Manganese is used in steel alloys to increase many favourable characteristics such as strength, hardness and durability. In fact steel cannot be produced without manganese; it is an essential ingredient in the process.

Steel becomes harder when it is alloyed with manganese. It has similar applications when alloyed with aluminium and copper. Hardened steel is important in the manufacture of construction materials like L-beams (24% of manganese consumption), machinery (14% of manganese consumption) and transportation products (13% of manganese consumption).