Steel is an interdisciplinary metal. The most common places steel is used is in infrastructure, machinery, and appliances. Even those categories are diverse in application.
Steel has properties that make it valuable for many use cases. Its properties include strength, toughness, ductility, weldability, and durability. Steel compositions vary almost as widely as its uses.
Here are some of the most surprising places you might find steel!
Steel has aesthetic qualities, and though it is used most often for structural works and reinforcement materials, it is also used for contemporary artwork and sculptures. Many types of steel are easily recycled, a property many artists look for in a material.
Artists get their hands on steel in a variety of ways. Some steel is left in its originally used form, while other pieces are transformed. Many sculptures made from steel highlight its properties in ways the average person doesn’t understand.
Steel can be difficult to work with as a medium, but some artists seem to love the challenge.
Metal is not new to clothing. In fact, Gold and silver fibers have been used since ancient times as yarns for fabric decoration. Today, metals like stainless steel, nickel, titanium, copper, and aluminum are used in clothing for various applications.
Steel is also used in clothing for a variety of purposes including:
- Visual appearance
- Improved material strength
- Structural support
- Thermal resistance
The most common place you might see steel in clothing is on a runway. However, steel is also used in professional clothing and equipment, as well as in everyday items for certain brands.
While it’s not technically clothing, jewelry that is made from stainless steel is also growing in popularity. Some accessories, like earrings, nose rings, and bracelets can even be made out of surgical-grade stainless steel.
In Your Body
Modern medical advancement has introduced a plethora of new materials to the industry. Steel is used in medical beds, stands, and appliances. While it may not be surprising to find steel in the hospital, most people would not expect to find steel in their own bodies.
Steel may be inserted into your body by a medical professional if you:
- Receive a coronary stent after a heart attack
- Have dental braces
- Undergo surgery
Certain types of steel can be found in long-term medical devices, however, you are more likely to find steel in your body another way. Surgical implements, including scalpels and other tools, are often made of steel.
Austenitic, martensitic, and ferritic stainless steel is most often used for medical instruments. These types of stainless steel are used for high-strength instruments and medical utensils that can be sterilized repeatedly. With unique durability, steel is a desirable material for metal applications.
Next time you’re viewing art, shopping for clothing, or visiting the hospital, you shouldn’t be surprised to see steel in use. With growing advancement across a variety of industries, a new surprising use for steel is likely just around the corner.