Steel workers have been an important part of the country’s economy since the industrial revolution. Steel is a major part of most buildings and other structures. Steel is an important component for building structures and foundations as well as for structures like bridges and others. For someone to become a steel worker it requires a high level of education of the steel fabrication process because it can be a dangerous job.
Steel fabrication has been a part of the construction world since the 17th century but become much more common and accessible to builders with the development of the Bessemer process in the 19th century. Since then, steel is one of the most common materials used when construction a building or other structure, especially one that will be tall and needs more support. More than 1.3 billion tons of steel is manufactured each year. Steel is a common element in buildings, infrastructures, tools, machines, boats, cars and trucks, weapons and appliances. The steel industry is often seen as an indicator of the economy. When steel fabrication increases, it is generally seen as a sign of economic improvement because the more steel is needed then the more building and constructing is occurring.
In some types of steel fabrication it is combined with other metals to form alloys that are used to make other items. Some of the most common pairings is steel and manganese, chromium, nickel, tungsten and cobalt. These can be mixed by steel fabricators to either make the steel weaker or stronger, depending on what it is used for. For example, a surgical tool would need to be made of weaker steel so that it can be more easily bent into shape and it would then be lightweight enough to be easily used by the surgeon. For surfaces that need to maintain their hard edge, stronger steel would be needed. This would apply to things like bulldozer blades, tank tracks and the cutters on the Jaws of Life.
Steel fabrication is often lumped together with iron production but the two are very different. The steel industry has seen a decline in that past few years because of the economy. The number of steel fabricators in the early 2000s was listed at 224,000 which was over half less than the high of 500,000 fabricators in the 1980s.