Air Transport World

Steel's rosy aerospace future. (Stocksbridge Engineering Steels)

STOCKSBRIDGE, ENGLAND-The history of steel making in this valley outside Sheffield, Yorkshire, can be traced back 150 years to the days when wires were produced for umbrellas and iron hoops for skirts.

Today, the products are somewhat more high-tech-specialty steels for the aerospace, defense, power-generation, oil and gas, and automotive industries particularly aerospace-that are becoming increasingly demanding as the search for higher strength-to-weight ratios, purity of the product and value for money accelerates, and as new generations of composites nibble at traditional markets.

Stocksbridge Engineering Steels (SES), part of the United Engineering Steels group, produces about 500,000 tonnes, in 2,000 different specifications, of specialist grade stainless, alloy or carbon steels a year, of which up to 20,000 tonnes are destined for the aerospace industry. Virtually all of the raw material is recycled scrap-old cars, steel from demolition sites, pieces left after manufacturers have completed work on sheets and billets of new steel. …

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