Facts about steel

Around 90% by weight of the metal we laser cut in 2019 was steel sheet and plate of various grades, that’s about 69% of the individual components. We sell six variations of mild steel sheet in various thicknesses from 0.7mm to 25mm and fifteen variations of stainless steel sheet ranging from 0.5mm – 20mm thick.

Steel is essential to our society, it is used to create frameworks for buildings, transport systems, energy infrastructure and domestic appliances. The main reasons for the popularity of steel are the relatively low cost of manufacture, the abundance of its two raw materials (iron ore and scrap), and its range of mechanical properties.

  • Steel is the most commonly used metal in the world, it is originally made from iron, the 4th most common element in the earth’s crust after oxygen (46%), silicon (28%) and aluminium (8%).
  • There are currently 1712.1 million tons of steel being used in the world today.
  • Iron, the major component of steel, is relatively soft in its pure state. The main method of strengthening iron to convert it into steel is by adding small amounts of carbon, additional changes can be made through heat-treating and alloying to create different grades.
  • In the mid 1850s, a British inventor called Henry Bessemer devised a method to mass-produce steel called the Bessemer Process. Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOS) or Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) are similar processes still used today.
  • There are 3500 different grades of steel with different physical, chemical and environmental properties. Each grade of steel has properties which make it suitable for many applications.
  • Over 75% of the 3500 steel grades in use today did not exist 20 years ago.
  • One of the best things about steel is that it is a permanent material, this means that it can be recycled infinitely. Steel retains its inherent material properties without loss of quality. Recycling one tonne of scrap saves 1.5 tonnes of CO2, 1.4 tonnes of iron ore, 740kg of coal and 120kg of limestone.
  • Global steel recovery rates by sector are estimated to be: 85% in construction, 90% in automotive, 90% in machinery and 50% in domestic appliances.
  • Around 90% of water used in the steel industry is cleaned, cooled and returned to source. Most of the loss is due to evaporation. Water returned to source is often cleaner than when extracted.
90% by weight of the metal we cut in 2019 was sheet steel

Around 90% by weight of the metal we laser cut in 2019 was steel sheet and plate.

Laser cut steel sheet & plate

We laser cut mild and stainless steel sheet and plate in a variety of grades, finishes and thicknesses, take a look at the list of metals available to supply and cut.

Related articles

Stainless steel for hygienic applications

Stainless steel is an excellent choice for applications where hygiene is important, protecting from bacteria, viruses and infections. It is also generally inert to most acids and alkalis released by cooked foods, spices and additives and does not transfer.

Famous steel structures

A large proportion of the steel sheet and plate we cut is used in the construction industry. Steel has been integral to some of the most innovative and iconic structures since the late 1800s, long before the laser cutting process was developed.

Structural steel grades and finishes

Structural steel has to meet industry standards for dimensional tolerances and composition. It is widely used in construction, because it is easy to weld, both to itself and to other types of steel and compared to harder steels, it can be easily machined.

Fast Quotes

Accurate price, reliable lead time, no hidden extras

To get a competitive price for your next steel sheet components, don’t hesitate to contact us. We aim to answer quotes sent between 7.30am and 4pm within one hour. Outside these hours we will respond the next working morning.

We accept DXF, DWG and NC files, please send information about which material, thickness and quantities you require.

Please note: We are unable to provide quotes or prices over the phone, please email us your requirements and we will respond as quickly as possible.

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