Recycled Steel and Its Uses

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Recycled Steel and Its Uses

Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the whole world. Steel can be recycled continuously without any degradation in its quality and can be manufactured from one product to the other. Moreover, it’s easier to recycle scrap steel than to mine ore for the making of new steel. Steel does not degrade during recycling, and thus is the go-to choice for various applications.

There are 3 types of scrap steel:

  1. Home scrap or internal scrap: The discarded steel that’s generated within the mill while steel-making, is referred to as home scrap.
  2. Prompt scrap: The waste generated while manufacturing different kinds of steel products is known as prompt scrap.
  3. Obsolete scrap: The discarded consumer and industrial elements are known as obsolete scrap.

These are recycled to be used for numerous purposes like:

  1. Home furnishings: Recycled steel is utilized in the making of home furniture owing to its great strength even after recycling. Scrap steel is used in the making of beds, couches, tables, and chairs, etc. The steel provides these furniture pieces durability along with superior aesthetics to make the home stand apart.
  2. Food packaging: Recycled steel is also a preferred choice when it comes to food packaging. Steel cans are the most recycled steel product. A lot of canned goods are made from 100% recycled steel. Less energy is used in the making of steel cans from scrap steel as compared to manufacturing steel cans from raw material. Moreover, steel cans provide excellent resistance against humidity, gasses, and UV-light. Thus, the products do not get spoiled. Moreover, as recycled steel is as strong as the new steel, these cans have great strength and can be transported over long distances. Also, steel has a gloss that gives the food packaging a premium look.
  3. Construction material: Recycled steel is widely used in offices and homes because of its strength and durability. From the steel beams required for support inside the offices to ductwork for the cooling and heating system – all mostly made from recycled steel. Moreover, the stairs and the handrails too are manufactured from the same in most of the cases. Moreover, the lighting fixtures as well as the roofing too involve recycled steel. Also, the old and discarded buildings are dismantled and recycled to form steel that is used in the making of new buildings.
  4. Automobiles: An automobile consists of about 65% of steel. Out of this, around 25% is recycled steel. The old, discarded cars are dismantled and after removing the reusable parts like batteries, tyres, etc, the frames are sent for recycling.
  5. Creative uses: Scrapped steel is used for numerous other purposes like road signs, nameplates, sculptures, and steel art. Being made from recycled steel, outdoor signs and sculptures can withstand external factors and stand strong for years.

What makes steel Eco friendly?

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What makes steel Eco friendly?

Steel is highly recommended for construction and industrial purposes. It comes off as the best material owing to its various features like great strength, corrosion and fire resistance, etc. However, steel is also an eco-friendly material and a blessing to the environment. This World Environment Day, switch to steel to do your bit for the environment.

Here’s what makes steel an environment-friendly material. 

  1. The by-products of steel can be repurposed: The manufacturing of steel leaves almost no wastage. The making of steel results in by-products such as air-cooled slag, granulated slag, and expanded slag. All these are adapted for various purposes. The air-cooled slag is suitable as a construction aggregate and is also used in ready-mixed concrete, concrete products, asphaltic concrete, road bases, etc. Granulated slag is utilized in making cementitious material and expanded slag as a lightweight aggregate. Moreover, the by-product gases are used as a direct fuel substitute, for the internal generation of electricity, or sold for power generation.
  2. Water used in the manufacturing of steel can be recycled: The average water required by integrated plants per metric ton of steel is 28.6 cubic metres. The water is utilized for various purposes like cooling, descaling, and cleaning. However, around 98% of the water is recycled and returned to the source. It is then acceptable for specific end-use. Some part of the water is lost due to the evaporation.
  3. Endlessly recyclable: Steel can be endlessly recycled without losing its properties and strength. Steel can be easily repurposed for various other uses and is 98% recyclable, thus being environment-friendly.
  4. Less energy is used: Steel can be prepared from scrap metal too and that consumes very little energy. It is manufactured in the electric arc furnace. In it, new steel is produced entirely from scrap steel and the step of creating pig iron from iron ore (which is further used to make steel) is reduced, thus saving up to 74% of the energy. Moreover, steel is sturdy and can support thicker layers of insulation. Thus, homes don’t lose heat or cold in winters and summers respectively and result in saving electricity and reduced bills.
  5. Reduces deforestation: Steel is fast replacing wood. As many people have started using steel in place of wood for furniture and their houses, the usage of wood has reduced. This further results in fewer trees being cut and reducing deforestation. Moreover, steel can be easily reused but it’s difficult to reuse wood. Thus, using steel means no wastage, less energy, and water consumption. To sum it up, steel is an eco-friendly material and is a boon for society.