In Ontario, steel has been declared an essential industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Why is it essential? Read on to learn the critical role steel plays in society.

We often say that steel is the fabric of life. It’s all around you, whether you are in a workplace, at home or on the road. It enables infrastructure, energy, transportation, shelter and is used to package essential daily supplies. Did you know that we make more than 100 grades of steel for approximately 200 customers in the Automotive, Tubular, Construction and Manufacturing, Consumer and Industrial Packaging and Distribution sectors?

Mark Quinn, General Manager of Packaging and Specialty Sales.

“We supply Cold Roll products for drum and pail production, These drums and pails have been deemed essential for life sustaining services as they are utilized for storing and transporting pharmaceutical ingredients, oils for food production, lacquers for food can production and food itself, among other things.”

There is critical demand for steel in each of these sectors at a time like this, when the COVID-19 pandemic is taking hold of the globe. One of the most obvious is in our Packaging segment.

“We supply Cold Roll products for drum and pail production,” says Mark Quinn, General Manager of Packaging and Specialty Sales. “These drums and pails have been deemed essential for life sustaining services as they are utilized for storing and transporting pharmaceutical ingredients, oils for food production, lacquers for food can production and food itself, among other things.”

You can read more about our tinplated steel in a recent blog post.

On the Construction and Manufacturing side, Mike Gauthier, General Manager of Construction and Manufacturing Sales, says there are several examples of how critical our steel is for our customers and our society. Mike shared some examples of where our steel is used:

On the Construction and Manufacturing side, Mike Gauthier, General Manager of Construction and Manufacturing Sales, says there are several examples of how critical our steel is for our customers and our society. Mike shared some examples of where our steel is used:

  • Our coated steels are used in electrification and automation technology for critical industries like utilities (electric, water, gas, power generation, nuclear), pharmaceuticals, healthcare and hospitals, food and beverage, national defense and data centres.
  • Our cold roll steels are used in welding products that are critical in the manufacturing and maintenance of electrical power plants, wastewater treatment facilities, oil and gas pipeline, agricultural machinery, emergency and long-haul vehicles and national defense.
  • Our cold roll product is also used to make electrical steels, which are essential for the electromagnetic machines that power our world, such as generators and transformers that serve critical products for industries ranging from medical devices to power generation.
  • Our hot roll steel is used to manufacture parts for machines used in critical industries, like agriculture, as well as water heaters.
  • Our galvanized steel is used to manufacture culverts for infrastructure, grain bins for food harvest storage, cladding, roofing, studding and HVAC systems for building construction, coolers for refrigeration and storage, and pre-engineered buildings that can be used for emergency shelter.

Mike’s examples show how versatile steel is across many critical applications. During this pandemic, our Tubular Products teams have even been asked to supply tubular steel products to produce critical care hospital beds in the U.S.

Whether it be food on a truck destined for the shelves at your local grocer, power delivered to the homes in your neighbourhood, or medical devices being used at your local hospital, the steel you help to make, sell and ship each day is essential to life. That’s something we can all feel good about.