Steel – the everyday metal

Sujata C

You’ll find it everywhere – at home, in the school, in hospitals, offices, science labs and skyscrapers. Steel is the all weather, all terrain metal that gives shape to a new world. A project on steel should be easy to do with many promises of learning beyond the classroom. Plan out the project to see how many subjects you can cover with steel.


Steel is malleable, strong, anti-corrosive, hygienic, recyclable, and so dependable. No metal is as all pervasive as steel is since its invention almost 4000 years ago.

molten-steel The Indian steel industry is almost a hundred years old. The per capita consumption of steel in India is only 29 kg and has to go a long way to reach the consumption levels of around 400 kg in developed countries like the USA.

India had three steel plants at the time of Independence: TISCO, IISCO, and Vishveshvarayya Iron and Steel Co. Bengal Iron Works set up in 1847 in Asansol, West Bengal, was the first plant where steel was made in India. Bhilai Steel Plant and Bokaro Steel Plant were amongst the earliest ones in India.

Prepare a timeline that shows the setting up of major steel plants in India.

Prepare a chart representing the qualities of steel
Steel in ancient history: Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. In that sense, the history of steel is linked with that of iron. The Rig Vedas mention the concept of metallurgy. Archery was a common way of waging wars and hunting 5000 years ago in ancient India when people might have made their bows and arrows with iron. But Greek emperors are known to have employed Indians for their steel making skills in 400 BC. Soldiers in steel armour were so essential to win a war!

The author is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at

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