Steel Needs To Go Through Several Processes

Posted on: 23 January 2018

Steel is in just about everything around you. Even new cars with lighter bodies still need to have a steel chassis for strength and stability. That steel has to go through several processes before it can end up in the car that you drive down the road. 


The first part of the process is actually making the steel. Steel isn't one metal; it's an alloy. An alloy means that it is a material that is made up of a mixture of metals. In steel's case, that mixture always includes carbon and iron. There can be other additives, like nickel, depending on what the steel is going to be used for. The ratios of what goes into any given batch of steel can also vary. You can have high-carbon steel, which has large amounts of carbon and includes iron that has a high carbon content. 


Smelting is one of the parts of the process of making steel. The ingredients are melted and mixed together. After it melts, the metal is ready to be formed. It can be poured into round stock, bar stock, sheets, and ingots in whatever shape is necessary. After the forms are cooled, it can be sent out to wherever it needs to go for further processing. 


Metal fabrication, like that which takes place at Moorhead Machinery & Boiler Co., is a really important part of the process. It makes the raw steel into whatever it needs to be. For example, a large piece of bar stock can be turned into an I-beam that will go into the next big skyscraper. Making that I-beam is going to include several different processes in order to make sure that it is the right size and shape. Those can include things like bending, cutting, and welding. First the bar stock can be hammered into the proper shape. Back in the day, that would be done by blacksmiths, but there is now machinery that can hammer the center section of the I-beam into the right shape. Then that bar stock can be hammered into the shape of an I-beam by bending the top and bottom. Another way to make that I-beam would include using sheet metal and dies that would press the steel into the proper shape, or cutting the pieces into the right size and welding them together. 

Steel shows up in just about everything from that spoon you used to eat your bowl of ice cream to the 747 flying overhead. Without the right processes, that steel won't exist and won't be in the proper shape to be used.