Steel is a very common product and can be found everywhere. Almost everything in the world is either made from steel or made through steel. Steel is also considered the 2nd most traded commodity after oil.
Given that steel is so much common and important product, there is also quite confusions about its various kinds. One common confusion is that both iron and steel are sometimes used as synonyms. Are they the same?
In simple words, iron is an element, while steel is an alloy. Steel is comprised of iron and carbon. An alloy is a combination of one or more elements.
Steel is also an alloy which is made up of a combination of iron and carbon. Given that the majority of its composition is iron, steel contains less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese. It also contains a small proportion of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen.
Iron is extracted from iron ore which is a type of mineral. The high amount of carbon makes steel stronger, but at the same make it brittle.
Steel is the world’s most important commodity which is used in almost all end-user sectors. The two broad categories or steel carbon steel and stainless steel.