The steel industry in America currently supports more than one million workers, helping thousands of families put dinner on the table nightly. Steel is also the most globally recycled product. In North America alone, roughly 60 million tons of steel are either recycled or exported for recycling annually. Steel is a good thing — used in the construction of hospitals and schools, in suspension cables to hold bridges aloft and in the erecting of oil pipelines and wind turbines. There’s not much Americans could build without the help of the U.S. steel industry. This includes the construction of outdoor sheds and steel constructions like those offered by Bunger Steel of Arizona.
History of the Steel Industry: Starting Small
To survive and thrive in Colonial America, the colonists needed tools. Axes, knives, hammers, nails, and horseshoes were all necessary items. So were bullets. To make these, iron was needed. This prompted the beginning of the steel industry in the New World. Work was slow, and materials difficult to come by. Processes were tricky to learn, and the steel-making industry plodded slowly along until after the end of America’s Civil War. By 1880, the economy was booming. This made for quick advancements in technology, which in turn, made for more durable products. Accordingly, the steel industry rose steadily. In the next twenty years, steel production would multiply tens times over. This set the stage for a steel industry larger than any other in the world.
History of the Open-Hearth Furnace
The early 1900s saw a wealth of industrial expansion. Bridges were built. Buildings were constructed. Railroads forged their way through mountainsides and across rivers. These all contributed to an increased need for steel, By 1865, the open-hearth furnace had been invented and was in use for steel-making. This made production even more feasible. It made it more profitable, as well. The open-hearth method had many advantages over the old way of manufacturing steel:
- The external temperature control was easier to access and to adjust.
- Cheaper, lower-quality materials could be used to make quality steel.
- The composition of the steel produced was more uniform and controllable.
One-hundred years later, steel-making would shift to use basic oxygen furnaces or electric arc furnaces, which offer major improvements over open-hearth methods.
History of Corten Steel
COR-TEN steel, or weathered steel, was invented in the 1930s from a group of steel alloys and intended for use outdoors; patented by the U.S. Steel Company, Corten steel needed no painting and was manufactured to weather naturally in an outdoor environment. Over time, it developed an attractive, rusted appearance that was as appealing to look at as it was durable and resistant to corrosion.
Today’s Corten steel is slightly different, but it’s still used for a variety of outdoor purposes, mostly to add architectural appeal. Because it’s long-lasting and ages beautifully in just a small amount of time, it’s a popular building material for new, artsy constructions.
Bunger Steel for Outdoor Steel Buildings
In the 21st century, steel is a popular choice for homeowners and business owners for use in outbuildings, office buildings, and more. If you’re in the market for steel construction, Bunger Steel in Arizona is a premiere building manufacturer. Contact us today for a free quote.