Steel Facts

Even if you don’t work in the steel industry, you rely on it every single day. But how much do you actually know about steel? Read on for some fun facts and dive deeper into our Steel 101 resources to learn more!

Steel Strength

1,000x stronger than iron

2.5x denser than aluminum

100% recyclable without losing strength

3,500+ grades of steel

3x longer life for roofs made of steel vs. traditional materials

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How Steel Is Used

75% of major appliances are made of steel

25% of a computer is steel

1,500+ food items come in steel cans

1.5x more steel will be used by 2050

51% of steel is used in buildings and infrastructure

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The History of Steel in America

1850s — Early experimentation with low-cost mass steel production

1884 — Steel first used to build skyscrapers (in Chicago)

1901 — U.S. Steel Corporation was founded

1973 — Domestic production of iron and steel peaked

1990s — American steel companies dropped off the Dow Jones Industrial Average

2018 — Tariff on steel imports took effect, boosting domestic production again

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Where Steel Gets Its Start

9 U.S. iron ore mines

3 U.S. iron ore reclamation centers

42.5 million metric tons of iron ore mined in the U.S. (2015)

5,750 U.S. workers mine and treat iron ore

110 miles of iron ore in the Mesabi Range in Minnesota

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Minimizing Steel’s Environmental Impact

80 million tons of steel are recycled in North America every year

95% of water used in steelmaking in North America is recycled

$7.5 billion invested in environmental control equipment in the North American steel industry since 1970

60% reduction in North American steel industry energy consumption since World War II, while China’s steel industry emissions have grown

3.7% waste from the steel industry

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