap steel is tilted from the overhead crane into the EAF. When the furnace is finished, the lid is swung closed to the top of the furnace. The cover includes electrodes that are dropped into the furnace. The electrodes are filled with a strong electrical current that produces heat and thus melts the scrap. Other metals recognised as Ferro-alloys are applied to the steel to have the necessary chemical composition as scrap melts. Oxygen is pumped to the furnace to cleanse the steel. Lime and fluorspar are incorporated to combine the contaminants to shape the slag.

What are the Types of Steel?

Here are some common types of steel:

  • Carbon Steels include only small quantities of elements other than carbon and iron. This category is the most prominent, accounting for 90% of the steel manufacturing process
  • Alloy steel includes alloy elements such as nickel, copper, chromium, and aluminium. 
  • Stainless Steels contain 10–20 percent chromium as their alloy component and are prized for their excellent corrosion resistance.
  • Tool Steels make excellent cutting and drilling tools because they include tungsten, molybdenum, cobalt, and vanadium to improve heat resistance and toughness.

What Fuel is Steel Made From?

Global steel production relies on coal. 70% of the steel produced is made from coal. Metallurgical coal – or coking coal – is a critical element in the steel making process

Iron Vs. Steel

Is Steel Stronger Than Iron?

Steel and iron have distinct mechanical properties, and, generally speaking, steel alloys are stronger and more damage-resistant than iron alloys or elemental iron. Traditionally, they are more potent stuff. What is meant by “power” relies, however, on the application. Sundar Steel is a leading company in the steel industry using the modern steelmaking process along with a unique steel making process flowchart to provide the best quality steel composition at low prices.