Steel production is a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year process, dependent on a consistent supply of raw materials and huge amounts of energy. According to the World Steel Association, world crude steel production has increased from 851 million tonnes (Mt) in 2001 to 1,606 Mt in 2013 and world average steel use per capita has steadily increased from 150kg in 2001 to 225 kg in 2013.
High demand for iron ore, coke and scrap steel, increasing energy costs, and industry consolidation have prompted steel producers to develop new methods for gaining efficiency to remain competitive. The production methods using raw materials have improved significantly over the past decade, and scrap-based production is accounting for a larger portion of the total steel supply.
Steel is made primarily in a two-step process. In the primary steelmaking step, liquid iron is converted into steel by the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) process, or by melting scrap steel or direct reduced iron (DRI) in an electric arc furnace. Secondary steelmaking is a refining process in which alloying metals are added and impurities are removed.
Check out this infographic for an overview of the products that make each stage of the iron and steel manufacturing process possible, from incoming raw materials to the final coating line.