The aerospace industry, medicine, and construction are some of the areas that have grown thanks to steel usage, which has instigated a technological revolution in these fields.
In 1996, the newspaper The Times posted an article with the title “Steel Technology” where they did a recap of the nuclear, medical, and construction progress that steel had achieved at the time. 25 years later, this material keeps transforming industries and boosting technological advances.
Steel: A dynamic material
Physical and chemical characteristics from steel make it a valued element by industries and highly used in the development of new technologies.
- It can contract, dilate and melt according to the temperature.
- It is one of the strongest materials when used in other fusions to create new tools.
- It has ductility, which is why sometimes it is used to make wires.
- Its malleability is such that you can make sheets as thin as tinplate with steel.
- It is easy to weld, which is why it can be used in big structures.
Steel’s technological impulse to industries
Naming every technological progress fueled by steel would be a colossal task. However, some do stand out:
Medicine and Steel
In the healthcare and medical sector, due to its thermal and aseptic condition, materials that overcome rusting problems are required as well as constant disinfection and biologically hazardous environments.
Stainless steel, especially stainless steel 304 and 316, are the favorites for tools and medical equipment development. In the same way, steel has the chemical ability to melt with other metals like nickel, chrome, and molybdenum to enhance their characteristics.
Some of the medical materials that have steel are:
- Orthopedic implants
- Bone fixation
- Prosthesis and plates
- Heart valves
- Precision tubes
- Sinks, trays and knifes
Steel has enabled developments in the healthcare sector through technologies that improve quality in the procedures.
Thanks to its constant use and continuous research, steel has given an extra to the healthcare sector. It has fueled the creation of new surgical instruments and the improvement of existing ones, paving the way to technology at the service of healthcare.
Steel in aviation and the aerospace industry
When scientists found out that fusing steel with chromium would result in stainless steel, technology started its unstoppable advancement. That is the case for industries that dominate the skies and little by little has become the new transport alternatives.
Aviation technology was radically transformed at the moment when steel started to prove a great resistance to corrosion, atmospheric pressure, and the high temperatures that are experienced in the skies. Because of this, nowadays, landing gears, outlets, gears, fasteners, and diverse airplane parts are made from this material.
According to Metinvest group, “steel is also an essential material for the aerospace industry nowadays as much as it was in the past.” Its rigidity and hardness are superior to aluminum and they allow it to survive in outer space.
“Steel is also an essential material for aerospace industry”, Metinvest.
The versatility from this material is such that the South African magnate Elon Musk is convinced that modern steel-making technologies, in alliance with metallurgy, will be vital to win the space race and achieve space travel.
New construction with steel
In 1931, among the clouds of New York, the majestic Empire State Building had risen. A 102 floors skyscraper structure made of steel. From that moment on, builders, architects, and engineers have validated the durability and importance of using this iron and carbon fusion.
Extensive research has aided in finding new characteristics in this material that provide a privileged position in the construction sector.
One of them is that in areas of great seismic risk, steel has given good results on structural conservation, due to its chemical composition it absorbs a grand part of land-based vibrations. In the same way, it is a lightweight product that grants an outstanding resistance to high buildings.
Steel constructions have proven to have seismic-resistant properties.
Structures, beams, angles, bridges, doors, facades, pillars, and even tracks are some of the constructions where steel has a main role. In Colombia, for example, it is essential for 4G and 5G tracks due to its resistance and capability to shape big buildings.
That way, little by little, steel has started to transform technology and industries, fueling development, and rising as an essential material to formulate new solutions. That is why it is strategically, not only for companies but also for the strengthening of the fourth industrial revolution.
In Ternium we are still committed to the technological revolution, refining our techniques, methods, and processes to contribute more to building the future we wish.