Surprising Facts About Steel
Steel is so much more than just a building material.
Steel has been around for thousands of years – it’s a sturdy and reliable material but that also means it’s often disregarded as something plain. But that’s so far from the truth! As a structural steel company, we work with steel all the time and can appreciate the beauty and grace that comes with the material. But we thought we would share with you some surprising facts about steel that might have you looking at this wonderful material in a whole new light.
Since steel can be recycled without losing any integrity, it’s one of the most recycled materials on the planet. So much so that most steel that goes into new projects is often partly recycled steel and not brand new. But because it doesn’t lose any strength when recycled, your steel buildings stay nice and strong even with recycled material.
The use of steel can be traced back 4,000 years to the start of the Iron Age. Although steel production can be seen as early as the 13th century BC, it wasn’t until the 11th century BC that evidence was found of steel being used to make something – swords! These blades were known to be very resistant to shattering – a quality that is still true about steel to this day.
Alongside iron, steel production boomed in Canada after WWII as a result of the postwar economic boom, but production of steel began much earlier. Major steelmaking centers grew in Ontario and Nova Scotia and slowly grew for years until demand spiked for economical steel buildings. Ever since, Canadians have made great advancements in steel practices – something we’re thrilled to be a part of!
Steel is a very popular material for building skyscrapers and has been since the 1880s. This also holds true for one of the most recognizable high-rise buildings in the world – the Empire State Building in New York City. Standing at 443 meters tall, the building only took 13 months to complete. That sort of building speed is also possible today with many pre-engineered steel buildings and is a wonderful benefit to working with steel.
Since making functional steel requires so much heat and energy, it’s often not very energy efficient. But with the pressures of climate change upon us, brilliant minds are hard at work reducing the industry’s carbon footprint, recycling production waste, and cleaning the air. Combined with how recyclable steel is, the industry is about to get a whole lot greener!
Interested in learning more about steel? Check out some of steel’s history right in our own backyard: The History of Steel Buildings in BC.
Metal Structure Concepts has been designing and constructing steel buildings across Canada for over 20 years. From retail spaces to warehouses to wineries (and more), we are the experts for your next project. Contact us today to get a free quote.