A Guide to the Production Cycle and Sustainability of Steel

Sustainability and recyclability have been steadily growing issues over the past decade, especially because our environmental impacts are becoming more apparent. Consumers, business owners, and manufacturers are prioritizing the use of sustainable materials in various products along the supply chain. 

The steelmaking industry has long been observing sustainable practices, with around 93 percent of all structural steel being recycled into new products. This means that this strong iron alloy is one of the world’s most recycled materials. 

Steel is one of the world’s most essential materials. A plethora of industries make use of this alloy and reap its numerous benefits through steel services. It’s used in constructing buildings, tools, modes of transportation, and even the device you’re using to view this article right now.

Steel has a long lifespan and is remarkably durable, making it a highly recyclable medium that can be reused indefinitely. Manufacturers can also reprocess it into thousands of different applications. It’s a pillar of sustainability, helping the industry reduce adverse environmental impacts.

The Production Cycle of Steel

Having a grasp on the production cycle of this iron alloy is essential to understanding its sustainability. The process involves a series of steps that each make full use of this material’s capacity to be recycled almost infinitely.

1 – Gathering Raw Materials

Many modern suppliers make sure to focus on clean and environmentally friendly practices when harvesting the materials needed for steel production.

2 – Manufacturing the Alloys

Steel is an alloy or combination of mostly iron and carbon, with small traces of other elements such as manganese, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon. The unique combination of compounds reinforces the strength and fracture resistance of iron. Manufacturers typically use electric arc furnaces (EAF) and basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) to produce the alloys, and these modern practices leave a much lower carbon footprint compared to older methods of production.

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The whole process often leaves some unused byproducts, but manufacturers repurpose these residuals to aid in different stages of production. They can be used as substitutes for raw materials and be put into the alloys once more. Because of this procedure, steelmakers significantly reduce their waste while maximizing efficiency.

3 – Processing and Creating Various Products

After the steel has been manufactured, it will then be processed into a wide variety of products. As the alloys are cut, shaped, and assembled, some metal scraps will be left behind. These can be reused and repurposed in the steel manufacturing process again. After this step, the steel will be used for various applications until they’re no longer needed. 

4 – Recycling Post-Consumer Scraps

After serving its purpose, steel becomes post-consumer scraps. These are completely recyclable due to steel’s sheer durability and flexibility, and they can once again be used in the manufacturing process. This cycle repeats itself over and over, reducing the amount of waste that can pollute the environment.

Professional Steel Services in Nashville

Steel is one of the foundations of modern life, and it continues to be a well-loved material because of its capacity for sustainability. Manufacturing this exceptional iron alloy limits waste and pollution, all while creating products that we all use every day. The industry remains as strong as the material, and it will likely remain so for the years to come.

If you’re looking for steel services in Nashville, TN, KGS Steel has you covered. With more than 100 years of sales experience, we can guarantee top quality in what we do. We offer a full line of carbon steel products and processing designed to meet your needs. Contact us to request a steel quote today!

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Bessemer, AL

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Bessemer, AL 35022


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Nashville, TN

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Nashville, TN 37210


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