Still the Iron Age - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128042335, 9780128042359

Still the Iron Age

1st Edition

Iron and Steel in the Modern World

eBook ISBN: 9780128042359
Paperback ISBN: 9780128042335
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 2nd February 2016
Page Count: 280
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Although the last two generations have seen an enormous amount of attention paid to advances in electronics, the fact remains that high-income, high-energy societies could thrive without microchips, etc., but, by contrast, could not exist without steel. Because of the importance of this material to comtemporary civilization, a comprehensive resource is needed for metallurgists, non-metallurgists, and anyone with a background in environmental studies, industry, manufacturing, and history, seeking a broader understanding of the history of iron and steel and its current and future impact on society. Given its coverage of the history of iron and steel from its genesis to slow pre-industrial progress, revolutionary advances during the 19th century, magnification of 19th century advances during the past five generations, patterns of modern steel production, the ubiquitous uses of the material, potential substitutions, advances in relative dematerialization, and appraisal of steel’s possible futures, Still the Iron Age: Iron and Steel in the Modern World by world-renowned author Vaclav Smil meets that need.

Key Features

  • Incorporates an interdisciplinary discussion of the history and evolution of the iron- and steel-making industry and its impact on the development of the modern world
  • Serves as a valuable contribution because of its unique perspective that compares steel to technological advances in other materials, perceived to be important
  • Discusses how we can manufacture smarter rather than deny demand
  • Explores future opportunities and new efforts for sustainable development in the industry


This book would be of interest to metallurgists and non-metallurgists seeking a broader understanding of the history of steel and iron and their current and future impact on society as well as readers with backgrounds in environmental studies, industry, manufacturing and history.

Table of Contents

  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Previous Works by The Author
  • Chapter 1. Iron and Steel Before the Eighteenth Century: Slow Adoption, Artisanal Production, and Scaling-Up
    • Abstract
    • Bloomery Iron
    • Blast Furnaces
    • Charcoal
    • Premodern Steel
  • Chapter 2. Rise of Modern Ferrous Metallurgy, 1700–1850: Coke, Blast Furnaces, and Expensive Steel
    • Abstract
    • European and British Ironmaking before 1750
    • British Transition to Coke
    • Larger Furnaces and Hot Blast
    • Wrought Iron
  • Chapter 3. Iron and Steel Before WW I, 1850–1914: The Age of Affordable Steel
    • Abstract
    • Blast Furnaces
    • Inexpensive Steel: Bessemer Converters and Open Hearths
    • New Markets for Steel
    • Steel in Transportation and Construction
  • Chapter 4. A Century of Advances, 1914–2014: Changing Leadership in Iron and Steel Industry
    • Abstract
    • From WW I to the End of WW II
    • America’s Postwar Retreat
    • Japan in the Lead
    • Chinese Dominance
  • Chapter 5. Modern Ironmaking and Steelmaking: Furnaces, Processes, and Casting
    • Abstract
    • New Blast Furnaces
    • Direct Reduced Iron
    • Basic Oxygen Furnaces
    • Electric Arc Furnaces
    • Continuous Casting
    • Diffusion and Improvements
  • Chapter 6. Materials in Modern Iron and Steel Production: Ores, Coke, Fluxes, Scrap, and Other Inputs
    • Abstract
    • Materials for BFS and BOFS
    • Material Balances of Integrated Steelmaking
    • Steel Scrap
    • Material Balances of EAFs
  • Chapter 7. Energy Costs and Environmental Impacts of Iron and Steel Production: Fuels, Electricity, Atmospheric Emissions, and Waste Streams
    • Abstract
    • Energy Accounting
    • Energy Cost of Steelmaking
    • Air and Water Pollution and Solid Wastes
    • Life Cycle Assessments
  • Chapter 8. Ubiquitous Uses of Steel: Sectoral Consumption and the Quest for Quality
    • Abstract
    • Infrastructures and Buildings
    • Fuels and Electricity
    • Transportation
    • Industrial Equipment and Consumer Products
  • Chapter 9. Looking Back: Advances, Flows and Stocks
    • Abstract
    • A Century and a Half of Modern Steel
    • Industry’s State
    • Flows and Consumption Rates
    • Steel Stocks
  • Chapter 10. Looking Ahead: The Future of Iron and Steel
    • Abstract
    • Substitutions
    • Dematerialization
    • New Processes
    • Future Requirements
  • Appendix A. Units and Their Multiples and Submultiples
    • Basic SI Units
    • Other Units Used in the Text
    • Multiples Used in the SI
    • Submultiples Used in the SI
  • Appendix B. Some Basic Terms
  • Appendix C. Global and National Production of Pig Iron and Steel, 1800–2015
  • Appendix D. Production of Crude Steel, 1900–2014 (All figures in Mt/year)
  • References
  • Index


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