The iron and steel Industry of a country has a strong impact on the economy. It performs manufacturing functions of combining different metals to make Steel with most Iron. The industry history started back in the 1850s. Everything made of Iron or steel starts from here including HMS, LMS, Steel Billets, Railway lines, home construction materials, and daily use items.
Every country tries its best to produce as much as it can by using its resources. This industry is backed by iron ore and the most consumed product is coal to melt hard iron and reshapes it according to needs. It is the most recycled industry in the world. The iron and steel industry produced over 1628000000 tones in the world with recycling of 40-50% of production.
Types of Steel
Steel has many types and grades depending on its composition. Mostly it contains carbon and iron but there are varying quantities of other alloying elements. Here, we are going to discuss 4 major types of steel.
- Carbon Steel
- Tool Steel
- Stainless Steel
- Alloy Steel
This type of steel contains mainly carbon and iron, the other elements are only present in trace amounts. It is the most common type and constitutes 90% of the total steel production in the world. Carbon steel is cheaper than other types and for this reason, steel industries produce it in huge quantities. It is very frequently used in construction. Based on the amount of carbon present in it, carbon steel is further sub-classified into 3 types, these are:
- Low carbon steels/mild steels (up to 0.3% carbon)
- Medium carbon steels (0.3–0.6% carbon)
- High carbon steels (more than 0.6% carbon)
As the name suggests, tool steel is used to make tools. It is used in making drilling and cutting equipment. Its composition includes cobalt, tungsten, vanadium, and molybdenum which makes this type of steel highly durable and heat resistant. They are the choice of steel to make hand tools as they have the capability of holding their shape even under heavy use.
Stainless steel is composed of 10–20% chromium, nickel, carbon, manganese, and silicon. They have the extraordinary ability to survive adverse weather conditions. For this reason, it is commonly used in outdoor construction. Stainless steel is also used in electrical devices, medical devices, food processing machinery, pipes, cutting equipment, and pressure vessels. 304 stainless steel is the most common type of stainless steel that withstands harsh weather conditions and keeps electrical materials safe.
Alloy steel is made by the combination of many different alloying elements including manganese, silicon, nickel, boron, molybdenum, vanadium, and chromium. The presence of these various alloying elements increases the strength, toughness, hardness, and wearing resistance of alloy steel. Alloy steels are classified into two main types, low-alloy steels, and high-alloy steels. It is most commonly used to manufacture pipes, and heating elements such as toasters, pots, and other silverware.
Uses of Steel
Steel is very important in manufacturing different materials. Some of the common uses of steel are mentioned here:
- It is used in making vehicles and machines.
- It is used as cutlery material.
- Steel is used to make surgical implants.
- It is also utilized to make different packaging materials.
- Many household appliances like TV, sinks, fridge, oven, etc. are made of steel.
- It is also used in making weapons.
- Steel is used for architectural and infrastructural purposes.
- The solar, hydro, or wind power sources are composed of steel components.
Top 10 Steel Producing Countries in the World
The following table contains a list of the largest steel-producing countries in 2022, along with their global share in total steel production in the world.
|Sr.#||Country||Steel Production in Million Tons (MT) in 2022||Global Share|
China is the world’s largest steel producer. The history of iron and steel manufacturing in China is very old. The modern blast furnace was erected in 1980 in China. The first modem steel plant was constructed in Manchuria. The iron and steel centers in China are located in the Southern Manchurian region, Northern China and Yangtze Valley. But the Mukdon, Anshan, Shantung, Beijing, Shensi, Chungking, Shanghai, and Chilling Chen are the Main regions of China.
Chinese steel quality is better compared to the rest of the world. China Smelt 489.4 million metric tons of pig iron and 489.2 million metric tons of crude steel production by China. This is more than 1/3 production of the total crude steel manufactured in the world.
Major Steel Companies in China
The following list contains some major steel companies in China:
- China Steel Corporation
- Ansteel Group
- Nippon Steel Corporation
- Jianlong Steel
- Liuzhou Iron & Steel
India is the 2nd largest steel producer in the world with a record production of 124.8 million metric tons of steel in 2022. The history of the iron and steel industry in India started in 1907 when Tata Steel was established in Sakchi, Jamshedpur. India possesses big iron ore, coal, and limestone deposits, which give birth to rapid steel manufacturing. Jamshedpur, Burnpur, Bhadravati, Rourkela, Bhilai, Durgapur, and Bokaro are the main steel smelting, centers in India. Recently, India’s crude steel production was 53.1 million metric tons, while production of pig iron was 28.8 million metric tons.
Major Steel Companies in India
Major steel companies in India are:
- Tata Steel
- Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
- JSW Steel
- ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India
- Bhushan Steel
- Essar Steel
- Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL)
- Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL)
Japan is the 3rd largest steel producer in the world. In 2022, Japan produced 89.2 million metric tons of steel. The growth of the Japanese steel industry is indeed a perplexing phenomenon. Japan secured a position in crude steel manufacturing. The latest technology adopted in the steel manufacturing process made Japan one of the leading steel-producing countries in the world.
The principal producing regions are Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, Osaka, Kobe, Oka Yamaha, and Hokkaido. Japan smelted 120.2 million metric tons of crude steel and 86.8 million metric tons of pig iron. At present 13 steel mills are working in Japan, with a smelting capacity of more than 10 million metric tons each.
Major Steel Companies in Japan
A list of major steel companies in Japan is given below:
- Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co., Ltd.
- Sumitomo Corporation
- Mitsui & Co., Ltd
- Aichi Steel
- Shagang Group
- Nakayama Steel Works
- Sadoshima Corporation
The iron and steel industry in the USA is prominent in the world because of the abundance of raw materials in these regions. Due to this reason, it is the leading producer of Iron and Steel in the world. The United States stands in the 4th position as the largest producer of steel in the world.
The major iron and steel manufacturing regions in the U.S.A. are, Pittsburg, Youngstown, Wheeling and Steubenville, Lower Great Lake region, steel centers are located at Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Detroit, and Lorain. In the western region of California, Pueblo, Fontana, and Utah State Provo are also important steel centers. The United States enjoyed its supremacy in steel manufacturing from 1900 to 1969, but now it is the third largest steel manufacturer in the world. US steel production was 98.2 million metric tons and 36.2 million tons of pig iron in recent years.
Major Steel Companies in the United States of America
Here is a list of some main steel companies in the United States:
- Nucor Corp
- U.S. Steel
- Nippon Steel
- King Steel Corporation
- JFE Steel Corporation
Russian Industry is the fifth largest iron and steel producer among all nations. The steel industry first took birth in the Moscow region some 300 years back. At present in Central Moscow, Tula region, Tula and Ghorki are the main steel centers. The Ural Mountains region is another main steel manufacturing region. Magnitogorsk is the biggest steel smelting center in this region, while Kuznetsk is another famous iron and steel center in the Ural region. Leningrad and Liyapaya are also steel smelting centers. During 2007, its crude steel production was 72.4 million metric tons and 51 million tons of pig iron.
Major Steel Companies in Russia
Some famous steel companies of steel in Russia are:
- Novolipetsk Steel
- Severstal PJSC
- Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company
- Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works
South Korea has become one of the largest steel and pig iron manufacturing countries in the world market now; it is the 6th largest steel smelting country in the world. In 2022, they produced 65.9 million metric tons of steel and contributed 3.5% of the global share of steel production in the world. Korea is the big importer of iron ore in the international market. Cluing Hong, Pusan, Masan, and Seoul are important manufacturing centers in South Korea. Crude steel and pig iron production in South Korea were 51.5 and 29.4 million metric tons.
Major Steel Companies in South Korea
The major steel companies in South Korea include:
- Dongkuk Steel
- KG Steel
- Hyundai Steel
- Seah Steel Holdings
Germany is ranked number 7th in the list of largest steel producers in the world. In 1990, after the reunification of East and West Germany, the country became one of the major steel manufacturing countries in the world. Most of Germany’s steel output comes from the Great Ruhr industrial Region. The vast coal deposits of Ruhr Valley, Upper Silesia, Lansing, and Erg bury have provided excellent opportunities to develop the steel industry. Crude steel production was 48.6 million metric tons, while it produced more than 31 million metric tons of pig iron.
Major Steel Companies in Germany
Following are some famous steel companies in Germany:
- Otto Wolff
- Dillinger Hütte
- German Steel Trust
- Hoesch AG
- Reichswerke Hermann Göring
Turkey is the 8th largest steel producer in the world and the 1st largest in Europe with the production of over 35.1 million metric tons in 2022. There are 26 electric arc furnace mill plants in the country. Turkey exports its steel mainly to North America and the Middle East. Their exports to North America increased by 53.2% in 2020.
The largest steel-producing areas in Turkey are:
- Marmara production area (capacity: 15.2 million tons),
- Aegean production area (capacity: 11.3 million tons),
- Mediterranean production area (production capacity: 16.7 million tons),
- Black Sea production area (capacity: 8.3 million tons).
Major Steel Industries in Turkey
The following are major steel industries in Turkey:
- Iskenderun Iron and Steel Co. Inc.
- Eregli Iron and Steel Factories TAS
- Icdac Celik Energy Shipyard and Transportation Industry Inc.
- Colakoglu Metallurgy A.S.
- Toscelik Profile and Sheet Industry Inc.
- Borcelik Celik San
Brazil stands at the 9th position of the world’s largest steel producer. The development of the steel industry in Brazil is spectacular and since 1973, production of steel has witnessed a more than 300% increase. Consumption of steel, within Brazil, is low; therefore, it exports huge amounts of steel to the international market.
Most of the industry is located around Sao-Pulo and Caramba. Santa Catarina is another steel manufacturing center in Brazil. Brazil possesses huge amounts of iron ore near Minus Geraes. Brazil produced 33.6 million tons of crude steel and 35.6 million metric tons of pig iron.
Major Steel Companies in Brazil
Here is a list of major steel industries in Brazil:
- Aço Verde do Brasil
Iran ranks 10th position in the list of the world’s largest steel-producing countries. During World War II Iran’s steel industry faced major consequences but two decades after, they brought up the idea of establishing a steel plant as the demand for steel products increased. In 2022, Iran managed to produce 30.6 million metric tons of steel. There has been an 8% increase in crude steel production by Iran in 2022. Most of Iran’s steel factories are located in Esfahan, Yazd, and Kerman provinces.
Major Steel Companies in Iran
The following list contains major steel companies in Iran:
- Esfahan Steel Company
- Khorasan Steel
- Mobarakeh Steel Company
- Saba Foulad Zagros
Other Major Steel-Producing Countries in the World
Here are some other major countries with large steel industries along with their total steel production in million tons in 2022 and their global share in the world.
|Sr.#||Country||Steel Production in Million Tons (MT) in 2022||Global Share|
Steel is an alloy of mainly iron and carbon. It may also contain other alloying elements such as nickel, cobalt, chromium, manganese, etc. Steel is used in manufacturing many things such as automobiles, construction materials, cutlery, machinery, and other industrial equipment. Steel is classified into different types depending upon its classification. These types are stainless steel, tool steel, alloy steel, and carbon steel. Almost 64 countries in the world produce steel now however the ten largest steel-producing countries include China, India, Japan, the United States, Russia, South Korea, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, and Iran.
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