Innovations in the Steel Industry

The Steel Summit Conference ended the month of August with a lively discussion on the influence innovation will have on the future of the steel industry. Lawrence Kavanagh, President of the Steel Market Development Institute, revealed last Wednesday some of the newest uses of steel in infrastructure, building construction and automotive.

The opportunities in the pipeline are exciting, and just a few of the innovations that we can expect to see in the industry in the near future include:

Changes in the properties of cold formed to improve load bearing capacity in construction
The use of submarine technology to replace high span bridges
A new steel design to replace short span bridges
Improvements on the design of an AHSS stamped front lower control arm used in the suspension of an automobile
Utilization of spiral welding technologies in the construction of wind towers

In addition to these exciting current expectations in the steel industry, Kavanagh also revealed some of the ideas that are expected to come to fruition in the near future. For starters, research is being conducted in effort to make it possible to produce vehicles using recycled aluminum. Currently, 3.4 million tons of aluminum is used to produce cars, but only 380,000 tons of this aluminum is procured from the scrap recycling process.

We can also expect to see more green efforts being made to protect the environment. This goal can be accomplished due to the versatility of steel. In regards to the future of the industry, Kavanagh said, “The ability of the steel industry to collaborate with to solve problems enables the introduction of new products in a very rapid fashion, saving time and energy for customer teams.”