Competing Materials

Many new materials are also available, and often because of familiarity the importance of steel is often overlooked. M. F. Ashby produced the following diagram showing the relative importance of different materials with time. Relative importance is a fairly subjective (and it isn't specified how it is calculated), I think the shape of the curve reflects research interests of non-metallurgists. Please note the diagram was originally made in 1986.

Ashby Importance of materials from Materials Selection in Mechanical Design

World Steel Production 1996-2004

World Steel Production 1950-2010