Monthly Archives: August 2014

UnknownOur modern infrastructure is possible thanks to steel. You may not realize it, but most everything we use today is comprised of steel. In the early days of transportation we relied on steel for the railroads. Now our cars, trucks, buses, and ships are made using steel. 
Electricity comes to our house through steel power lines and the power plants creating this energy are also made of the material. Our military relies on steel for battleships and aircraft carriers. 
Our homes contain tons of steel items. Most of our appliances have steel in them like fridges, ovens, and laundry machines. Forks, knives, spoons can also be made of steel. Even our food can come packaged in steel cans. group-stainless-steel-kitchen-items-13989128
Next time you’re at the hospital or doctor’s office, take a look around. Most of the surgical instruments used today are made of top quality steel. 

Steel is all around us!
Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 12.14.21 PMLeveltek President Mike Kelly and his wife Carla just returned from Australia where they attended the grand opening for the new $8 million BlueScope processing line. The Kelly’s were among the 120 guests which included customers, distributors, contraction companies and executives from Bradbury. The line was officially opened (ahead of schedule!) by Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and BlueScope executives. Mike are Carla were able to tour the new line. “Everything looked fantastic and ran perfectly. All of the feedback was extremely positive. It has been a great project, a great team effort and one that Leveltek is proud to be a part of,” says Mike Kelly. 
A new $8 million hot rolled coil processing facility opened at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks on Monday.

The new processing line uses state-of-the-art stretch-levelling technology to make coil plate and has been strategically installed next to the hot strip mill.

Construction finished ahead of schedule, which meant Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery was able to open it a month early. Cr Bradbery spoke about the importance of adding value to the region’s economy.

He said BlueScope’s willingness to continue its long relationship with Wollongong was testimony to its ongoing confidence in the region.

BlueScope sales, marketing, innovation and trading general manager Jason Ellis said it was a great day for the steelworks and an investment in the future. The company was able to deliver a higher-quality product, he said.

“It is also important for our industry in general because this is a reinvestment back in steel. It doesn’t happen very often. It really is a significant milestone for all of us, not just BlueScope. This material and this product will help deliver better value for our customers and their customers,” he said.

BlueScope manufacturing general manager John Nowlan said the new processing line would employ about 10 people in two shifts.

“It is adding value to the coil that we make,” he said. BlueScope’s new coil plate product will be available in the market as TRU-SPEC™ Coil Plate steel. It is designed to bend, cut, press and form predictably to ensure quality products can be produced efficiently and easily.

BlueScope product and brand manager Gregory Moffitt said customers were definitely in mind in the latest investment.

The flatness and consistency of the coil plate steel was particularly suited to the industry’s growing preference towards laser cutting, which required products to stay flat during cutting, he said.

“Stretch levelling technology produces a ‘memory-free’ product, which means TRU-SPEC™ Coil Plate steel is less likely to flex up and jam or damage the laser cutter.”

Full production is expected to begin on September 1.

UnknownSteel is used in so many items that we use today that it’s hard to wonder about a world without it. Discovered around 2000 BCE, iron was used to replace bronze. This is because iron is harder, has a sharper edge, and is more durable than bronze. Iron was finally replaced by steel in 1870. 
In the mid 1800s steel was expensive and hard to manufacture. The invention of the Bessemer converter, named after Sir Henry Bessemer, changed all that. This process allowed for the mass-production of cheap steel. Sir Henry created a converter which blew compressed air through molten metal. This allowed for molten pig iron to be cheaply be transformed into steel.
Robert Forester Mushet (1811–1891)

Robert Forester Mushet (1811–1891)

British inventor Robert Mushet improved upon Bessemer’s design. He found that the air blast was removing too much carbon and leaving behind too much oxygen in the metal. He discovered that by adding a small amount of molten spiegel (a compound of iron, carbon, and manganese) would fix the problem. 
So next time you think of steel, you’ll have to thank Sir Henry Bessemer and Robert Mushet for pioneering the way steel is manufactured.  
Steel is a primary component of many buildings today. It is also used on railroads, bridges, and other necessary infrastructure. But why do we tend to use steel and not other materials?
  • Steel has the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material. It’s durability means you don’t have to replace components often. There are some bridges in the US that are in need of repairs now, but they have lasted over 50-100 years with their original materials.
  • Steel is also fire-resistant, so it won’t create fuel for a fire. Unlike wood, steel won’t rot, split, crack, or warp. This means much lower maintenance for steel buildings compared to wood ones.
  • Steel is also good for the environment. All steel used nowadays contains at least some recycled steel. Steel can also be recycled and reused.
  • Steel is also very affordable for construction. Since it uses partially recycled material and lasts long, it is more cost effective than other metals or wood.