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The steel & metals industry has been around for decades, and the terminology used can be very specific. In order to serve our community better and increase accessibility, we are thrilled to offer a glossary of these terms for your convenience.

  • A
    • Aging describes a change in a material’s mechanical properties such as an increase in hardness, yield strength, tensile strength or formability that occurs naturally at ambient or moderately elevated temperatures. Aging is a product of prior processing, chemistry or a combination of both. It can be detrimental in the case of very soft, low carbon materials, but in most cases, it is planned and engineered into the material to be beneficial.
    • Alloy is a metal made of two or more combined elements, with at least one being a metal. Typically, alloys are created to enhance a desired property that cannot be achieved by a single metal.
    • A metallic element added during the production of a metallic material, such as steel, aluminum, copper or titanium. Alloys are created to enhance a desired property such as, but not limited to, hardness, increased corrosion resistance, or magnetic properties. An example of an alloying element is adding a minimum of 10% chromium to low carbon steel to produce stainless steel.
      Alloying Element
    • A “killed” steel has been deoxidized so there is no reaction between carbon and oxygen during solidification. Aluminum killed steel has been deoxidized with aluminum and silicon killed steel has been deoxidized with silicon.
      Aluminum Killed Steel (Special Killed)
    • A heat or thermal treatment process to increase the ductility and formability of cold worked metal. The temperature and time required to soften the material is dependent on the amount of cold work and the type of metal involved.
    • AOD and VOD are specialized secondary steelmaking processes used to make stainless steel and other high-grade steel alloys. They are required to remove carbon from the molten steel without removing wanted elements like chromium. The process takes several steps because several different chemical reactions must take place.
      Argon-Oxygen Decarburization (AOD) and Vacuum-Oxygen Decarburization (VOD)
    • Type of steel microstructure that is non-magnetic. It is the largest category of stainless steel and offers the most resistance to corrosion in the stainless group, because of its high content of chromium and nickel.
    • Using computers and sensors, rolling mills can precisely control steel’s thickness while the material is being rolled at very high speeds. Using feed-forward and feed-reverse systems, the gap between the reduction rolls can be adjusted many times per second, which helps eliminate off-gauge material. This level of control is impossible with a human operator.
      Automatic Gauge Control
  • B
    • A baghouse helps control air pollution by filtering exhaust gases through large cloth or fiberglass bags to catch tiny particles.
    • A special chemical composition coupled with special processing allow BH steels to have good formability prior to being painted. However, their strength and dent resistance increase during the elevated temperature of the paint curing process.
      Bake Hardenable Steel
    • To achieve significantly better dimensional tolerances and surface quality a hot rolled or drawn bar is machined or “turned” to grind or cut off material from the outer diameter.
      Bar Turning
    • Long steel products that are hot rolled from billets or near net shapes. Merchant bar quality (MBQ), reinforcing bar (rebar), special bar quality (SBQ) are common categories of steel bars. Bars can come in various forms such as rounds, flats, angles, squares and channels.
    • The BOF converts the raw, molten pig-iron produced by the blast furnace to steel by using a lance to inject high pressure oxygen into the molten metal. The oxygen removes the carbon as well as other impurities from the pig-iron, in a process that is much faster and much better than historical processes.
      Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF)
    • The continuous casting of near net shape cross sections, called ‘beam blanks’ or ‘dog-bones’, has been an efficient commercial process to manufacture long steel products that will be further processed into I and H beams.
      Beam Blanks
    • Billets are semi-finished casting items that are usually made with a continuous casting machine. They have cross-sections that are typically square and remain the same throughout the entire length. Billets are typically smaller than blooms.
    • A blast furnace is used by integrated steel mills to refine iron ore into molten iron, which is the main raw material for the steelmaking process. Its name comes from the “blast” of hot air and gases forced up through the iron ore, coke, and limestone that are charged the furnace. They are typically very large reaching heights up to 200 feet and achieving temperatures of over 3,000°F (1,650°C).
      Blast Furnace
    • Blooms are semi-finished casting items that have rectangular or square cross-sections. They have cross-sections that are typically square and remain the same throughout the entire length. Blooms are typically larger than billets. They can be used as rolling material for products like pipes, rails, etc.
    • A closed loop system where a vessel uses electricity, natural gas, coal, etc. to heat a fluid, such as water.
    • A metal tube located inside a boiler that carries water, or other fluid, through the heating section of the boiler. With exposure to high heat, high moisture, high pressure and chemicals, boiler tubes are used in very harsh environments and typically made from specialized materials, such as stainless steel.
      Boiler Tube
    • An accident caused by the failure of the walls of the blast furnace or the shell of the strand in the continuous caster, resulting in liquid iron, slag or steel flowing out in an uncontrolled manner.
    • A sharp ridge on the edge of the metal created by manufacturing operations such as slitting, trimming, shearing or blanking. If the manufacturing process is not set up properly, it can cause a severe burr which can be a safety hazard or quality issue.
  • C
    • Camber is the deviation of a side edge of a steel strip from a straight edge. Camber appears as a curve along the length of the strip and is caused by one edge being longer than the other. Typically, customers will require a camber tolerance on slit material. Excessive camber is referred to as a hook or a dogleg.
    • Carbon steel refers to steels where the principal additions to their chemistry are carbon and manganese. Engineering the amount of carbon in the steel in conjunction with subsequent processing steps gives the steel its desired mechanical and physical properties. Carbon steel is typically separated into three designations: low, medium and high carbon. Most of the steel produced is considered carbon steel.
      Carbon Steel
    • Process to directly cast molten steel into a coil without adding hot or cold roll processes. This is done by pouring the molten steel right into a set of rotating rolls.
    • Charging is the act of loading material into a vessel.
    • In the hot blast stove of a blast furnace, checker bricks are heated by the exhaust gases of the furnace, which then transfer the heat to fresh air to heat it to a specified temperature before sending it into the blast furnace. They act as a heat exchanger.
      Checker Bricks
    • Chemistry refers to the chemical composition of the material. It is shown as a list of the elements and the amounts contained in the material. In steel, iron is by far the main component of steel, so it is not typically listed in the steel’s chemistry, but carbon (C), manganese (Mn), phosphorous (P) and sulfur (S) are typically listed at a minimum.
    • CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) Delivery is one of the international commercial/trade rules set defined by the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) known as Incoterms®. Under CIF, the seller is responsible for arranging and paying for freight and insurance to a buyer’s destination and export clearance. The risk of loss transfers to the buyer once the goods are loaded onto the vessel. The buyer is responsible for importing the goods and all destination charges (duties, unloading, etc.). CIF delivery can only be used for ocean or waterway international shipments.
      CIF Delivery
    • A steel coil is a semifinished steel product, such as sheet or strip, which has been wound or coiled after rolling. Hot and cold-roll, stainless steel, carbon and alloys, galvanized and tinplate are typically processed and shipped in coil form.
    • A fuel used in the steelmaking process that is created by heating coal in a low-oxygen environment. In addition to lime and iron ore, coke is one of the three main raw materials used for steel production.
    • A battery contains a group of ovens all connected by common walls and is used for the processing of coal into coke.
      Coke Battery
    • Cold reduction reduces the thickness of a metal while it is at ambient temperature to achieve a desired mechanical property such as strength or hardness or dimensional property such as thickness or surface finish. Cold reduction is usually done to coiled material on rolling mills. Cold reduction is a form of cold working. Since the reduction is being done below the recrystallization temperature of the metal, there is a limit to the amount of cold reduction that can be done before the metal becomes brittle.
      Cold Reduction
    • Causing changes to the shape and structure of a metal through production processes such as rolling, hammering, forming, stamping or stretching at ambient temperature. Since the work is being done below the recrystallization temperature of the metal, there is a limit to the amount of cold work that can be done before the metal becomes brittle.
      Cold Working
    • The molds are one of the necessary parts of the continuous casting process. In this process, liquid steel is poured from the tundish into the water cooled, casting mold. Solidification of the liquid steel begins in the mold, where a thin shell of solid steel is formed that allows the rest of the steel to be further cooled as it goes further into the caster.
      Continuous Caster Mold
    • A method of processing molten steel directly into a billet, bloom, or slab using a ladle, tundish and an open-ended, water-cooled mold.
      Continuous Casting
    • A chemical reactor that refines raw materials, typically using heat. An example is equipment used to convert iron into steel.
    • The degradation of a metal caused by atmosphere, moisture, or other agents. The speed of corrosion depends on the type of metal and what it is being exposed to. Corrosion of steel is commonly referred to as rust.
    • The internal shape of an object that is revealed by cutting through it. An example is the cross-section of a cylinder is a circle.
    • Flat-rolled steel is unrolled and cut to a desired length.
      Cut-to-Length (CTL)
  • D
    • The process used to remove or reduce the sharp, jagged edges of a cut piece of metal. This is typically done by edge rolling, grinding or skiving.
    • Scale is iron oxide that forms on the surface of steel when it is hot, and it reacts with the oxygen in the air. It must be removed prior to any subsequent forming operations. Descaling is the process of removing scale from the surface of steel and it is typically done with high pressure water sprays or shot blasting.
    • A high sulfur content is detrimental to steel, so it must be removed while the steel is still molten. Desulfurization occurs at various steps of the steel making process by injecting various chemical mixtures into the molten metal while it is still in the ladle. Desulfurization is done at BOF, LMF and even in the tundish prior to casting.
    • A die is a specialized machine tool used in manufacturing industries to cut and/or form material to a desired shape or profile.
    • By using a reducing gas or elemental carbon, the oxygen atoms are removed from iron ore leaving elemental iron, without the need to go through the blast furnace process. This direct-reduced iron or DRI has less unwanted elements than steel scrap, so it is a preferred raw material to use in electric arc furnaces. DRI comes as pellets or briquettes (HBI).
      Direct-Reduced Iron
    • Pipe that is produced in random lengths. Double random lengths range from 38’- 45’.
      Double Random Length (DRL)
    • Drawing is a metal forming process in which a product is made by controlling metal flow through a cavity over a punch.
    • Drawing dies are items used to shape products out of metal that are pushed into or through it by a punch.
      Drawing Die(s)
    • Drawing dies are items used to shape products out of metal that are pushed into or through it by a punch.
      Drawn-Over-Mandrel (DOM)
    • The unwanted impurities on or within molten metal.
    • Ability of a metal to undergo permanent changes to its shape without cracking, breaking or tearing.
    • Refers to the steel having two types of microstructures at the same time. It also refers to a category of stainless steel with high amounts of chromium and moderate nickel content, which creates a mixture of austenitic and ferritic microstructures within the same material. This combination offers more strength and high resistance to stress corrosion cracking, so they are suitable for high stress environments such as heat exchangers, desalination plants, and marine applications. Duplex stainless steels are also magnetic.
  • E
    • Rolling the edge of a strip of steel to smooth or shape the edges. Along with deburring, edge rolling can shape the edges into square or rounded edges. Edge rolled material is no longer a safety hazard because the sharp burr has been removed.
      Edge Rolling
    • A steel-making furnace where ferrous scrap makes up most of the charge, but direct-reduced iron pellets or briquettes can also be used. Heat is supplied from electricity that arcs between large graphite electrodes to the metal bath.
      Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)
    • ERW pipe is made by forming strips of hot-rolled steel into tubes and pipes and then welding the seam to close it. Traditionally, seamless pipes are considered better, but ERW technology has greatly improved, so they are used more and more often.
      Electric Resistance Welded Pipe (ERW Pipe)
    • The process of creating specific shapes by forcing material flow through a shaped opening in a die. This process is more prevalent in aluminum products.
  • F
    • To convert a material into a finished state by machining, forming or joining.
    • A manufacturer that purchases semi-finished materials and processes them into intermediate products. An example of a fabricator would be someone that would buy a cold roll coil and stamp it into automotive door panels and hoods to sell them to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) like Ford or GM.
    • Type of steel microstructure that is magnetic. Most carbon and alloy steels as well as the second-largest class of stainless steels are ferritic.
    • A metal product commonly used as a raw material in the steelmaking process, to aid various stages of the steelmaking process such as alloy additions, deoxidation, and desulfurization. It typically has been refined so it does not add any impurities to the steel.
    • An alloy of iron with a high percent of chromium that is added during the steelmaking process to produce stainless steel.
    • Any metal where the main component is iron.
      Ferrous Metals
    • Ferrous (iron-containing) material that generally is remelted to produce new steel. Both integrated and minimills require ferrous scrap in their processes.
      Ferrous Scrap
    • The surface appearance of metal. The finish can be applied to the metal by various means, but most commonly it is done by cold rolling. Some typical finish types are shiny, dull, and matte.
    • Sheet, strip, plate, floor plate and tin plate steel produced by hot rolling an ingot or slab.
      Flat-Rolled Steel
    • A chemical cleaning agent, flowing agent, or purifying agent.
    • FOB (Free on Board), also commonly referred to as Freight on Board in the US, is an example of a commercial term. It is important to distinguish between the US domestic usage of FOB term (defined in the Uniform Commercial Code, “UCC”) and FOB Incoterm® (defined by the International Chamber of Commerce, “ICC”) for international shipments. “FOB” can have different meanings within UCC which do not necessarily correspond with the ICC definition.
      FOB Pricing
    • Working red-hot metal into a final shape by processes such as hammering, pressing, or rolling.
    • Steel that has been significantly cold reduced without being subsequently annealed. It is very stiff, and it is not intended to be used where deformation is required. Low carbon, full hard steel must have a minimum Rockwell hardness of 84 on the B scale.
      Full Hard Cold Rolled
  • G
    • A galvanized product where the coating is 95% zinc and 5% aluminum. The mixture provides extra corrosion protection and improved formability when compared to pure zinc coatings. It is applied in the hot dip process.
    • A galvanized product where the coating is 55% aluminum and 45% zinc. It has better corrosion resistance when compared to pure zinc coatings, because it has the electrochemical protection of zinc as well as the barrier protection of aluminum. It is applied in the hot dip process.
    • Steel coated with layer of zinc to provide corrosion resistance. The coating can be applied in various thicknesses using the hot dip or electrodeposition processes with several standard coating chemistries. Because of the increased corrosion resistance given by the zinc coating, galvanized steel is used in auto parts, garbage cans, storage tanks, roofing panels or fencing wire.
      Galvanized Steel
    • A galvanized product that goes through a heat treatment after being coated with pure zinc. The heat treatment causes the zinc to bond with the iron in the steel forming different layers of iron-zinc alloys. It has better adherence properties than regular galvanized material, no spangle and great paint adherence. It has somewhat eliminated the need for bonderized coatings. It is applied in the hot dip process.
    • The thickness of sheet steel. Better-quality steel has consistent gauge throughout. Thickness can be given in decimals, fractions or gauge numbers.
  • H
    • Process of increasing the hardness of a metal. Hardening can be accomplished through cold working or heat treatments. It increases the material’s hardness, yield strength, tensile strength as well as its resistance to bending and stretching. However, it also decreases the material’s elongation, ductility and formability.
    • Hardness is the material’s resistance to indentation. Hardness is linked to the strength of the material, where the higher the hardness the higher the material’s strength and the harder it is to deform. Some examples of how hardness is measured are Rockwell Hardness or Brinell Hardness.
    • Altering the mechanical properties of a metal by subjecting it to a series of controlled temperature changes. Both heating and cooling changes are used in heat treatments.
      Heat Treatment
    • Additions of small amounts of microalloying elements such as columbium, vanadium, titanium, used alone or in combination, give HSLAs higher initial strength, improved formability, higher strength after forming, and even enhanced atmospheric corrosion resistance, when compared to other high carbon and alloy steels.
      High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) Steels
    • A coil of steel rolled on a hot-strip mill (hot-rolled steel) at high temperatures above the metal’s recrystallization temperature. Hot rolled steel is covered with mill scale and the hot roll microstructure is not ideal for forming as it is typically hard and brittle. Steel can be sold in this form, or it can be sold after further processing. Hot rolled steel is also called hot band.
      Hot Rolled Steel
    • A rolling mill that uses several in-line rolling mill stands to convert slabs into hot-rolled coils. After reheating the slab until it is red hot and then removing the hot mill scale with high pressure water sprays, the hot-strip mill produces a coil of flat-rolled steel from 0.250” to 0.080” in thickness.
      Hot-Strip Mill
    • A forming process in which the metal is placed into a forming die, where it is formed to the shape of the die through the application of high levels of water pressure.
  • I
    • A semi-finished type of metal, where molten metal is poured into molds, where it slowly solidifies. Once the metal is solid, the mold is stripped away, and the ingots are removed for further processing.
    • These facilities use a blast furnace to convert iron ore, lime and coke into molten iron and then use a BOF to convert the molten iron into molten steel. They differ from minimills in how they produce molten steel.
      Integrated Mills
    • A steel product with extremely low carbon levels, which make it extremely soft and ductile. It is produced using the vacuum degassing process. Due to its enhanced drawability, it is used exclusively in deep-drawing applications.
      Interstitial Free Steel
    • A steel product with extremely low carbon levels, which make it extremely soft and ductile. It is produced using the vacuum degassing process. Due to its enhanced drawability, it is used exclusively in deep-drawing applications.
      Interstitial Free Steel
    • A naturally occurring mineral containing enough iron to be a commercially viable source of the element for use in the ironmaking process. Iron ore is oxidized iron and it must be mined from the earth’s crust before it is further refined into molten iron in a blast furnace. The main ores used in ironmaking are hematite, magnetite, limonite and siderite.
      Iron Ore
  • L
    • A ladle is a vessel used to transport, store, and pour molten metals.
    • A secondary steel processing unit that further refines the chemistry and temperature of molten steel while it is still in the ladle. The ladle metallurgy step comes after the EAF or BOF, but prior to the to the continuous caster.
      Ladle Metallurgy Furnace (LMF)
    • A transport car moving on rails and equipped on its underside with a hopper. It is used to charge equipment like ladles or coke ovens from above.
      Larry Car
    • Laying head is a piece of equipment used in hot-rolled wire rod production.
      Laying Head
    • The time to produce a customer’s order from order placement to shipment. Details are specific to the amount and type of production or processing required and the location of the material.
      Lead Time
    • The process by which a leveling machine flattens, and/or shape corrects metal strip, coil, or sheet. There are several types of leveling processes including off-set rollers, tension leveling and stretcher leveling.
    • Pipe used in the surface transmission of oil, natural gas and other petroleum-based fluids.
      Line Pipe
    • Classification of steel products that are produced and shipped in long form rather than flat. Long products can include bar, rod, pipe, tube and structural products like I and H beams.
      Long Products
  • M
    • A cylindrical metal bar that serves as a core around which metal may be cast, molded, forged, bent, coiled or otherwise shaped.
    • Type of steel microstructure that is formed by heat treatments. It has extremely high strength and hardness, so typical applications include blades and automotive intrusion prevention beams and bumpers. Martensitic is a small category of stainless steel that can be hardened through heat treatments and is utilized in the chemical and oil industries as well as in surgical instruments.
    • The original, unprocessed wide coil that is produced by a steel mill.
      Master Coil
    • Properties of a material that indicate how the material will react in real world conditions. Mechanical properties can include hardness, tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, impact tests, etc. Mechanical properties are different than physical properties, which usually refer to dimensional characteristics of the material.
      Mechanical Properties
    • A term for lower quality commodity steel shapes such as rounds, squares, flats, strips, angles, and channels. It is made using appropriate controls for chemistries, mechanical properties and dimensional tolerances, but it is intended for non-critical applications.
      Merchant Bar Quality (MBQ)
    • The outside texture material has when it leaves the mill where it was processed.
      Mill Finish
    • Mill scale is the gray, flaky surface created during hot forming processes such as hot rolling or forging, where the red-hot steel contacts the oxygen in the air. Mill scale must be removed prior to any rolling or forming processes.
      Mill Scale
    • These facilities melt steel scrap and direct-reduced iron in an EAF to produce molten steel. They differ from integrated in how they produce molten steel.
    • Mold powders are essential for the stability of the continuous casting process at all casting speeds. The main functions of mold powder are to provide lubrication and to control the heat transfer between the developing steel shell and the water-cooled copper mold.
      Mold Powder
  • O
    • Pipe products used by the petroleum industry. OCTG includes various pipe applications such as casing, drill pipe, and oil well tubing. OCTG materials typically have stringent specifications and requirements.
      Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG)
    • Open-pit mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or minerals from the earth from an open-air pit, sometimes known as a borrow. Open-pit mines are used when deposits of commercially useful ore or rocks are found near the surface.
      Open Pit Mining
    • A method of winding narrow strip steel on a much wider mandrel. By oscillate-winding the strip back and forth like fishing line on a reel or thread over a spool, a much longer strip can fit onto a coil of a specified diameter, which gives the customer longer processing runs. Oscillate winding requires welding the ends of multiple coils together to make one long coil.
      Oscillating or Oscillate Wound
  • P
    • Process that uses acid to clean the surface of a steel coil of its mill scale, rust, dirt and oil so that further work can be done to the metal.
    • Seamless pipes are manufactured by a rotary piercing process in which round billets (pipe rounds) are heated, fed between two rolls and pierced by a stationary plug. As the material flows around the plug the pipe is formed.
      Piercing Method
    • Crude iron as first obtained by smelting iron ore in a blast furnace. It is brittle, and not useful directly as a material except in specific instances. However, it is the primary input for steel production.
      Pig Iron (or Hot Metal)
    • Pipe is used to transport fluids or gases and tube is used for structural applications. However, pipe and tube are often used interchangeably in steel lexicon, with a given label applied primarily as a matter of historical use.
    • Flat rolled steel with a width of more than eight inches, with a thickness ranging from one quarter of an inch to more than one foot.
    • A typically defected coil that is smaller than a master coil.
      Pup coil
  • Q
    • Recrystallization is a process by which deformed microstructure grains are replaced by a new set of undeformed grains that nucleate and grow until the original grains have been entirely consumed. Recrystallization is usually accompanied by a reduction in the strength and hardness of a material and a simultaneous increase in the ductility. Recrystallization occurs at high temperatures.
      Quench Hardening
  • R
    • A refractory material is a material that is resistant to decomposition by heat, pressure, or chemical attack, and retains strength and form at high temperatures. Refractory materials are used in furnaces, kilns, incinerators, and reactors. A common form of refractories are bricks.
    • Steel bar and rod that is used to reinforce and strengthen concrete structures. It is produced with ribs along its length that interlock with the poured concrete.
      Reinforcing Bar (Rebar)
    • The impurities in steel that can lead to it being too hard and/or brittle to meet the customer’s requirements. Residuals, also known as tramp elements, are especially problematic for soft materials where low hardness and high formability are required to form complex parts. Residuals are more prevalent in minimill material because they melt scrap that contains residuals to produce their steel.
    • A reversing mill has one set of rolls in one roll stand and reduces the thickness of the material by passing the material back and forth through the roll stand multiple times. The thickness gets reduced further during each pass until the required thickness is achieved.
      Reversing Mill
    • Round, semi-finished steel length that is rolled down from a billet. Depending on the length and diameter it can be produced as coiled or cut to length for further processing. Rod is commonly drawn into wire products or used to make bolts and nails.
    • Rolling Mills have stands that contain rolls that are used to control the thickness of metals by compressing the material between them as they rotate. Rolling mill stands consist of several components and systems, all of which are subject to high temperatures, high loads and extreme conditions. Examples of process that would contain rolling mill stands include slabbing mills, plate mills, hot roll mills, cold roll mills, and pipe mills.
      Rolling Mill
    • A roughing mill is a large rolling mill stand that is designed for making reductions in material thickness. The first rolling stand(s) in the hot rolling process is a roughing mill. Once reduced by the roughing stand(s), the metal continues to the finishing stands where less thickness reduction occurs, and the material is rolled to the final, desired thickness.
      Roughing Mill
  • S
    • The layer of iron oxide that forms on the surface of steel after exposing it to the oxygen in the air while the steel is hot. Scale can take many different forms depending on the temperature and amount of exposure when it was formed.
    • Seamless pipes are manufactured by a rotary piercing process in which round billets (pipe rounds) are heated, fed between rolls and pierced by a stationary plug. As the material flows around the plug, the pipe is formed. Seamless pipe does not have welded seams.
      Seamless Pipe
    • Steel that does not meet requirements or specifications related to chemistry, mechanical properties, dimensional properties and/or surface quality, so it cannot be sold to the original customer. The producing mill will put this material on a secondary list and look for alternate applications - but it will be at a lower cost.
      Secondary Steel
    • A Z-mill is a machine for reducing the thickness of metals by rolling. By using a cascading system of numerous backup rolls, it allows the application of higher roll pressures on a set of small work rolls without bending the work rolls, which would result in poor metal quality. It is a compact mill capable of making very thin thicknesses at high speeds.
      Sendzimir Mill (Z-Mill)
    • A facility that buys steel, often processes it in some way then sells it in a slightly different form. A service center is different from an end-user because it sells steel, not fabricated products. Service centers use economies of scale, where they buy large quantities at a discount and then sell the material in smaller quantities at a markup.
      Service Center
    • Shaft mining is a form of underground mining where shafts are dug vertically from top to bottom to excavate ores and minerals. It is also called shaft sinking. It is best suited for concentrated minerals such as iron, coal, etc. that run in tight veins deep below the earth's surface.
      Shaft Mining
    • Pipe that is produced in random lengths. Single random lengths range from 17’ – 24’.
      Single Random Length (SRL)
    • The welding together of small particles of metal by applying heat below the melting point.
    • Steel that is intended to be used for OCTG pipe applications. It is hot rolled material that has special requirements for chemistry, forming and welding operations. It is converted to pipe in a pipe mill.
      Skelp or Pipe Skelp
    • Slabs are the output of the continuous casting process. Thick slab casters produce slabs that are 9” to 10” thick and thin slab casters produce slabs that are 2” to 3” thick. Slabs are converted to hot roll coils, sheet and plate in a hot strip mill.
    • Slag consists of the undesired impurities in the metal ore extracted during the smelting process. However, it also protects the liquid metal by controlling the temperature of the metal and providing a barrier against the oxygen in the air.
    • Cutting a sheet of steel into narrower strips. Because steel mills have limited flexibility as to the widths of the sheet that they produce, the steel will typically need to be slit to meet customer requirements.
    • A term for higher quality steel shapes such as rounds, squares, flats, strips, angles, and channels. It is made using more precise controls for chemistries, mechanical properties and dimensional tolerances, and is intended for more critical applications such as automotive parts and motor parts.
      Special Bar Quality (SBQ)
    • Spheroidites form in the microstructure of carbon steel when it is heated to approximately 1300°F (700°C) for over 30 hours. This is the softest and most ductile form of steel.
    • Material sales required to fill an immediate customer need. Prices for spot market materials are typically higher than those materials that are pre-purchased with longer lead-times.
      Spot Market
    • Steel that contains a minimum of 10% chromium is called stainless steel, because the chromium reacts with the oxygen in the air to form a microscopic, invisible layer that protects it from the environment. Higher levels of chromium and other elements such as nickel can enhance this protection even more. Stainless steel resists corrosion and staining, maintains its strength at high temperatures, and is easily maintained. It is widely used in items such as automotive and food processing products, corrosive environments such as steam heat exchangers and pipes to transport acids, and medical or health equipment. Depending on the application, stainless steel comes in many grades (chemistries), but the main stainless steel families are 300 and 400 series. 
      Stainless Steel
    • The pressure baring round pipe used in industrial piping systems for the flow of water, oil, gas, and other mediums. Governed by the ASTM & ASME specifications.
      Standard Pipe
    • A hard, strong, gray or bluish-gray alloy of iron and carbon and usually other elements. It is used extensively as a structural and fabricating material.
    • A facility that produces or processes steel. “Steel Mill” typically refers to primary steel facilities that have equipment such as Electric Arc Furnaces or Blast Furnaces. 
      Steel Mill
    • Strand casting (also known as continuous casting) is the process by which molten steel is converted directly into a billet, bloom, or slab using a ladle, tundish and an open-ended, water-cooled mold. 
      Strand Casting
    • A mechanical property related to how a material reacts to outside forces. Examples of strength include how much force it takes to change the shape of a material and how it resists being stretched. Common strength measurements for metals are yield and tensile strengths.
  • T
    • A tandem mill is a type of rolling mill, where instead of having a single mill stand, several mill stands are set up in line with each other. As the material moves from one stand to the next, the thickness is reduced until the required thickness, properties and surface texture are achieved.
      Tandem Mill
    • Tapping is the act of emptying a vessel of molten metal.
    • A temper mill is a metal coil, sheet, or strip processing line composed of entry and exit equipment, a one- or two-stand cold rolling mill, and automatic thickness control equipment. Typically, a temper mill is used in the last step of the cold reduction process, and it is done after annealing. Its primary purpose is to achieve the desired material thickness and improve the metal’s mechanical properties and surface appearance.
      Temper Mill
    • A process where steel is compressed between two rollers; making it flatter and longer.
      Temper Passed
    • Tinning is the process of thinly coating steel coils with tin to prevent rust and environmental interaction. The resulting product of tinning is known as tinplate. Because tin is non-toxic, tinplate material is used primarily in food packaging applications such as soup cans or canned vegetables. Tinplate material is produced in tin mills and the tin can be applied using electroplating or the hot dip process.
    • Tolerances define the customer’s acceptable range of material parameters, which can include chemistry, mechanical properties, dimensional properties, surface quality, packaging, and more. Tolerances can come in the form of a minimum, a maximum or a range and can either be defined by the customer or an accepted industry standard. It is extremely important to fully understand all tolerances prior to accepting a customer’s order. 
    • The act of processing material for a fee or toll. Toll processors do not own the material; they sell processing time on their equipment to the material’s owner. Examples of processing offered by toll processors can include pickling, slitting, coating, rolling, annealing, leveling, and cutting to length. 
      Toll Processing
    • A ton is a unit of weight measure. A short or American ton is 2,000 pounds. A long, gross, or British ton is 2,240 pounds. A metric ton is 2204.6 pounds.
    • Torpedo cars are ladles on rails that are used to transport molten iron from a blast furnace to a steelmaking facility.
      Torpedo Car
    • The tundish serves as a buffer vessel for molten steel in the continuous casting process. Use of a tundish allows time to exchange an empty ladle with a new ladle. 
  • W
    • A hot strip mill reheat furnace where the slab is repeatedly lifted and set down to move it forward in the furnace. This is a newer technology that produces better quality than older push furnaces that could create surface quality issues as the slab is pushed along fixed beams.
      Walking Beam Furnace
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