The History of Steel: When Was Steel Invented and How Has It Shaped Our World?

The History of Steel: When Was Steel Invented and How Has It Shaped Our World?

BlogDate: 22-04-2024 by: Nhu Quynh

The importance and significance of steel in today's world cannot be denied. Steel is considered the spine of a modern, civilized, and progressive society. But when was steel invented? How is the development process?

In the article below, MRS Steel will help you learn about the history of the formation and development of the steel industry.

When was steel invented? Let's find out below
When was steel invented? Let's find out below

When was steel invented?

It is difficult to have an exact answer to the question “When was steel invented?” Many people think steel appeared at the beginning of the industrial revolution, but it appeared a long time ago. After the Iron Age, from the 13th century BC, steel was invented by heating iron in a hot fire, at which point the iron would become harder and stronger. Since then, people have found traces of steel in many different cultures and territories around the world, and usually only a few shapes of steel are made for use in everyday life.

However, the early invention of steel had a wide range of carbon in the metal, from less than 0.1% (low carbon steel) to 1% (high carbon steel), which could lead to steel with a higher carbon content being very brittle. This brittleness can be reduced by tempering the steel, which is a form of heat treatment that was used in Egypt as early as 900 BC.

Later, in the mid-1850s, Henry Bessemer, the British inventor first created a method to produce steel in large quantities. Since then, steel has been produced based on the Bessemer process. The operating principle of this process is to heat iron ore and other chemicals, then blow oxygen into the blast furnace to separate impurities from the metal mixture. This method is similar to the steel production method we are using today.

Bessemer steel making process
Bessemer steel making process

Until now, the creation of steel was essential to human life. Steel is always ahead of the game and is commonly used in construction and many different industries. There are a number of reasons for this, from the variety of shapes it can be formed into to its relatively low strength and weight compared to other metals.

Development stages of the steel industry

To continue answering the question, when was steel invented? What is the development history of steel? Let's study the development stages of the steel industry below.

Early stage

The steel industry began to form in the late 19th century under the leadership of two leading developed countries, China and India. During this period, the steel industry was often produced manually, by forging or hand casting. This is the initial stage of the steel industry, when production methods have not been automated and the production scale is still small.

In 1856, the birth of the Bessemer furnace helped steel production happen faster with cheap costs and large output. By 1865, Andrew Carnegie brought the Bessemer process to America, and from then on, America suddenly rose to the top of the steel industry.

Historical period that saw a rise in steel making

After its infancy, the steel industry experienced a period of strong growth. During this period, steel production technology was improved, production processes were automated, and production scale increased. This leads to increased productivity, reduced production costs, and increased competitiveness in the steel industry. This is also considered a historical period that witnessed an increase in steel making.

Steelmaking by BOF blast furnace
Steelmaking by BOF blast furnace

At the beginning of the 20th century (1970s), many wars occurred. Leading to increased demand for steel to serve the needs of manufacturing and producing weapons and tanks. Western countries entered the stage of industrialization and modernization. Since then, the demand for steel has increased dramatically to serve the construction of infrastructure projects and buildings. From here, the appearance of "Oxygen Blowing Furnace (BOF)" and "Electrical Arc (EAF)" technology has created a major turning point for the development of the steel industry.

Saturation phase

After going through a historical period that witnessed an increase in steelmaking, the steel industry entered a period of saturation (from the 1980s until now). During this period, the steel industry was able to balance supply and demand, and the growth rate gradually slowed down. Businesses in the industry are forced to expand their markets and seek new development opportunities to ensure continued growth and competition. However, the history of steel is still in the development stage, and we are aiming for more sustainable goals in the future.

China currently dominates the global steel industry
China currently dominates the global steel industry

The role of steel in today's life

It can be said that there is no field that does not use steel; steel is present almost everywhere. With the invention of steel and its durable and flexible properties, steel is known as an extremely important source of raw materials and is widely used in life, especially in the construction field. Below, let's learn about some of the roles of steel in today's life.

The role of steel in construction

With tough properties and the ability to be easily shaped at high temperatures. Steel invented has replaced iron, making it an indispensable material in the construction industry to increase the solidity and durability of projects. An important application of steel in construction is to use it to make reinforced concrete and house foundations, bringing stability to each project. In addition, steel is also used to build infrastructure, roads, public works, and transportation to serve the needs of the community. And until today's rapid development, there is still no material that can replace steel.

The role of steel in everyday life

Besides being an important element in construction, steel is also used in everyday life. From household products such as kitchen utensils and thermos bottles to interior decoration equipment such as tables, chairs, stairs,... With the invention of steel, people's lives have become easier, more modern and smarter.

Household appliances are made of stainless steel
Household appliances are made of stainless steel

MRS Steel - Vietnam's leading steel supplier

As one of the pioneers in exporting Vietnamese steel, MRS Steel is proud to always bring the best-quality steel products to customers. After more than 12 years of operation and development, we have left a strong mark in the hearts of many customers. Currently, to meet customers' needs, MRS Steel's steel products are distributed to all markets around the world with extremely preferential policies. Therefore, if you need to import quality steel products into the Vietnamese market, please contact us.

Hopefully, MRS Steel has helped you answer the question “When was steel invented?” If you have any information that needs updating, please contact us for answers.