No matter which industry you work in, the industrial metal market likely affects the work that you do. Worth a staggering $2.4 trillion a year, industrial metals are some of the most important and valuable commodities on the planet.
If you are new to this massive market, you might be in need of an overview. If you are wondering “what are industrial metals?”, we have got you covered. Read on for a crash-course on the metals that matter with this essential industrial metals guide.
Iron ore is, by some measures, the most heavily-mined substance on Earth. Used as an essential product in the creation of steel, iron ore is also used to make its weaker sibling, iron. Iron, while not as strong as steel, still has a staggering array of uses across a wide range of industries and sectors.
Iron is used for scaffolding, heavy machinery, appliances, utensils, and medical equipment. Due to its softer nature, it is often used to create complex small metal tools that require laser engraving to create, of the kind produced by this laser marker.
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon and is one of the hardest substances known to man. Due to its immense durability and the fact that it can go decades or even centuries without degrading, steel is the metal of choice for the global construction industry, which is where about 50% of the world’s steel supply is used today.
Any building project you see going on right now likely uses a lot of steel. Meanwhile, vehicles, military equipment, bridges, and roads all make extensive use of steel.
Aluminum may not be the strongest, but it is one of the best industrial metals around for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it is a stellar conductor of electricity, which is why it is present in electronic devices and wiring systems everywhere in the world.
It is also incredibly malleable, meaning that it can easily be molded into complex shapes. This is why many of the moving parts in cars are now made of aluminum, as well as consumer goods such as televisions.
Zinc is an abundant metal that is mostly produced by industrial metal companies in China, Peru, and Australia, which account for the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s supply.
It is mostly used as a corrosive-resistant coating for steel, meaning that zinc prices and availability are tied very closely to steel demand. It is also finding more use in aesthetic applications, such as jewelry and furniture, owing to its bright sheen and smooth finish.
Nickel is cheap, malleable, and incredibly useful. There are abundant supplies of nickel around the world, meaning that supply has rarely been an issue.
It is almost exclusively used today in the production of household essentials such as knives, forks, and spoons, as it is used to produce stainless steel. If you have every handled stainless steel, then you are familiar with nickel.
Jobs in the Industrial Metal Industry for You
If this guide to the industrial metal industry has piqued your interest in a career in construction, we have got you covered. Make sure to check out our regularly-updated Jobs section for all of the latest construction and scaffolding jobs that are relevant to you.