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.
- 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
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About the Author
Vaclav Smil is active in interdisciplinary research in the fields of materials, energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.
He has published 35 books and more than 400 papers on these topics. His research areas span throughout the sciences. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), and a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2010 he was listed by Foreign Policy among the top 100 global thinkers. He was the first non-American to receive the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology.
He has worked as a consultant for many US, EU and international institutions, has been an invited speaker in nearly 400 conferences and workshops in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa, and has lectured at many universities in North America, Europe and East Asia. Lastly, in 2013 he had the distinction having Bill Gates state that “There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil” in an article that appeared in Wired.com.
Table of Contents
Ch. 1. Iron and Steel before the 18th Century: Slow Adoption, Artisanal Production and Scaling-up
Ch. 2. Rise of Modern Ferrous Metallurgy, 1700-1850: Coke, Blasts, Furnaces and Expensive Steel
Ch. 3. Iron and Steel before WW I, 1850-1914: The Age of Affordable Steel
Ch. 4. A Century of Advances, 1914-2014: Changing in Leadership in Iron and Steel Industry
Ch. 5. Modern Ironmaking and Steelmaking: Furnaces, Processes, Casting
Ch. 6. Materials in Modern Iron and Steel Production: Ores, Coke, Fluxes, Scrap and Other Inputs
Ch. 7. Energy Costs and Environmental Impacts of Iron and Steel: Energies, Atmospheric Emissions, and Waste Streams
Ch. 8. Ubiquitous Uses of Steel: Sectoral Consumption and the Quest for Quality
Ch. 9. Looking Back: Advances and Accomplishments
Ch. 10. Looking Ahead: The Future of Iron and Steel