The earliest known steel product is a piece of ironware excavated from an archaeological site in Anatolia which is nearly 4,000 years old. Other ancient users of steel are known to be from East Africa, dating back to 1400 BC.
Steel is an alloy which consists primarily of iron with less than 2 percent of carbon that can be heated to form various shapes. Even though carbon is the most common alloying material used for iron, other alloying elements such as manganese, chromium, vanadium and tungsten are used.
Since the 17th century, the first step in modern steelmaking techniques used in European steel production, was to smelt iron ore into pig iron in a blast furnace. For this method originally charcoal was used but for modern method coke in used and has proven to be more cost effective.
Iron and steel are popularly seen in the construction of railway lines, roads and buildings. Most large modern structures such as stadiums, skyscrapers, bridges and airports are built using steel skeleton supports and common structures built using concrete which in also generally used steel for reinforcement.
Steel is also used to produce a variety of construction materials such as nuts, bolts, nails, screws and tools. Other common applications of its use include office furniture, shipbuilding, pipelines, mining, offshore construction, aerospace and heavy equipment such as bulldozers and cranes.
Despite the growth in the usage of Aluminium, manufacturers of major appliances and automobiles still use Steel as a main component.