Steel is one of the most versatile materials of all, as even a casual look around the world outside will show. Steel is produced by combining raw, pure iron with carbon and other ingredients, with each choice of the latter lending particular traits to the final output. The addition of an appropriate amount of carbon alone turns iron into something stronger and more resilient, as the geometrical arrangements of the molecules within the resulting alloy naturally adjust as a result.
Other additives like chromium or even titanium can allow for anything from increased resistance to corrosion to far greater protection against denting or other kinds of deformation. Because steel is both strong and resilient in its most basic forms and can be enhanced further in a huge range of potentially helpful ways, it is one of the most widely used types of material of all.
For example, structural steel tubing is often deployed to provide strength and support for buildings and similar projects. When steel tubing is used in such applications, it will typically need to be able to bear significant loads, while also being resistant to warping or settling over time. Because several grades of steel tubing is availaible that suit these basic requirements, selecting the right material for any given project will almost always involve a fair amount of research and thought. With many buildings that rely on structural reinforcement of this kind being meant to hold up for decades, putting the most appropriate material in place will always matter quite a bit.
While steel often makes a great fit for such demanding, intensive applications, its ubiquity and wide availability also mean that it can often be a practical option for others of very different kinds. In many cases, for example, businesses involved in petroleum extraction and the like will regularly use and retire steel pipes that can then be sold on to others. While they might no longer be fit for their original purpose, resources of these kinds can often be turned toward others with great success.
The use of repurposed steel tubing for pipe fences, for instance, has been common for decades, even to the point of becoming a standard option. Because steel is often so durable and long-lasting, even pipes that have been taken out of service in one context can often be used in another for a long time to come. That is another mark of the basic versatility and appeal of a material that is among the most widely utilized of all.