Move over concrete, steel is taking centre stage. And for good reason too. With all the green qualities of steel, in addition to its versatility and strength the demand for steel it's becoming a trending topic. Let's look at why the steel industry will continue to grow in the future.
Steel Buildings and Steel Frames
Steel is an idea building material to build homes for more than 1.1 billion people living in inadequate housing in urban areas across the world. It's also ideal for luxury homes, hotels and any other types of shelter or housing. An increasing number of builders have discovered steel framing. Steel framing can stand up to about any kind of natural disaster including hurricanes and tornadoes. Builders, developers and consumers are finding that steel frames have economic and environmental benefits.
Worldwide Steel Buildings, a manufacturer of steel buildings and steel garages, found that for a 2,000sq ft building made out of steel it would take 6 scrapped automobiles verses 40-50 trees to build a conventional building. Virtually 100% of all cars that have reached their prime become recycled. Steel is different than most structural materials because it can be recycled indefinitely without seeing a reduction in its chemical properties or performance. Yearly, enough energy is saved by recycling steel to supply Los Angeles with electricity for almost 10 years.
According to Steel.org, the focus of solid waste management is shifting from simple disposal to incorporating market development to stimulate job creation and industrial development. Because consumers are learning about the benefits of steel and other green products, there is a higher demand for steel. Many business owners of large and small companies are learning the economic impact of buying recycled materials. A good example of this is McDonald's that has spends $1bn dollars on recycled products. Just about every product we use has steel in it or was created by a steel machine. Steel will continue to be a major driver behind green initiatives which will encourage job growth and stimulate the economy.
Steel and Public Policy
The house passed the 'Pioneers Act', on 16 February 2012 which will help promote abundant and affordable domestic energy supplies like steel in the United States. The act will help ensure that highly-skilled steelmaking jobs are not lost to overseas competitors that have lower energy costs.
Growth of Steel
Steel is the most recycled material in the world. China is the largest consumer of steel and even a relatively small country like Egypt is expected to need 7.5 million tonnes by 2013. With the US government's initiative to rebalance the economy and contain the real estate bubble, steel will enter a less intensive growth period in the next year but is still growing at a substantial rate. The demand for steel is still expected to grow by 5.7% in 2012. WorldSteel.org predicts that in 2013, the steel use in the US is expected to grow by 5.6% to 99.5 Mt, bringing it to 92% of the 2007 level.
Steel is becoming the new gold standard for metal. Awareness about the fact that steel is the most recycled material in the world (more than all other materials combined) will help the industry to grow. Customers will continue to rely on North American steel producers as an important part of their success and invest in manufacturing technologies that support a strong steel building demand.
Samuel Johnson is a marketing representative at Worldwide Steel Buildings, manufacturing high-quality, steel & metal buildings and trusses since 1983. Image: Anatolli
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