Iron industry is a feeder industry which provides raw materials to various other industries.
Inputs of iron industry: iron ore, coal, limestone, labour, capital, site and other infrastructure.
Processes: The process involves conversion of iron ore into steel. It is done in many stages. First of all, the raw material is put in a blast furnace for smelting. Iron is refined after smelting and made into steel. For making 1 tonne of steel, 4 tonne of iron ore is mixed with 1 tonne of limestone and 8 tonne of coal is used as fuel.
Steel is also called the backbone of modern industry. Almost everything used by us is either made up of steel or is made by machines which are made up of steel. Various items; right from an awl pin to a huge ship are made of steel.
Before 1800 A.D. iron and steel industry was located where raw materials, power supply and running water were easily available. Later proximity to coal fields, canals and railways decided the location of iron and steel industry. After 1950, the location of iron and steel industry changed to large areas of flat land near sea ports. Proximity to sea ports was necessary for importing iron ores.
In India, iron and steel industry developed in areas with good availability of raw materials. All the major steel producing centres are in the Chhotanagpur plateau; spread over four states, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Bihlai, Durgapur, Burnpur, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro are situated in this region. Other important steel centres are; Bhadravati and Vijay Nagar in Karnataka, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Salem in Tamil Nadu.
The steel production in India increased from one million tonne in 1947 to 30 million tonnes in 2002.
The first iron and steel plant in India was set up in 1907 at Jamshedpur. At that time, it was a small village named Sakchi; near the confluence of the rivers Subarnarekha and Kharkai in modern day Jharkhand. This plant is called Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO).
It is an important steel city of the United States of America.
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