The metals industry seems to be gradually coming back on track after being hit by the covid pandemic. The production, demand and the logistics is slowly getting normal and the industry sentiment too is quite positive. The user industries like infra, construction, auto, white goods, engineering are progressing well and are giving good support to the metals demand curve.
The covid however has taught us lot of things and we, not only as human beings but also as industry professionals, have developed different approach towards the life as well as the running of the industry. A lot of emphasis is now being given to development of new technologies and processes which will not only reduce the production and processing cost of metals but also reduce the carbon footprint. In the last two years, we have understood that human life and health are very precious and can not be rectified once damaged or destroyed. Also, if we can not keep our environment clean, it will be detrimental to human existence on this planet. This is the reason more and more renewable energy sources are being tapped and being employed for various applications including. We are trying to slowly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by using more of solar and wind energy. Also more and more recycling has to be done in order to use as less natural resources as possible and make metals look greener.
This new thinking is sure to induce many changes in the metal making and processing technology in coming years. A lot of research is being carried all over the world on these lines. I am sure the metallurgical institutes and labs in our country will lead this innovation process and surely come out with some ‘break through’ technology in metallurgical domain. We all know about India’s rich heritage in metallurgical field. Metallurgy was very well developed in ancient India. Unrusted iron pillar at Delhi is a glaring example. Also, till 17th century, only Indians knew about zinc extraction process. The steel used for the world famous ‘Damascus Swords’ was exported from India. The ancient book ‘Brihad Vimaanshaastram’ elaborates the methodology for the production of many alloys with different properties, still unknown to the modern science. We should examine all this with a scientific lens and carefully chart the future course of action.
I am sure our rich metallurgical heritage will keep on inspiring and guiding us to conceptualise more and more innovations and inventions in the metallurgical field and bring back the old glory !