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Role of Steel in National Economy

The role of ferrous metals in general and of steel in particular in the national economy is enormous. One cannot name an economic branch where ferrous metals find no application. The economic power of a country is determined by its output of steel, since progress in the principal economic branches, be it mining, transport, manufacturing engineering or agriculture, is unthinkable without steel.

Though the output of non-ferrous metals, especially aluminium, has risen many times during the last 60-100 years, the share of ferrous metals in world output prevails at the level of 95% of the total production of metals. In 1973, the world output of steel approached the figure of 700 million tonnes annually.

An additional impetus for increasing the scope of steel manufacture has been the vigorous progress in chemical engineering It has turned out that steel can be very profitably combined with certain novel materials (for instance, plastics combined with stainless steel are excellent materials for making furniture, decorating automobiles, the internal lining of houses and buildings, etc; as a result, the manufacture of stainless steels has been appreciably increased in recent years in order to cover these new demands).

The world demand for steel rises continuously and is expected to reach new levels as there will be a need for infrastructural growth. Thus, steel will obviously remain the principal structural material in the foreseeable future.

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