In Economic Turmoil, Environment Remains Key

Stainless, Steel, Sustainability

Even during periods of economic turmoil, the environment remains a key issue for our world.

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By 2050, it is estimated that there will be two billion more people living in the world’s cities which, according to experts, will mean that world construction will grow by more than 70% and reach $15 trillion by 2025, outpacing global GDP. Part of the solution is to build with steel – 50% of steel is used in construction. With four people per house, this will mean providing 1,427 homes every hour, with most of them needed in Asia and Africa. How can such growth be made sustainable?

As most people are aware, steel is used in so many important applications, from bridges and other large constructions, trains and rail lines to industrial machinery, housing, offices, hospitals, cars, buses and bicycles, to name but a few examples. Steel delivers a number of unique environmental benefits, such as product longevity, recyclability, easy transportation and less raw material wastage. In addition, steel offers architectural and design flexibility due to its inherent strength, which allows large span distances and curves to be easily incorporated into designs.

Perhaps best of all, steel is 100% recyclable, without losing any of its properties or strength, and thus reducing the solid waste stream, which results in saved landfill space and the conservation of natural resources. Indeed, more steel is recycled each day than any other material. Even better, the steel industry as a whole has dramatically improved its energy efficiency over the past 30 years, cutting energy consumption by 50% per tonne of steel produced and substantially reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, also per tonne of steel.

The industry is always looking for ways to improve, and to that end a project is in place in the United States that explores the possibility of replacing carbon with hydrogen in blast furnaces. In addition, ULCOS, which stands for Ultra–Low Carbon Dioxide(CO2) Steelmaking, is a consortium of 48 European companies and organisations from 15 European countries that have launched a co-operative research and development initiative to enable drastic reduction in CO2 emissions from steel production. The consortium consists of all major EU steel companies, energy and engineering partners, research institutes and universities and is supported by the European Commission. The aim of the ULCOS programme is to reduce today’s CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

From a human health perspective, steel frames have proven ideal for the ‘healthy home’ concept. The incidence of asthma and sensitivity to chemicals is on the increase and steel frames have been used to achieve allergen-free and dust-free interiors. This requires techniques such as special sealing around windows, moisture barrier systems in the walls, extensive insulation, and whole house ventilation systems. Steel frames retain their original dimensions, which is a major factor in maintaining effective long-term sealing.

Steel is already being used to help manufacture lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles as well as renewable energy infrastructure including wind turbines, solar installations, smart electric grids and energy-efficient housing and commercial buildings. Its economic benefits include its quick construction off-site, which means less site disturbance and waste, more usable floor space, e.g. thinner floors allowing for more stories in a building, the flexibility to re-configure buildings and steel has a long life with low maintenance, plus energy efficiency for lower operating costs.

Sited: WorldSteel

Ashley G. // Editor SMC

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“Clean Me” – Stainless Steel

Steel

Grain stainless

Stainless Steel is known for its ability to be a clean surface that resists corrosion and rust. Because of this stainless steel is a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms. If you’ve had stainless steel around in your home for very long, you know that it has the potential to live up to its name. Dirt, dust and grime, however, put stainless steel at risk for corrosion and rust. Luckily, it responds well to cleaning, as long as certain rules are followed. In general, you want to start with the basics, and work your way up from there as needed.

Just like wood, steel also has a grain. These are the very faint striations that can be found on the surface of your appliance. An entire sheet of steel will have the same direction grain. That said, an appliance will usually have other steel pieces attached, such as handles and knobs. These other pieces may have a different direction grain, so make sure you are aware of this.

Will your appliance be ruined if you do not clean in the direction of the grain? Nope. Nothing dramatic will happen! Only that If you wipe perpendicular to the grain, more cleaning residue (mixed with any grime already on the steel) may get deeper into the tiny little crevices of the grain.

There are a few different methods that can be used to clean your stainless steel


No. 1


 

Routine cleaning can be accomplished by using warm water and a cloth. This is the least risky option for cleaning stainless steel, and honestly just plain water works to clean in most situations. Dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots. This is really important, since minerals in water can leave marks on stainless steel. Wipe in the directions of the polish lines for best and most beautiful results. Microfiber cleaning cloths can be a great option to use when cleaning stainless steel because they do a great job of absorbing all of the water without scratching the surface.

 


No. 2


For cleaning that needs more power, mild detergent and warm water can do a great job without damaging your stainless steel. A drop of mild dish detergent and warm water is often all you need to get tougher dirt off of your stainless steel. You can start with a small sink of warm water with a few drops of dish soap. You can also have a small drop of dish soap on a cloth. Add warm water to the cloth and rub the dish soap to suds up your cleaning cloth. Wipe down the dirty area. After you’ve finished washing away the dirt, make sure you rinse the surface thoroughly to prevent staining and spotting. It is important to towel dry to prevent water spots which can be caused by minerals in water.


No. 3


Fingerprints are one of the biggest complaints about stainless steel, but can be taken care of by using glass cleaner or household ammonia. Personally, I prefer glass cleaner. No matter what you decide to use, spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth. You can spray directly on the stainless steel, but may end up with drips, or wasting a lot of cleaner that wasn’t needed. Wipe the stainless steel area gently in a circular motion to remove the finger print. Repeat as needed. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry. There are some newer types of finishes for stainless steel that resist fingerprints You may consider this a necessity if your pint-sized helpers leave their mark on your stainless steel appliances.


No. 4


 

If you have had staining or scratching, or need to polish your stainless steel, a stainless steel cleaner may be a good option. Some of these cleaners and polishes can help minimize scratching and remove stains. They also can polish surfaces nicely. Read the directions on the stainless steel cleaner and test in an inconspicuous spot. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and towel dry.

 

See your website for more stainless steel applications by clicking here.

Cited: About Home

Ashley G. // Editor SMC