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10 Things You Didn't Know About Steel, Angle Iron And Recycling

 angle, rail and channel steel bar

Steel is a part of our lives. No matter where you are, you are located near some type of steel material, and that steel material may have been used in other products before it is in its present state. Just take out a magnet and start sticking it to objects to find all the steel in the room you are sitting in now. Knowing more about this versatile and strong product will allow you to take steps in using and reusing it for a better community and an overall healthier environment. Steel will always be needed in our lives, and we should appreciate the little things that it has done for us to make our daily routines a little bit better. We have gathered together a list of the 10 things you may not have known about regarding this metal that is made into angle iron and other steel products. You can stump your friends about your vast knowledge or even use the answer when being a game show contestant.

1: All steel is made from iron

No, we are not being Captain Obvious. Many people believe that steel is a material all of itself and it is produced into the steel beams that hold up homes or is made into cars. The truth is that 90 percent of all the metals that we refine today is made out of iron, and the majority of it is crafted into steel. Other elements such as chromium and nickel are added to give the steel additional properties such as corrosion resistance and durability against high temperatures.

2: We need iron to survive

When we mean survival, we mean more than just the car you use to drive to the store and the grocery cart you need to pick up your bread loaf. Plants and animals need iron to live. Plants use iron to create chlorophyll that is needed for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is when plants absorb sunlight to grow. Animals, including humans, need iron in their diets as it is a component in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries the oxygen through our blood streams to the tissues in our bodies.

3: Millions of tons of steel were used to create packaging and containers

The exact number of tons that was used to create these containers and packages was 2.2 million. That is how much steel was produced in 2012 just in the United States. When thinking about manufacturers around the world, the amount of steel containers and packaging is staggering as we rely so much on this steel material just to be used to hold other products.

4: We've been recycling steel for over 150 years

It sounds amazing, but recycling efforts for steel such as angle iron has been going on since the 1800s. Most of the steel objects that you use in your life can contain from 25 percent up to 100 percent of recycled steel. So you are in fact contributing to a greener environment without even knowing it.

5: Steel is 100 percent recyclable

Not many objects can be recycled as fully as steel. From metal beams to aluminum cans, steel can be remade into other objects over and over again. For the household objects that we don't need anymore, the steel is taken to material recovery facilities where it becomes processed. For larger steel objects and bales, these objects are melted in furnaces at refineries before turned into new steel. Beams and angle iron can also be given to Houston steel suppliers as-is so other companies and individuals can purchase the materials for the construction and personal projects.

6: It is cheaper to recycle steel than to mine for ore

One of the interesting facts about recycling is that it can get expensive to recycle certain products such as plastic, so much so that we cannot fully melt or change certain plastics as they wind up in a landfill. On the other hand, steel is not only recyclable but it is cheaper to recycle it than to mine for virgin ore. The only reason that we do continue to mine for ore materials is to supplement the steel that we have already produced.

7: We reduce steel manufacturing wastes by reducing thickness

Steel manufacturing can reduce waste as this waste can have a toxicity that can harm the environment. The steel industry has taken great strides to reduce waste by reducing the amount of materials needed to make the same products that were used previously. If that didn't make sense, look at the newer cars that auto manufacturers are rolling off the production lines. The cars are more lightweight because the steel used to make them is not as thick as was used for older cars. The thinner the steel, the less waste is produced. You can thank advancing technologies for this benefit.

8: A lot of the recovered steel comes from the construction and transportation industry

This fact shouldn't come as much of a surprise since it is the construction and transportation industries that uses a lot of steel. From the homes we live in to the bridges that we cross with our cars, steel is an important product needed to construct all sorts of structures and machines all over the world. It is a good thing that companies around the world are making sure to recycle the steel that is no longer used by them.

9: We recycle 65 million tons of scrap steel

Americans recycled 65 million tons of scrap steel while 9.7 million tons were recycled in the United Kingdom. Recycling this much steel year after year can give you a good feeling that you are doing your part for society. So the steel can from your vegetables that you had for dinner shouldn't just be thrown out. Take it to your nearest recycling center that accepts steel products.

10: Most of the steel recovered from the World Trade Center was recycled

Debris taken from the World Trade Center were not discarded. Instead, it was taken and recycled to make many other projects. One of those projects was the USS New York naval assault ship. Several tons of the recovered steel were used to create the bow of the ship as the ship will now protect our maritime waters from a number of threats.