Manganese is for more than just for steelmaking

Pop quiz: it’s found in our living cells and our skeleton, in a cup of tea, and in spectacular fireworks. It’s harder than iron but it’s brittle. It’s extremely rare but Australia exports a lot of it. It’s a grey-white metal whose name comes from the Latin for ‘magnet’ but it’s actually not magnetic.

It’s a chemical element we enjoy the benefits of every day but we may never have heard of it. What is it? The answer? It’s manganese!

Most commonly used for steelmaking

Although found in some foods as well as batteries and fertilisers, manganese is most commonly used by industries such as steelmaking to improve the quality of alloys. In fact, 90% of the manganese extracted by miners is used for the production of steel. In the process of steel production, manganese makes products stiffer and stronger, which helps Brisbane steel cutting company ShapeCUT to cut it better for you.

A perfect demonstration of the benefits of manganese can be found simply by putting some coins into a vending machine and taking a close look and feel of that can of soft drink. Manganese has been used to stiffen the aluminium, allowing the metal to be extremely thin but still very strong.

Manganese has been used since the Stone Age

These metal-strengthening qualities, put to such good use by ultra-modern industries including in the production of stainless steel, were actually discovered by the ancient Greeks many centuries ago. They mixed manganese with their steel to make stronger, sharper and more deadly weapons, while the element has also been found in remnants left by the Romans and Egyptians. In fact, human beings have been using manganese since the Stone Age, colouring their cave paintings with manganese pigments.

Since then, we have also learned how to use manganese for making glass, and while Americans call their 5 cent coin a ‘nickel’, it contains almost as much manganese.

But when it comes to making steel, using manganese stops the surface from cracking and makes it stronger but also easier to form into shapes, cut and prove resistant to impacts.

For two decades, ShapeCUT has been using steel strengthened by manganese to provide quality profile cutting to the transport, mining and construction industries and is now the largest privately-owned metal processing firm in Queensland. If you want to benefit from our experience and expertise, call us on 07 3271 5600 and ask how we can help.

Image Source: By Alchemist-hp (talk) ( – Own work, FAL,