Let’s talk about Steel & TMT Bars – Part 1

Hello everyone ! This is a blog series with two parts and we will be talking about Steel and its properties, TMT bars and TMT Bars Manufacturing Process in detail. So, let’s get started.

Out of the hottest fire comes the strongest steel

-Chinese Proverb

Steel the world’s prominent construction material is an alloy of iron, carbon and other materials. It contains about 0.2 percent carbon by weight. The metal is widely used in the construction of buildings, machines, tools, ships, automobiles and many more.

Steelmaking process has a long history although this process was commercialized in the late 19th century. The widespread use of steel is owing to its properties like high tensile strength, durability, highest strength-to-weight ratio than any other building material. However, steel structures are adversely affected by fire, corrosion, and other environmental factors. This leads to significant compromise in the structural integrity, safety, and longevity of the structures. Thus, steel undergoes various processes to increase its properties like mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, yield strength, ductility, and hardness.

Adding to the glory of the metal is the fact that Steel is the World’s Most Recycled Material.

Why recycle steel?

The use of scrap steel saves up to 74% of the energy needed to make steel from virgin materials.

One of the outstanding characteristics of steel is that it can be recycled endlessly without compromising on any of its qualities. This is possible because iron atoms are indestructible, and once scarp is melted the atoms rearrange themselves in a new way to form new steel.

If we are to look at history, recycling has been part of the steel industry ever since the 19th century. Scrap metal is melted to make new steel. This has lead to scrap becoming the most sought after raw material for the steel industry.

Forming of Steel

Forming is a process that converts solidified steel into desired shapes suitable for fabrication and construction industries. The process improves steel’s physical properties thus making it suitable for most of the applications. Different products like billets, bars, rods, and plates are created using this process.

Steel Billets

Talking about billets, they are created during extrusion or continuous casting processes or by simply rolling ingot. The billets are hot rolled and then used in further stages of metal casting. Soft and ductile, billets are used in various hot rolling or cold drawing applications to make steel bars and other products.

Billets are commonly used in the production of :

Bars
Wire
Hollow Sections
Plates
Rods
Pipes

Steelmaking Overview

The second step in producing steel from iron ore is steelmaking. It is in this stage that impurities such as excess carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus are removed from the raw iron and thereafter alloying elements like nickel, manganese, chromium, and vanadium are added to produce the desired steel.

Modern steelmaking processes have been classified into two categories primary and secondary steelmaking. Iron ore is used as the feedstock for primary steelmaking. On the other hand, scrap steel is used as the primary raw material for secondary steelmaking.

Primary Steelmaking

In the process of primary steelmaking, carbon-rich molten pig iron created in the blast furnace is made into steel. Oxygen is blown through molten pig iron to lower the carbon content in the alloy and convert it into low-carbon steel.

Secondary Steelmaking

In secondary steelmaking, the scrap metals are melted in a large furnace, which is a highly energy consuming process. But it is noteworthy to mention that the process is still in a large way less energy consumption when compared to primary steel making by a large margin. The steel after the purification process is alloyed.

It is the very process of Steelmaking that led to the production of high-grade steel types including mild steel and stronger TMT (Thermomechanically Treated) bars available in different grades Fe 415, Fe 500, Fe 550, Fe 600. That’s all for this blog post. In the next post, we will be exploring the TMT Bars Manufacturing Process.

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