The History Of Steel

Satisfactory Essays
Steel has become a fundamental part of almost every aspect of our daily lives, and has played an essential role in the development of the modern urbanised world. Steel is a unique and versatile material. It touches almost every part of modern life. From infrastructure and transport, to energy delivery, from canned food and electronics to machinery and the simplest of everyday objects, such as needles, spoons, nuts and bolts. Almost everything around us, most of which we rarely, if ever notice, is either made from or manufactured using steel.

The production of steel is a relatively new process even though the origins of steelmaking can be traced back thousands of years. The 19th century however has seen the industrialisation of steel-making/production, which has ultimately assisted in building our modern world.

People in Egypt and Mesopotamia, first discovered iron, or more specifically meteoric iron, over 4000 years ago, and used what they believed was a ‘gift of the gods’ as a material of decoration. However it would still be a further 2000 years before the production of iron from mined iron ore would begin.

Some of the earliest findings of smelted iron can be traced back to 1800BCE in India. “The Hittites of Anatolia began smelting iron around 1500 BCE” (World Steel Association, 2012). However in around 12000BCE, the collapse of their empire forced the various tribes to relocate, taking with them all of the knowledge that they had accumulated on iron making, spreading it around must of Europe and Asia and unconsciously they began the start of the Iron Age. “For the next 3000 years, until replaced by steel, iron formed the material basis of human civilisation in Europe, Asia and Africa.” (Spoerl, J)

Nonetheless, iron is no...

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...g waste material to such an extent that it regarded virgin material as a 'substitute' would have been regarded as very advanced. Certainty the steel industry has played this card, with environmental information constantly stressing the high rates of steel recycling compared to other materials life plastic.” (Fry & Willis)

Though we may not know where the future is leading us, we know from the thousands of years of technological research that our ancestors have left to us that steel has not only been a major part in the development of the modern world but steel will also continue to play a crucial part in helping our modern world encounter and overcome the challenges that we will inevitably face in the future. Our standard of living today relies majorly on the invisible use of steel and we continue to benefit from the technology and advancements that steel provides.
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