5 uses of steel on Earth through the ages

Steel: it’s as old as human civilisation itself; with some historians thinking it dates all the way back to East Africa in 1400 BC. By the third century BC, southern Indian craftsmen were crafting charcoal steel and when the Roman Empire ruled, imperial armies wearing steel armour were fighting with strong steel weapons.Across the ages, steel has been used far and wide by human beings and the evidence is everywhere. Here are some of the top historic uses of steel around the world:

1. Bridges

Civilisation has been spanning Earth’s physical divides with its crucial bridge structures for centuries, but it was iron that initially revolutionised how they were built. By the late 1800s, steel bridges began to emerge, like the Brooklyn Bridge; our very own and iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is another example.

2. Health

The importance of steel when it comes to our health is often overlooked, but human life expectancy has been boosted exponentially by advances in surgery and it is steel that those all-important surgical tools have been made of. Stainless steel – perfected last century – eradicated problems related to contamination, sterilisation and corrosion, whilst maintaining the tools’ necessary strength. Not only that, crucial hospital equipment like operating tables and even biomedical implants are made possible with steel.

3. War

When you think of medieval and Roman warfare, minds immediately turn to steel swords and full, heavy body armour that weighed up to 30 kilograms. But Japanese samurai also used various forms of steel for their iconic swords, and the country’s bombing of Pearl Harbor was also related to the seizing of the US’s commodity assets linked to steel production. No matter what era of warfare you think of, steel is at the heart.

4. Agriculture

The Iron and Bronze Ages are well known, but it is steel that became crucial for farming tools like hoes and shovels and the steel plough pioneered by John Deere in 1837 was a fundamental agricultural development. Today, steel is favoured over the other metal options because it is smooth and dexterous and its strength makes it perfect for steel profiling.

5. Structure and transport

The widespread list of steel uses throughout the ages could go on and on, starting with its structural benefits for the huge buildings of today, and crucial transport purposes like ships and cars and the transformation of the world’s railway networks that began at the end of the 1800s.

ShapeCUT knows steel and its uses inside out, as for over 20 years we have been using our steel profile cutters in Brisbane to deliver quality steel cutting, laser cutting and steel profiling throughout the transport, mining and construction industries of Queensland and beyond.