From the Bronze Age right up to the Digital Age, the use of metal by man has dictated the fortunes of empires and nations and forged the history of our world.
The ability to find, extract and then form metal from the natural world into useful technology has been a hallmark of every advanced culture on record – and the ability to make superior weapons from this process to their rivals has largely determined their fate.
Steel’s sharp influence on history
With the advent of steel alloy in the middle ages, man came to possess a metal that was stronger and more durable than metals like bronze or iron, while also being light and malleable.
Steel became the perfect weapon – forged into swords, shields, arrowheads and eventually even bullets. No matter the weapon or technology, the aim was the same – be stronger, be faster and defeat the other sides steel weapons.
This arms race is best illustrated by the push to use steel for protection – cutting steel and shaping it to shatter the weapons of the other side or to dull their effects.
But no matter what great steel ideas one side comes up with, it seems the other side always manages to think up something better…
Suit up – steel’s protective style
From the beginning of steel’s use, militaries have been forging it into armour to protect its warriors.
Medieval armorers made suits of armour that could cover a knight from head to toe so they could dominate the battlefield. But the arrival of the crossbow with its steel tipped blots and then the gun with its high velocity steel bullets caused armor to fall out of favour.
In modern times personal body armor is back, using Kevlar nylon weaving and steel plate inserts that can stop most steel projectiles.
Castles of steel
The same desire to protect personnel from the penetrating power of steel weapons helped give rise to the battleship, a naval vessel that dominated the seas in the early 20th century.
Starting with iron-clad wooden ships, navies began building ever larger and ever more sophisticated warships, supporting immense guns that could fire over the horizon while having armour on deck that could survive a counterattack.
The largest battleship ever constructed was Japan’s Yamato, which displaced an astonishing 72,800 tonnes.
But battleships proved to be vulnerable to something else made from steel – aeroplanes. Taking off from aircraft carriers, naval planes could speed up to a lumbering battleship, drop a bomb and fly away, leaving the huge ship with a sizeable dent.
Battleships too fell out of favour, but steel continued its rise.
Modern times with steel
In modern times, steel is still the number one material for making new weapons, from the missiles fired by Predator drones to the new US Navy ships being equipped with rail guns that fire steel projectiles at supersonic speeds.
Whether it’s stainless steel or steel belted armour, this metal drives innovation – always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
That’s the spirit we think of steel in at ShapeCUT. We’re one of Queensland’s largest privately owned metal processing firm with over 20 years in the industry, cutting stainless steel into a wide range of shapes and sizes.
ShapeCUT’s steel cutting tools drive innovation
We’ve seen lots of technologies and techniques over the years, and we know one thing for sure – high quality steel is the key for mastering the battlefield and the workplace.
Using 10 modern machines for steel cutting in Brisbane – even laser cutting steel for precision work – ShapeCUT specialises in steel profile cutting that can bring the most intricate design ideas sharply to life.
Our dedicated and experienced team can forge your business the professional material you need to win the day, every time, using our precision cutting tools for steel.