Steel Industry News: August 2019

by Aug 21, 2019Services0 comments

The Short Iron Store, your source for construction and metalworking supplies in Fort Worth, is back with a new batch of headlines from the steel industry. In this August 2019 roundup, we see a bright future for the steel and iron casting market; the possibility that iron will replace lithium in batteries; and a pair of brothers keeping the blacksmithing trade alive and well in Texas.

Whether you need an exotic metal alloy or a large amount of stainless steel, the Short Iron Store has everything you need. We supply metalworkers, artists, construction projects, and more. Our onsite metal inventory contains a huge variety of materials, and our CNC plasma cutting service ensures you’ll get the parts you need in just the right shape and size. Call us for all your metal needs!

And now, on to the news.

Steel and Iron Casting: A $203 Billion Industry in the Making

Fabricators, rejoice! Transparency Market Research (TMR) just released a report that predicts steel and iron casting will grow from its global 2017 industry value of $130 billion to $202.8 billion by 2026. Casting includes the creation of items by pouring or infusing steel and iron into a form. Examples include machine parts, auto parts, farming equipment, tools, controls, and much more.

Heavy industry demands are one reason why casting is rising in value. As more housing is built to shelter the growing world population, more construction machinery is needed. This drives up the demand for parts created by casting. The mining industry and automotive industry are also driving the surge as demand for their products grows worldwide.

Another factor is the inclination for world governments to invest in infrastructure creation and repair, increasing the market for iron and steel casting products.

Will Iron Replace Lithium in Batteries?

Renewable energy is in demand, and with that comes the demand for rechargeable batteries to power our energy storage devices at night and when the wind isn’t blowing. Lithium-ion batteries are currently the norm, but researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed a safer, more accessible option: rechargeable iron-ion batteries.

Lithium is used in everything from batteries to smartphones to car parts, but it’s not the eco-friendly solution it’s made out to be. Using brine mining, it takes 500,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of lithium. Mining lithium from rock requires the use of toxic chemicals. Neither is great choice.

Iron’s properties are favorable for use as a rechargeable battery component, and its mining comes with fewer downsides. According to the researchers’ report, “the… iron battery successfully withstood 150 cycles of charging and discharging under controlled conditions. And after 50 cycles, it still had 54 percent capacity retention.” Testing is still underway, but preliminary results look promising.

Blacksmith Brothers in Bryan, TX

“Steel is stubborn, and as a blacksmith you just have to be more stubborn,” says Alan Lee, one half of the blacksmithing duo from Bryan, TX. Hammering red-hot steel on an anvil might sound like an archaic