History of steel joinery

The history of steel joinery, including windows and doors, is closely linked to the development of the metallurgical industry and the technological processes that enabled the production and processing of steel. Until the 19th century, most woodwork was made of wood, due to the availability of this raw material and its ease of processing. However, the situation began to change with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, which brought with it the development of metallurgical technology.

19th century – the industrial revolution: Steel began to be produced on a larger scale with the invention of the Bessemer process in 1856, which enabled the mass production of low-carbon steel. As steel became cheaper and easier to work with, it began to be used in construction, both as a structural component and for windows and doors.

Turn of the 20th century: The use of steel in woodwork began to gain popularity. Thin-profile steel windows have become particularly popular, and have been used in many factories and warehouses for their strength and ability to let in large amounts of light.

20th century: After World War II, steel began to be replaced by aluminum in many woodwork applications, due to the metal’s better insulating and corrosion properties. Steel windows and doors, however, continued to be used in some buildings, especially those of steel or concrete construction.

21st century: Thanks to advances in technology, steel windows and doors have become more energy efficient and have begun to be used again in construction, especially in high-end structures and historic buildings, where thin steel profiles allow the building’s historic character to be preserved.

In summary, the history of steel joinery is closely linked to the development of metallurgical technology and changes in the construction industry. As technology progressed, steel began to be used more extensively, allowing it to be used in window and door joinery.

historical steel winows

Production of steel profiles - used to be

Historically, several techniques have been used to produce steel profiles for window joinery. This process was closely linked to the general development of metallurgical technology and manufacturing processes. The initial methods may have been more labor-intensive and less precise than those available to us today. Here is a brief overview:

Hand-forging: In the early days of metallurgy, steel was forged by hand, and the shape and size were adjusted by the blacksmith using hammers and jigs. It was a process that required a lot of precision and skill.

Hot rolling: With the development of industrial technology, steel began to be formed using hot rolling. In this process, the steel is heated to a very high temperature and then passed through a set of rollers that form it into the desired shape.

Welding: With the discovery of welding, it became possible to join different steel parts together to create more complex shapes. Welding made it possible to create precise profiles that were difficult to achieve with other methods.

Cutting and bending: these methods were also used to produce steel profiles. Cutting involved the precise cutting of steel, usually with saws or knives, while bending was used to form the steel into the desired shapes.

Although these methods were used historically, technology and production methods have evolved significantly. Today, with the help of modern technology, such as cold rolling, laser and plasma cutting, we can create steel profiles with very precise shapes and dimensions.

Production of steel profiles - today

Steel profiles are produced using a variety of methods that depend on the shape, size and properties requirements of the final product. Here are some basic methods of manufacturing steel profiles:

  1. Hot rolling: This is the most commonly used method for manufacturing steel profiles. The steel is heated to very high temperatures (usually above 1,000°C) and then passed through a set of rollers that give it the right shape. After final forming, the steel is cooled, which hardens and increases the material’s strength.
  2. Cold rolling: This method is similar to hot rolling, but is carried out at lower temperatures. Cold rolling is often used to produce thinner steel sections that require greater precision. Cold-rolled profiles tend to be stronger and have a better surface finish compared to hot-rolled ones.
  3. Cold forming: This method is used to produce profiles with complex shapes that cannot be obtained by rolling. It involves gradually bending strips of steel into the desired shape using a set of rollers.
  4. Laser and plasma cutting: These techniques are often used to produce steel profiles with non-standard shapes. Laser cutting allows very precise cutting of steel, while plasma cutting is often used to cut thick steel plates.
  5. Welding: Often used to produce complex steel sections, welding involves joining two pieces of steel together using heat and/or pressure.

The choice of steel profile production method depends on many factors, including the size, shape, strength and surface quality requirements of the final product.

Steel production and the environment

The production of steel profiles, like most industrial processes, has an impact on the environment. Here are some key aspects that can have an impact on the environment:

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions: The steelmaking process, especially hot rolling, requires large amounts of energy, which translates into greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide. This is a major contributor to climate change.
  2. Energy consumption: As mentioned, steel production is an energy-intensive process. The energy used often comes from fossil fuels, adding to the environmental impact.
  3. Water pollution: Steel production can lead to pollution of water sources through the discharge of industrial wastewater containing heavy metals and other pollutants.
  4. Industrial waste: Waste generated during steel production, such as slag and dust, can be an environmental problem if not disposed of properly.

But the steel industry is also aware of these problems and is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact. For example, steel recycling methods are increasingly being used, which helps reduce the need for new raw materials and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, new technologies are also being developed to reduce energy consumption and pollution in the production process.

Remember that proper environmental management in the steel industry depends on both technology and industrial practices, as well as regulations and public pressure for more sustainable production methods.

Steel production vs. aluminum production and the environment

The production of both steel and aluminum has a significant environmental impact, but they differ in their processes and environmental effects. Here is a comparison of the two processes:

Steel production:

  1. CO2 emissions: Steel production is one of the main sources of CO2 emissions, especially in the iron reduction process in steel furnaces, where coal is used as a reactant.
  2. Energy: Steel is one of the most energy-intensive materials to produce. Most of the energy is used to heat and form the raw iron.
  3. Waste: Steel is a material that can be recycled many times without loss of quality, which helps reduce waste.

Aluminum production:

  1. CO2 emissions: Aluminum production also generates a large amount of CO2, especially in the electrolysis process, which is used to extract aluminum from bauxite.
  2. Energy: Aluminum production is very energy intensive. In fact, it is one of the most energy-intensive industrial processes.
  3. Waste: Like steel, aluminum is 100% recyclable without loss of quality. However, the process of producing aluminum from bauxite generates a significant amount of waste called red mud, which is difficult to dispose of.
  4. Water pollution: aluminum extraction and refining processes can lead to serious water pollution if not properly managed.

Overall, both processes have a significant impact on the environment. However, both industries have made progress to minimize their environmental impact, for example by improving energy efficiency, increasing recycling and implementing more sustainable operating practices.

Steel recycling vs aluminum recycling

Both steel and aluminum are materials that are fully recyclable without loss of quality, which makes them very beneficial from the perspective of sustainable resource management.


Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world. The steel recycling process is relatively simple and consists of sorting, cleaning, crushing and melting the raw material, and then forming the new product. In addition, the steel recycling process uses significantly less energy compared to the production of steel from iron ore, resulting in significant energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions.


Like steel, aluminum is 100% recyclable and can be recycled many times without loss of quality. The aluminum recycling process is more energy efficient than the primary production process, using only about 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum. This translates into significant reductions in CO2 emissions. In addition, aluminum is very durable and long-lasting, which means it can last for many years before it becomes necessary to recycle it.

Although both materials are fully recyclable, there are differences in recycling efficiencies at the global level, in part due to differences in waste collection and processing systems. Demand for these materials is also an important factor – for example, steel is widely used in the construction and automotive industries, which are large consumers of recycled steel.

It is also important to remember that while recycling is a key component of sustainable resource management, the best solution is always to avoid unnecessary consumption of materials wherever possible.