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Alloy Steels Alloy Steels have enhanced properties due to the presence of one or more special elements, or to the presence of larger proportions of elements such as manganese and silicon than are present in carbon steels.
Annealing Annealing is a thermal process whereby the material is heated to and maintained at a suitable temperature, followed by cooling to ambient conditions when the metal now has a stable structure.
Austenitic Austenitic stainless steel is a type of steel with a chromium content greater than 10.5% (like other stainless steels) and with a minimum 17% chromium. They also contain nickel. Peopl will more readily recognise this classification as 304 Grade, or 18-9E.
The further alloying with molybdenum is knowned as 316 Grade or 18-11ML. (Discover more about stainless steel categories).
Bar A finished steel product, commonly in flat, square, round or hexagonal shapes. Rolled from billets, bars are produced in two major types, merchant and special.
Blank Steel sheet of high dimensional precision, in simple or complex form, sometimes multi-thickness, principally used in automobile body parts.
Carbon steel A type of steel generally containing only a very small quantity of elements other than carbon, silicon, manganese, sulphur and phosphorus, so it has no significant quantity of any alloying element.
Coal The primary fuel used by integrated iron and steel producers.
Coated steels Steel is coated by a hot process or through electrolysis with a layer of a substance that protects the metal base against corrosion. The most commonly used coating material is zinc which can be applied either using a hot process (hot-dip galvanising) or using electrolysis (electro-galvanising). An organic coating (paint, plastic) can also be deposited on the zinc layer.
Coil A finished steel product such as sheet or strip which has been wound or coiled after rolling.
Cold Rolling The passing of sheet or strip that has previously been hot-rolled and pickled through cold rolls, i.e. below the softening temperature of the metal. Cold rolling makes a product that is thinner, smoother, and stronger than can be made by hot rolling alone.
Cold rolling mill Equipment that reduces the thickness of flat steel products by rolling the metal between alloy steel cylinders at ambient temperature.
Continuous Casting A process for solidifying steel in the form of a continuous strand rather than individual ingots. Molten steel is poured into open-bottomed, water-cooled moulds. As the molten steel passes through the mould, the outer shell solidifies.
Crude Steel Steel in the first solid state after melting, suitable for further processing or for sale. Synonymous to raw steel.
Duplex A stainless steel which possesses the characteristics of both stainless steel and carbon steel combining excellent corrosion resistance with high strength characteristics. (Discover more about stainless steel categories).
Flat products Types of rolled products that have smooth surfaces and are available in a range of dimensions and a variety of thicknesses. The two major flat steel product categories are thin flat products (between 1 mm and 10 mm in thickness) and plates (between 10 mm and 200 mm in thickness and used for large welded pipes, shipbuilding, construction, major works and boilers).
Ferritic Ferritic stainless steel is a type of steel with a chromium content greater than 10.5% (like other stainless steels) but that does not contain nickel (unlike some other stainless steel categories).
Galvanised Steel Produced when hot- or cold-rolled sheet or strip is coated with zinc either by the hot-dip or electrolytic deposition process. Zinc coating applied by the hot-dip method is normally heavy enough to resist corrosion without additional protective coating. Electronically galvanised materials are not used for corrosion-resistant applications without subsequent chemical treatment and painting, except in mild corrosive conditions, due to the thin coating of zinc. Galvanising is a pure zinc coating. A special heat-treating process converts the pure zinc coating to a zinc/iron alloy coating, and the product is known as Galvanneal.
Hot-rolling mill Equipment on which solidified steel preheated to a high temperature is continuously rolled between two rotating cylinders.
Iron Ore The primary raw material in the manufacture of steel.
Long products Long products are used in all industrial sectors, particularly in the construction and engineering industries. The Group is active in the different segments which are heavy long products, light long products and wire-drawn products.
Mini mill A small non-integrated or semi-integrated steel plant, generally based on electric arc furnace steelmaking. Mini mills produce rods, bars, small structural shapes and flat rolled products.
Plate A flat rolled product from slabs or ingots; of greater thickness than sheet or strip.
Refining A stage in the process of making crude steel, during which the crude steel is further refined (i.e. most residual impurities are removed) and additions of other metals may be made before it is cast.
Rolling Mill Equipment that reduces and transforms the shape of semi-finished or intermediate steel products by passing the material through a gap between rolls that is smaller than the feedstock.
Semi-finished products Steel products such as billets, blooms and slabs. These products can be made by direct continuous casting of hot steel or by pouring the liquid steel into ingots, which are then hot-rolled into semi-finished products.
Sheet A flat-rolled product over 300 mm in width and less thickness than plate.
Sheet Piling Rolled sections with interlocking joints (continuous throughout the entire lenght of the piece) on each edge to permit being driven edge-to-edge to form continuous walls for retaining earth or water.
Sintering A process that combines ores too fine for efficient blast furnace use with flux stone. The mixture is heated to form clumps, allowing better draught in the blast furnace.
Slab A semi-finished steel product obtained by rolling ingots on a rolling mill or processed through a continuous caster and cut into various lengths. Slab has a rectangular cross section and is used as feedstock in the production of flat products, i.e. hot-rolled coils or plates.
Stainless steels Stainless steels are distinguished from carbon steel by their chromium content (ferritic steels) and, in certain cases their nickel content (austenitic steels). Adding chromium to carbon steel makes it more rust and stain-resistant, and when nickel is added to chromium stainless steel it enhances its mechanical properties.
Strip Flat steel coil products, with widths of less than 600mm for hot rolled products and less than 500 mm for cold-rolled products. The wider flat products known as wide strips.
Wire Rods Coiled bars of up to 18.5 millimetres in diameter, used mainly in the production of wire.
Wire: Drawn And/Or Rolled The broad range of products produced by cold reducing hot-rolled steel through a die or series of dies, or through rolls to improve surface finish, dimensional accuracy and physical properties.