Glossary of Metal Terms



The term as applied to soft or low carbon steels, relates to slow, gradual changes that take place in properties of steels after the final treatment. These changes, which bring about a condition of increased hardness, elastic limit, and tensile strength with a consequent loss in ductility, occur during the period in which the steel is at normal temperatures.


Spontaneous change in the physical properties of some metals, which occurs on standing, at atmospheric temperatures after final cold working or after a final heat treatment. Frequently synonymous with the term “ Age-Hardening.”


Cooling of the heated metal, intermediate in rapidity between slow furnace cooling and quenching, in which the metal is permitted to stand in the open air.


Alloy steel which may be hardened by cooling in air from a temperature above the transformation range. Such steels attain their martensitic structure without going through the quenching process. Additions of chromium, nickel, molybdenum and manganese are effective toward this end.


Steels of the American Iron and Steel Institute. Common and alloy steels have been numbered in a system essentially the same as the SAE. The AISI system is more elaborate than the SAE in that all numbers are preceded by letters: “A” represents basic open-hearth alloy steel, “B” acid Bessemer carbon steel, “C” basic open-hearth carbon steel, “CB” either acid Bessemer or basic open-hearth carbon steel, “E” electric furnace alloy steel.


The common name for a type of clad wrought aluminum products, such as sheet and wire, with coatings of high-purity aluminum or an aluminum alloy different from the core alloy in composition. The coatings are anodic to the core so they protect exposed areas on the core electrolytically during exposure to corrosive environments.


(Met.) Metal prepared by adding other metals or non-metals to a basic metal to secure desirable properties.


An iron-based mixture is considered to be an alloy steel when manganese is greater than 1.65%, silicon over 0.5%, copper above 0.6%, or other minimum quantities of alloying elements such as chromium, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, or tungsten are present. An enormous variety of distinct properties can be created for the steel by substituting these elements in the recipe to increase hardness, strength, or chemical resistance. (See STEEL)


A copper-zinc alloy containing up to 38% of zinc. Used mainly for cold working.


A copper-tin alloy consisting of the alpha solid solution of tin in copper. Commercial forms contain 4 or 5% of tin. This alloy is used in coinage, springs, turbine, blades, etc.


The polymorphic form of iron, stable below 1670°F. has a body centered cubic lattice, and is magnetic up to 1410° F.


Chemical symbol Al. Silvery white metal; ductile with tensile strength and malleable; resistant to corrosion, but can be attacked by acids and alkalis; good conductor of electricity. Lightweight, strong metal produced from alumina, which is processed from bauxite ore. Commercial use is only 100 years old, yet the metal is second only to steel in tonnage consumed annually. Used extensively in articles requiring lightness, corrosion resistance, or electrical conductivity. Metal is used to make transportation, packaging, building, electrical, and consumer durable products.


A steel where aluminum has been used as a deoxidizing agent. (See Killed Steel.)


A heat or thermal treatment process by which a previously cold-rolled coil of metal is made more suitable for forming and bending. The sheet is heated to a designated temperature for a sufficient amount of time and then cooled either in batches or in a continuous annealing process.


Aluminum coated with a thin film of oxide (applied by anodic treatment) resulting in a surface with extreme hardness. A wide variety of dye-colored coatings are made possible by impregnation in the anodizing process.


Chemical symbol Sb. Silvery white and lustrous, it exhibits poor heat and electrical conductivity. It is used primarily in compounds such as antimony trioxide for flame-retardants. Other applications include storage battery components (lead-antimony), ceramics, glass, friction bearings, ammunition, cable sheaths and tank linings. It also is used as an alloying agent in metal castings.


An aging treatment above room temperature. (See Precipitation Heat Treatment and compare with natural aging)


Abbreviation for American Society for Testing Material. An organization for issuing standard specifications on materials, including metals and alloys.


A trade name for a patented heat treating process that consists of quenching a ferrous alloy from temperature above the transformation ranges, in a medium having a rate of heat abstraction sufficiently high to prevent the formation of high-temperature transformation products and in maintaining the alloy, until transformation is complete, at a temperature below that of pearlite formations and above that of martensite formation.


Phase in certain steels, characterized as a solid solution, usually off carbon or iron carbide, in the gamma form of iron. Such steels are known as “austenitic”. Austenite is stable only above 1333°F. in a plain carbon steel, but the presence of certain alloying elements, such as nickel and manganese, stabilizes the austenitic form, even at normal temperatures.


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Steel which, because of the presence of alloying elements, such as manganese, nickel, chromium, etc., shows stability of Austenite at normal temperatures.


A cold-rolled, low-carbon sheet steel used for automotive body panel applications. Because of the steel's special processing, it has good stamping and strength characteristics, and, after paint is baked on, improved dent resistance.


Surface of metal, under the oxide-scale layer, resulting from heating in an oxidizing environment. In the case of steel, such bark always suffers from decarburization.


A relatively long, straight, rigid piece of metal; long steel products rolled from billets into such shapes as squares, rectangles, rounds, angles, channels, hexagons, and tees. In steel, "merchant bars" include rounds, flats, angles, squares, and channels that are used by fabricators to manufacture a wide variety of products such as furniture, stair railings, and farm equipment. Concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) is used to strengthen concrete in highways, bridges, and buildings.


The only commercial ore of aluminum, corresponding essentially to the formula Al2O3xH2O.


A squared-off long, oblong piece of metal (usually steel) used in construction. Commonly referred to as T-bars, I-beams, H-beams.


Raising a ridge on sheet metal. 


Various tests used to determine the toughness and ductility of flat rolled metal sheet, strip or plate, in which the material is bent around its axis or around an outside radius. A complete test might specify such a bend to be both with and against the direction of grain. For testing, samples should be edge filed to remove burrs and any edgewise cracks resulting from slitting or shearing. If a vice is to be used then line the jaws with some soft metal or brass, so as to permit a free flow of the metal in the sample being tested.


Chemical symbol Be. A gray metal found in beryl and bertrandite ores; brittle, but tough; lighter than all metals except magnesium and lithium. Used as unalloyed metal in nuclear reactors and weapons, and as an alloy with copper for electronic, aerospace, and automotive applications. Beryllium-copper is an alloy of copper and beryllium (about 3%) with fractional amounts of nickel or cobalt. These alloys have remarkable age-hardening properties, are extremely hard, and have good electrical conductivity, so they are used extensively in electrical switches and springs.


Rectangular semi-finished steel form (hot rolled from ingot or sheared from continuous caster's output) destined for further processing into rod, bar, structural, or tubing product. A billet is different from a slab because of its outer dimensions; billets are normally two to seven inches square, while slabs are 30-80 inches wide and 2-10 inches thick. Both shapes are generally continually cast, but they may differ greatly in their chemistry.


An alloy containing two elements, apart from minor impurities, as brass containing the two elements copper and zinc.


Chemical symbol Bi. A soft, course crystalline heavy metal with a silvery white color and pinkish tinge; usually produced as a by-product of copper, lead and other metals. Has a thermal conductivity lower than all other metals except mercury. Used as alloying agent but leading use is in pharmaceuticals.


A lightweight, thin, uncoated cold-reduced steel strip or sheet 12-to-32 inches wide with a dark oxide coloring prior to pickling that serves as the substrate (raw material) to be coated in the tin mill. Black plate ranges in thickness up to 275 lbs (base box weight). It is sold uncoated, enameled, painted, tin-coated, or terne-coated.


An early step in preparing flat-rolled metal for use by an end user. A blank is a section of sheet that has the same outer dimensions as a specified part to be stamped. Metal processors may offer blanking for their customers to reduce their labor and transportation costs as excess metal can be trimmed prior to shipment. (See STAMPING)


A defect in metal produced by gas bubbles either on the surface or formed beneath the surface while the metal is hot or plastic. Very fine blisters are called “pin-head” or “pepper” blisters.


Nearly square semi-finished steel product (hot rolled from ingot or sheared from continuous caster's output) whose cross-section is more than eight inches. Destined for further processing into rod, bar, or tubing product, but most commonly for such structural products as I-beams, H-beams, and sheet piling.


Sheets - A method of coating sheets with a thin, even film of bluish-black oxide, obtained by exposure to an atmosphere of dry steam or air, at a temperature of about 1000 0øF., generally this is done during box-annealing. Bluing of tempered spring steel strip; an oxide film blue in color produced by low temperature heating.


The coating of steel with a film composed largely of zinc phosphate in order to develop better bonding surface for paint or lacquer.


A piece of equipment used for bending sheet: also called a “bar folder.” If operated manually, it is called a “hand brake”; if power driven, it is called a “press brake.”


An alloy that is 70% copper, 30% zinc. One of the most widely used of the copper-zinc alloys; malleable and ductile; excellent cold-working but poor hot-working and machining properties; excellent for soft-soldering; good for silver alloy brazing or oxyacetylene welding, but fair for resistance or carbon-arc welding. Used for drawn cartridges, tubes, eyelet machine items, and snap fasteners.


Joining metals by fusion of nonferrous alloys that have melting points above 800°F. but lower than those of the metals being joined. This may be accomplished by means of a torch (torch brazing), in a furnace (furnace brazing) or by dipping in a molten flux bath (dip or flux brazing). The filler metal is ordinarily in rod form in torch brazing; whereas in furnace and dip brazing the work material is first assembled and the filler metal may then be applied as wire, washers, clips, bands, or may be integrally bonded, as in brazing sheet.


(For tempered steel) A method of testing hardened and tempered high carbon spring steel strip wherein the specimen is held and bent across the grain in a vice-like calibrated testing machine. Pressure is applied until the metal fractures at which point a reading is taken and compared with a standard chart of brake limitations for various thickness range. (See Bend Test)


A common standard method of measuring the hardness of certain metals. The smooth surface of the metal is subjected to indentation by a hardened steel ball under pressure or load. The diameter of the resultant indentation, in the metal surface, is measured by a special microscope and the Brinell hardness value read from a chart or calculated formula.


An alloy containing 90% copper and 10% tin. Used for screws, wire, hardware, wear plates, bushings, and springs; it is somewhat stronger than copper and brass, and has equal or better ductility.


A thin ridge or roughness left by a cutting operation such as in metal slitting, shearing, blanking or sawing. This is common to a No. 3 slit edge in the case of steel.


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The standard steel pipe used in plumbing. Heated skelp is passed continuously through welding rolls, which form the tube and squeeze the hot edges together to make a solid weld



Chemical symbol Cd. Cadmium is produced primarily as a by-product of zinc refining, but also is recovered during the beneficiation and refining of some lead ores and complex copper-zinc ores. Cadmium is bluish-white soft metal that can be cut with a knife. The principal use of cadmium, which was discovered in Germany in 1817, has been in nickel-cadmium batteries for personal, portable communications, electronic and electrical equipment. Other applications include pigments, coatings and plating, stabilizers for plastics and similar synthetics, alloys, lasers, and solar cells.  


Edgewise curvature. A lateral departure of a side edge of sheet or strip metal from a straight line.


A compound of carbon with one or more metallic elements.


Ordinary steel made by melting iron or ferrous scrap with carbon, manganese, sulfur, silicon, and phosphorous (see STEEL).


(Cementation) Adding carbon to the surface of iron-base alloys by absorption through heating the metal at a temperature below its melting point in contact with carbonaceous solids, liquids or gasses. The oldest method of case hardening.


The structural steel retainer for the walls of oil and gas wells, and accounts for 75% (by weight) of the shipments of all oil country tubular goods (see OCTG). Casing is used to prevent contamination of both the surrounding water table and the well itself. Casing lasts the life of a well and is not usually removed when a well is closed.


The forming of molten metal into a particular shape by pouring the molten material into a precisely shaped mold or die. There are several casting processes used in making iron and steel shapes (green sand, dry sand, shell mold, core mold, permanent mold, ceramic mold, expandable pattern, centrifugal, continuous and die casting) with the die casting process the most popular method of casting non-ferrous metals (primarily zinc, aluminum, and magnesium and less often copper, tin, and lead).


Primary non-ferrous metal casting to be rolled or forged into other shapes; usually copper or nickel.


Chemical symbol Cs. A silvery-white metal refined from pollucite ore, usually as a co-product in the processing of titanium, beryllium, or lithium minerals. Cesium ignites when exposed to air; has a 28.5-degree F melting point; used in making specialized energy converters and electric power generators.


(Defect) - Parallel indentations or marks appearing at right angles to edge of strip forming a pattern at close and regular intervals, caused by roll vibrations.


A method for removing seams and surface defects with chisel or gouge so that such defects will not be working into the finished product. Chipping is often employed to remove metal that is excessive but not defective. Removal of defects by gas cutting is known as “deseaming” or “scarfing.”


Chemical symbol CR. An alloying element that is the essential raw material for conferring corrosion resistance in stainless steel. A film that naturally forms on the surface of chromium-bearing stainless steel self-repairs in the presence of oxygen if the steel is damaged mechanically or chemically; thus, preventing corrosion.


The method of bonding one metal atop another metal; this increases corrosion resistance for steel, galvanic protection for aluminum, electrical conductivity for copper, etc.


A rolling mill where each of the two working rolls of small diameter is supported by two or more back-up rolls.


Sheet and strip steel or aluminum, usually in coil form, which has been covered on one or both sides with paint, enamel, adhesive, anti-corrosive coatings, and/or laminates.


Chemical symbol Co. Gray magnetic metal of medium hardness with good corrosion resistance. Used as matrix metal in most cemented carbides. Principal function is for alloying in tool steels or superalloys because of its ability to harden ferrite (iron).


Eight specific alloys of at least 50% cobalt blended with traces of such other metals as iron, nickel, chrome, titanium, tungsten, carbon, zirconium, and/or tantalum; used in high-temperature, high-strength, anti-corrosion applications (such as aircraft gas turbines and jet engine components).


Sheet metal rolled from slab or ingot that, then, has been wound. Once rolled in a hot-strip mill, a steel coil is more than one-quarter mile long. Coils are the most efficient way to store and transport sheet metal.


A lengthwise curve or set found in coiled strip metals following its coil pattern. A departure from longitudinal flatness. It can be removed by roller or stretcher leveling from metals in the softer temper ranges.


A joint between two lengths of metal within a coil - which is not always visible in the cold reduced product.


A process of impressing images or characters of the die and punch onto a plane metal surface.


Rolling of cooled metal sheet (or other form which previously has been hot-rolled) to make the steel thinner, smoother, and stronger, by applying pressure. A cold-reduction sheet mill, for example, will roll-press a sheet of metal from one-quarter inch thick into less than an eighth of an inch, while more than doubling its length.


Sheet of steel, aluminum, copper, or alloy that has passed a cold-reduction mill to give a relatively smooth appearance. Strip has a final product width of approximately 12 inches, while sheet may be more than 80 inches wide. Cold-rolled sheet is considerably thinner and stronger than hot-rolled sheet, so it will sell for a premium.


Hot-rolled carbon steel bars after secondary cold-reduction processing with better surface quality and strength.


A defect produced during casting, causing an area in the metal where two portions of the metal in either a molten or plastic condition have come together but have failed to unite, fuse, or, blend into a solid mass.


Rolling, hammering, or stretching metal at a low temperature (often room temperature) to create a permanent increase in the hardness and strength by making changes in the metallurgical structure and shape of the metal.


Chemical symbol Co. Refractory metal used as an alloying agent in steel making; essential for high-strength, low-alloy grades. Has some "worked metal" applications, mostly alloyed with zirconium or titanium for aerospace applications. Called Niobium (Nb) everywhere but the U.S.


Chemical symbol Cu. A characteristically reddish metal of bright luster; highly malleable and ductile; high heat conductivity; an excellent conductor of electricity and is celebrated for its corrosion resistance. Copper is believed to have been discovered around 8,000 B.C. near the site of a village in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq. Deposits in Egypt were worked as early as 5,000 B.C. The word copper is derived from "Cyprus," and substantial quantities of the metal were mined on that Mediterranean island. Used in the pure state or alloyed by other elements to make brasses and bronzes consumed in building construction, electric and electronic products, industrial machinery, transportation equipment, and numerous consumer and general products. Copper also is alloy with other metals as nickel (creating cupro-nickel) and beryllium.


A series of synchronized rolling mill stands in which coiled flat rolled metal entering the first pass (or stand) moves in a straight line and is continuously reduced in thickness (not width) at each subsequent pass. The finished strip is recoiled upon leaving the final or finishing pass.


Gradual chemical or electrochemical attack on a metal by atmosphere, moisture or other agents.


The defective ends of a rolled or forged product which are cut off and discarded.


(In rolled or drawn metal) The direction parallel to the axis of the rolls during rolling. The direction at, right angles to the direction of rolling or drawing.


Rolling at an angle to the long dimension of the metal; usually done to increase width.


Increased thickness in the center of metal sheet or strip as compared with thickness at the edge.


Heavy gauge, galvanized steel that is spiral-formed or riveted into corrugated pipe, which is used for highway drainage applications.


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Uncoil sections of flat-rolled metal, and then cutting them into a desired length. Product that is cut to length is normally shipped flat-stacked.


Removal of the very subtle ridge on the edge of strip metal left by such cutting operations as slitting, trimming, shearing, or blanking. (See EDGE-ROLLING)


The process of cold working or drawing sheet or strip metal blanks by means of dies on a press into shames which are usually more or less cup-like in character involving considerable plastic deformation of the metal. Deep-drawing quality sheet or strip steel, ordered or sold on the basis of suitability for deep-drawing.


The principal process for casting near-net shapes of such non-ferrous metals as zinc, aluminum, and zinc-aluminum alloy (see CASTING).


Lines of markings caused on drawn or extruded products by minor imperfections in the surface of the die.


Forming or machining a depressed pattern in a die.


A metallic iron product made from iron ore pellets, lumps or fines that is reduced (by removing only the oxygen) from the ore at a temperature below the melting point of the iron. DRI is used as feedstock in electric-arc furnaces, blast furnaces and in other iron and steelmaking processes.




A procedure for producing specialty DOM tubing using a drawbench to pull tubing through a die and over a mandrel, giving excellent control over the inside diameter and wall thickness. Advantages of this technique are its inside and outside surface quality and gauge tolerance. Major markets include automotive applications and hydraulic cylinders.


Pipe used in the drilling of an oil or gas well. Drill pipe is the conduit between the wellhead motor and the drill bit. Drilling mud is pumped down the center of the pipe during drilling, to lubricate the drill bit and transmit the drilled core to the surface. Because of the high stress, torque and temperature associated with well drilling, drill pipe is a seamless product.


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Finish obtained by cold rolling on polished rolls without the use of any coolant or metal lubricant, material previously plain pickled, giving a burnished appearance.


Many types of edges can be produced in the manufacture of flat rolled metal products. Over the years the following types of edges have become recognized as standard in their respective fields.


Slit, Slit and Edge Rolled, Sheared, Sawed, Machined or Drawn,


Mill Edge, Slit Edge or Sheared Edge.


No. 1 Edge - A smooth, uniform, round or square edge, either slit or filed or slit and edge rolled as specified, width tolerance +/-.005”.

No. 2 Edge - A natural round mill edge carried through from the hot rolled band. Has not been slit, filed, or edge rolled. Tolerances not closer than hot-rolled strip limits.

No. 3 Edge - Square, produced by slitting only. Not filed. Width tolerance close.

No. 4 Edge - A round edge produced by edge rolling either from a natural mill edge or from slit edge strip. Not as perfect as No. 1 edge. Width tolerances liberal.

No. 5 Edge - An approximately square edge produced by slitting and filing or slitting and rolling to remove burr.

No. 6 Edge - A square edge produced by square edge rolling, generally from square edge hot-rolled occasionally from slit strip. Width tolerances and finish not as exacting as No. 1 edge.


Rolling a strip of metal to smooth the edges. By removing the burr off the coil, it is safer for users to manipulate during transport, storage, and processing. (See DEBURRING)


A method whereby the raw or slit edges of strip metal are passed or drawn one or more times against a series of files, mounted at various angles. This method may be used for deburring only or filing to a specific contour including a completely rounded edge.


Creases extending in from the edge of the temper rolled sheet.


Maximum stress that a material will stand before permanent deformation occurs.


ERW pipe is made from strips of hot-rolled steel, which are passed through forming rolls and welded. While seamless pipe is traditionally stronger and more expensive than ERW pipe, ERW technology is improving and the technique now accounts for approximately 48% of annual tonnage shipments of oil country tubular goods (see OCTG).




Electrolytic-deposition zinc-plating process whereby the molecules on the positively charged zinc anode attach to the negatively charged steel (usually in sheet form). The thickness of the zinc coating is readily controlled; by increasing the electric charge or slowing the speed of the steel through the plating area, the coating will thicken on the metal substrate.


Flat-rolled aluminum with a surface appearance that has a stucco or grained look.


In metallography, the process of revealing structural details by the preferential attack of reagents on a metal surface.


A rigid, non-raveling metal sheet or plate of carbon or stainless steel, aluminum, and a variety of alloys of copper, nickel, silver, and titanium that has been slit and expanded (drawn) into an open mesh pattern that is stronger, lighter in weight, and more rigid than the original material.


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A shaped piece of metal (typically nonferrous), produced by forcing the bloom, bar, or rod through a die of appropriate shape.


A producer of intermediate products that does not also produce primary metal. Examples include brass, wire and rod mills, which buy copper and other primary or secondary metals to produce brass and other copper alloys, or take raw forms of metal and make building, magnet, telecommunications and/or industrial wire, rod, and similar products.


A metal product commonly used as a raw material feed in steelmaking, usually containing iron and other metals to aid various stages of the steelmaking process such as deoxidation, desulfurization and adding strength. Examples: ferrochrome, ferromanganese and ferrosilicon.


Steel processed on rolls with flat faces as opposed to grooved or cut faces. Flat-rolled products include sheet, strip and tin plate, among others.


Related to iron; derived from the Latin, ferrum. Ferrous metals are, therefore, iron-based metals.


Direction in which metals have been caused to flow, as by rolling, with microscopic evidence in the form of fibrous appearance in the direction of flow.


Finished edges, the final contours of which are produced by drawing the strip over a series of small steel files. This is the usual and accepted method of dressing the edges of annealed spring steel strip after slitting in cases where edgewise slitting cracks are objectionable or slitting burr is to be removed.


The surface appearance of the various metals after final treatment such as rolling, etc. Over the years the following finishes have become recognized as standard in their respective fields.


(A) Commercially Bright.

(B) Bright one side.

(A) Bright both sides

(D) Embossed Sheets (Produced by using embossed rolls.)


(A) Dull finish without luster produced by use of roughened rolls.

(B) Bright finish - a luster finish produced by use of rolls having a moderately smooth surface.


(A) Commercial Finish. A dull satin surface texture produced by roughened rolls.

(B) Commercial Bright Finish. Bright in appearance with a texture between luster and a very fine matte finish.

(C) Luster Finish. Produced by use of ground and polished rolls. (Note: This is not a number 3 finish.)


No. 1 Finish - A dull finish produced without luster by rolling on roughened rolls.

No. 2 Finish - A regular bright finish produced by rolling on moderately bright rolls.

No. 3 Finish - Best Bright Finish. A lustrous or high gloss finish produced by rolling on highly polished rolls. Also referred to as “Mirror Finish”.


Acid Dipped - Dry rolled finished. Produced by dry cold rolling bi-chromate dipped alloy with polished rolls, resulting in a burnished appearance and retaining the color obtained by dipping (True Metal Color).

Bright Dipped Finish - Finish resulting from an acid dip.

Buffed or Polished Surface - A finish obtained by buffing, resulting in a high gloss or polished finish.

Cold Rolled Finish - A relatively smooth finish obtained by cold rolling plain pickled strip with a lubricant.

Dry Rolled Finish - A burnished finish resulting from dry cold rolling by use of polished rolls without any metal lubricant.

Hot Rolled Finish - A dark relatively rough oxidized finish resulting from rolling the metal while hot. May subsequently be pickled or bright dipped but the rough surface remains.

Stretched Brushed Finish (Satin Finish) Obtained by mechanically brushing with wire brushes or by buffing.


No. 2 Finish - A regular bright finish.

No. 3 Finish - Best Bright High Gloss finish produced by use of polished rolls. Or by special buffing - this is a negotiated finish.


No. 1 Finish - C. R. Annealed and pickled appearance varies from dull gray matte finish to a fairly reflective surface.

No. 2B Finish - Same as No.1 Finish followed by a final light cold rolled pass generally on highly polished rolls.

No. 2D Finish - A dull cold rolled finish produced by cold rolling on dull rolls.

STAINLESS C.R. SHEET - Polished Finishes

No. 3 Finish - This is an intermediate polished finish.

No. 4 Finish - Ground and Polished finish.

No. 6 Finish - Ground, Polished and Tampico Brushed.

No. 7 Finish - Ground and High Luster Polished.

No. 8 Finish - Ground and Polished to Mirror Finish.



Classified by description as follows:

(A) Black Oil Tempered.

(B) Scaleless Tempered.

(A) Bright Tempered.

(D) Tempered and Polished.

(E) Tempered, Polished and Colored (Blue or Straw).


(A) Bright Hot Dipped Finish.

(B) Electro Matte Dull Finish.

(C) Electro Bright Reflow Finish - produced by the in-the-line thermal treatment following electrodeposition.


Usually carbon (but also alloy and stainless) steel plate rolled with raised lug patterns to provide traction for feet and wheels; as the name suggests, used widely for flooring.


Kinking or breakage due to curving of metal strip on a radius so small, with relation to thickness, as to stretch the outer surface above its elastic limit. Not to be confused with the specific product, Fluted Tubes.


Metal in any width but no more than about 0.005-inch thick.


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The working of metal to some predetermined shape by hammering, upsetting, pressing, or rolling (or a combination of these processes); the metal can be hot or cold. The most common metals forged include carbon, alloy and stainless steels; very hard tool steels; aluminum; titanium; brass and copper; and high-temperature alloys containing cobalt, nickel, or molybdenum. There are four principal types of commercial forgings: drop forgings, where the shape has been formed by repeated blows by a hammer onto a bar or bullet placed between a pair of dies; upset forgings, where the cross-sectional area is increased while the thickness is decreased; roll forgings, whereby the shaping is done by two rotating rolls; and press forgings, where hydraulic pressure deforms the metal.


(Metal) - Mfrs. standard numbering systems indicating decimal thickness or diameters.


Steel sheet with a unique coating of 55% aluminum and 45% zinc that resists corrosion. The coating is applied in a continuous hot-dipped process. The product is a registered trademark of BHP Steel of Australia.


Metal (usually steel) coated with a thin layer of zinc to provide corrosion resistance; i.e., rust proofing. Galvanizing methods are (1) "hot-dipped galvanizing", which consists of passing the continuous length of sheet, wire, rod, or shape through a molten bath, followed by an air stream "wipe" that controls the thickness of the zinc finish; and (2) "electro-galvanizing", which continuously zinc-coats an uncoiled sheet or unwound wire or rod electrolytically. Galvanized sheet also is known in the market as "coated sheet".


Steel sheet covered with zinc on both sides and immediately heat-treated so the coating becomes a zinc-iron alloy bonded to the surface.


Chemical symbol Ge. A rare, grayish-white metal chemically similar to tin; obtained from processing copper and zinc. Used in the production of infrared glasses, fiber optics, electronic detectors, and semiconductors.


Chemical symbol Au. The heraldic metal. A rare yellow mineral that is the most malleable and pliable of all metals. Gold does not tarnish or corrode, and is unaffected by exposure to air or water.


Device for holding the metal in the proper position, during rolling, or slitting.


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(Defect) - Scratches or marks appearing parallel to edges of cold rolled strip caused by scale or other articles which have become imbedded in or have adhered to the rolling mill guide. Also applies to similar scratches appearing as a result of slitting.


Metal processed by heat or cold-worked to resist cutting, abrasion, penetration, bending, and stretching.


A general term given to rolled flanged sections that have at least one dimension of their cross sections three inches or greater. The category includes beams, channels, tees, and zees if the depth dimension is three inches or greater, and angles if the length of the leg is three inches or greater.


Altering the properties of a metal by subjecting it to a sequence of temperature changes, time of retention at specific temperature and rate of cooling therefrom being as important as the temperature itself. Heat treatment usually markedly affects strength, hardness, ductility, malleability, and similar properties of both metals and their alloys.


Steel with more than 0.3% carbon. The more carbon that is dissolved in the iron, the less formable and the tougher the steel becomes. High-carbon steel's hardness makes it suitable for plow blades, shovels, bedsprings, cutting edges, or other high-wear applications.


Steel containing a total of less than 5% of such hardening or strengthening alloys of nickel, chromium, silicon, manganese, tungsten molybdenum, and vanadium.


Known in the market at HSS, this is high-strength, cold-formed, electric-welded structural tubing welded steel tubing used as structural elements in a broad range of construction and architectural applications, structural components for vehicles, and industrial machinery, buildings and other structures, and a variety of manufactured products. It is produced in round, square and rectangular shapes and a broad range of sizes.
Structural tubing's basic advantages lie in its high strength-to-weight ratio, attractive appearance and cost-effectiveness


Stress is proportional to strain in the elastic range. The value of the stress at which a material ceases to obey Hooke’s law is known as the elastic limit.


A coil of steel rolled on a hot-strip mill (aka, hot-rolled sheet). I-BEAM-Structural section on which the flanges are tapered and are typically not as long as the flanges on wide-flange beams. The flanges are thicker at the cross sections and thinner at the toes of the flanges. They are produced with depths of 3-24 inches.


In steel mill practice, a process whereby ferrous alloy base metals are dipped into molten metal, usually zinc, tin or terne, for the purpose of fixing a rust resistant coating.


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Rolling steel slabs into flat-rolled steel after it has been reheated.


Chemical symbol In. Grayish-white minor metal obtained by treating smelter flue dusts and slags or other residue of base metal concentrates. Capable of marking paper (just as lead does), indium is used in low-melting alloys, solders, electrical contact coatings, infrared detectors, nuclear reactor control rods, and various electronic components.


A form of semi-finished metal (created by pouring liquid metal into molds for solidification during cooling). Ingot then is rolled or forged into other shapes. Note that steel ingots weight as much as 30 tons.


Chemical symbol Ir. A yellowish mineral with the most corrosion resistance of any metal known (See PLATINUM GROUP METALS).


A magnetic, silver-white metal of high tensile strength, ductility and malleability. Principal commercial forms are steel, cast iron, or wrought iron.


Also known as "super chrome steels," these metals are at the highest end of the range of high-temperature, high-strength steels. Besides chrome, other additives can be nickel, titanium, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, and carbon.  


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The term “killed” indicates that the steel has been sufficiently deoxidized to quiet the molten metal when poured into the ingot mold. The general practice is to use aluminum ferrosilicon or manganese as deoxidizing agents. A properly killed steel is more uniform as to analysis and is comparatively free from aging. However, for the same carbon and manganese content Killed Steel is harder than Rimmed Steel. In general all steels above 0.25% carbon are killed, also all forging grades, structural steels from 0.15% to 0.25% carbon and some special steels in the low carbon range. Most steels below 0.15% carbon are rimmed steel.


A process in which metal is extracted from mined ore by means of adding a soluble substance. Commonly used in gold mining.


Chemical symbol Pb. Very soft, bluish-white metal; highly malleable and ductile; poor conductor of electricity, but good noise-dampening material; resistant to corrosion and radiation. Obtained from galena ore. Major end use is storage batteries, which accounts for 60% of world lead consumption. Also used ammunition, but has declining use in paints, plumbing equipment, and cable coverings because of its toxicity. Metal also used to dampen noise, in containers for corrosive liquids, and as radiation shields for x-rays and nuclear reactors.


A process to flatten shape deficiencies (wavy edges and buckles) in the metal sheet prior to final shipment. Most metal sheet initially has a crowned cross-section that is flattened by leveling.


Very thin steel sheet that has been temper-rolled or passed through a cold-reduction mill. Light gauge steel normally is plated with tin or chrome for use in food containers.


Metals and alloys that have a low specific gravity, such as beryllium, magnesium and aluminum.


Steel pipe used in the surface transmission of oil, natural gas, and other fluids.


A term applied to steel sheets that have been coated with terne (lead and tin) by immersion in a bath of the lead-tin alloy.


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Steel with less than 0.005% carbon is more ductile (malleable); capable of being drawn out or rolled thin. Carbon is removed from the steel bath through vacuum degassing.


Chemical symbol Mg. A silvery, moderately hard, strong, and light metal. Used in ductile iron production, steel desulfurization, and chemical reduction. Growing use as substitute for aluminum and zinc in die castings, due to lightweight and high strength.


Chemical symbol Mn. A gray-white, hard, and brittle metal. Critical in the production of pig iron and steel, it usually is preprocessed with carbon or silicon prior to iron smelting or steel making. Also used in batteries and chemicals manufacture.


Steel tubing products used in the manufacture of hydraulic cylinders, in mechanical parts for autos and trucks, construction and farm equipment, and in furniture, bicycles and many other applications.


Chemical symbol Mo. A silvery-gray metal used as an alloy to strengthen steel and make it less susceptible to rust and corrosion. Key alloying element for some classes of stainless steel; in the presence of chromium, "moly" enhances the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.


An alloy of copper, zinc, and tin used widely in the marine industry because of resistance to saltwater corrosion; actually it's a bronze.


Chemical symbol Ni. Hard, silvery-white metal known primarily as alloy to improve strength and corrosion resistance of other metals, notably steel. Metal is slightly magnetic metal, of medium hardness and high degree of ductility and malleability, with high resistance to chemical and atmospheric corrosion. Pure nickel is used in galvanic plating, where objects must be coated with nickel before they can be plated with chrome. When used as an alloying agent, it is of great importance in iron-based alloys in stainless steels and in copper-based alloys such as cupro-nickel as well as in nickel-based alloys such as Monel. (About 65% of all nickel is used in the making of stainless steel.)


Multi-alloy metals suited for high-performance, high-temperature applications. These are nickel-iron-chrome alloys (which also contain titanium, columbium, and aluminum) and nickel-chrome-iron alloys (which often also contain molybdenum, tungsten, titanium, cobalt, aluminum, and columbium).


Copper-based alloy that contains from 10% to 45% zinc and from 5% to 30% nickel; most often alloyed with brass.


Chemical symbol Nb. Name for Columbium metal everywhere in the world but the U.S.


Metals or alloys that are free of iron.


Label applied to the pipe products used by petroleum exploration customers. OCTG includes casing, drill pipe and oil well tubing, which, depending on their use, may be formed through welded or seamless processes.


Winding a narrow strip of metal over a much wider roll, much like threading over a spool.


Chemical symbol Os. A bluish-white metal that is so hard it is difficult to fabricate (see PLATINUM GROUP METALS).


Cleaning a steel coil through a series of hydrochloric acid baths that remove the oxides (rust), dirt, and oil so that further work can be done to the metal.


Initial post-smelting casting of lead or iron. Named long ago when molten metal was poured through a trench in the ground to flow into shallow earthen holes, the arrangement looked like newborn pigs suckling. The central channel became known as the "sow," and the molds were "pigs."


Chemical symbol Pd. A major component in the production of petrochemical catalysts (see PLATINUM GROUP METALS).


Also known as sheet piling; a structural steel product with edges designed to interlock; used in the construction of dams or riverbank reinforcement.


Technically, a thick-walled tube used to transport fluids or gases. In the steel lexicon, "pipe" and "tube" often are used interchangeably with a given label applied primarily as a matter of historical use.


A smooth, flat, relatively thick (3/16-inch to more than one foot) mass of metal with a width of more than eight inches often sheared into individual pieces but also rolled into coils.


Chemical symbol Pt. The key material in the manufacture of automotive catalysts (see PLATINUM GROUP METALS).


Called the "noble metals" because they are among the scarcest of the metallic elements; more important, they are totally impervious to oxidation or corrosion. The family is six metals: Platinum, a white infusible metal with high electrical resistance; Palladium, also white, noted for its strength and high ductility; Iridium, a yellowish mineral with the most corrosion resistance of any metal known; Rhodium, a silver-white metal also found with nickel; Ruthenium, a white metal noted for its hardness; and Osmium, a bluish-white metal that is so hard it is difficult to fabricate.


Copper-based alloys with 3.5% to 10% tin, to which up to 1% phosphorous has been added in the molten state for deoxidizing and strengthening purposes. Because of excellent toughness, strength, fine grain, resistance to fatigue and wear, and chemical resistance, these alloys find general use as springs and in making steel fittings. It has corrosion-resistant properties comparable to copper.


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Fabrication technology in which fine metallic powder is compacted under high pressure and then heated at a temperature slightly below the melting point to solidify the material. Primary users of powder metal parts are auto, electronics and aerospace industries.


Also known as "concrete reinforcing bar" or "rebar"; a commodity-grade steel used to strengthen concrete in highway and building construction.


Any rolling mill in which the direction of rotation of the rolls can be reversed at will. Heavy primary mills for bloom and slab rolling are the most common, but others, including some cold-rolling mills, are also made to reverse.


Chemical symbol Rh. A silver-white metal found in nickel deposits (see PLATINUM GROUP METALS).


Round, thin semi-finished metal length that is rolled from a billet and coiled for further processing. These rolling facilities often are called "rod trains". Rod is commonly drawn into wire products or used to make bolts, nails, and other machined parts.


Chemical symbol Ru. A white metal noted for its hardness; the most expensive of the platinum group (see PLATINUM GROUP METALS).


Oxide of iron that forms on the surface of steel after heating.


Tubular product made from a solid billet, which is heated, then rotated under extreme pressure. This rotational pressure creates an opening in the center of the billet, which is then shaped by a mandrel to form the pipe or tube.


Chemical symbol Se. A gray metal chemically similar to tellurium; excellent conductor of electricity; obtained as a by-product of the electrolytic refining of copper; used chiefly in photoelectric cells, rectifiers, and other electronic devices, and as a pigment for glass and ceramics.


Partially processed metals shapes (sheet, plate, bar, rod, wire, extrusions; foil in the case of aluminum).


First-stage metal shapes (blooms, billets or slabs) later to be rolled into semi-fabricated and, then, finished products.


A catchall name for an operation that buys metal, warehouses it, often processes it in some way, and then sells it in a slightly different form or amount from what was purchased from producing mills.


Type of cutting operation in which the metal object is cut by means of a moving blade and fixed edge or by a pair of moving blades that may be either flat or curved.


A broad, thin (down to 5/100 of an inch), flat mass of rolled metal in widths from 24' to 80'; sold either in cut-to-length pieces or rolled into large, heavy coils.


Chemical symbol Si. A non-metallic element, essential in the smelting of numerous ferrous and non-ferrous metals. SILICON-BRONZE-An alloy of copper and 1.5-3% silicon with various third elements (zinc, tin, or manganese).


A type of specialty steel created by introducing silicon during the steel making process. Electrical steel exhibits certain magnetic properties, which make it optimum for use in transformers, power generators and electric motors. "Grain-oriented" product has the metal's grain running parallel within the steel, permitting easy magnetization along the length of the steel (used mostly in power transformers); "non-grain-oriented" product has no preferential direction for magnetization (used mostly in electric motors).


Chemical symbol Ag. Brilliant, rare "precious metal" with high ductility, excellent thermal conductivity, low level of electrical resistance. Usually found as by-product of base metal ores, sometimes with gold. Historical use has been coinage, jewelry, tableware, but has major industrial applications in photography, dentistry, electronics, chemicals, and medicine manufacture.


The most common type of semi-finished metal. In steel, semi-finished product (hot rolled from ingot or sheared from continuous caster's output) destined for further processing into strip, sheet, plate, or welded pipe product; in zinc, the primary metal casting to be rolled or forged into other shapes.


Cutting a sheet of metal into narrower strips to match customer needs. Because mills have limited flexibility as to the widths of the sheet that they produce, service centers or independent processors normally will cut the sheet for the customer.


Arcane terminology used to describe a wide variety of higher-quality carbon and alloy bars that are used in the forging, machining and cold-drawing industries for the production of automotive parts, hand tools, electric motor shafts and valves. SBQ steel bars generally contain more alloys than merchant (commodity) grades of steel bars, and is made with more precise dimensions and chemistry.


Specialty metals with proprietary chemistries and designations; often made for specific high-strength or corrosive resistant applications; sometimes considered to be the low end of the various families of superalloys.


Also known as "specialty stainless steels," these are batch-produced iron-based metals with varying degrees of such additives as chrome, nickel, cobalt, titanium, manganese, copper, and molybdenum to add strength or corrosion-resistance.


Steel strip, normally of the high-carbon or alloy type, used in the manufacture of springs because of high tensile properties.


Corrosion-resistant steel of a wide variety that always contains more than 10% chromium, with or without other alloying elements. Stainless steel resists corrosion attack by organic acids, weak mineral acids, and atmospheric oxidation, keeps its strength at high temperatures, and is easily maintained. The most common grades of stainless steel are: Type 304, austenitic (chromium-nickel); Type 316, austenitic with 2%-3% molybdenum; Type 409, ferritic (low chromium) for high-temperature use; Type 410, heat-treatable martensitic (medium chromium) with a high strength level Type 430, ferritic general-purpose grade with some corrosion resistance. (See STEEL, FERRITIC, AUSTENITIC, MARTENSITIC, NICKEL-BASED SUPER ALLOYS)


Process of pressing with a powerful die a metal blank into a predetermined shape (or pattern). The metal used must be ductile (malleable) enough to bend into shape without breaking.


Chemical symbol Fe. Iron smelted with carbon (more than about 0.05% and less than 2%) along with manganese, silicon, sulfur, and phosphorous. Steel is the least expensive and most widely used metal. Steel is made primarily of iron and carbon with thousands of varieties possible, depending on the content of those elements and such other alloying metals as chromium, nickel, manganese, silicon, vanadium, and molybdenum. Stainless steel is the most common of the alloy steels. (see CARBON STEEL, ALLOY STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL, SPECIALTY STEEL)


A cold-rolled ferrous or non-ferrous metal product that is 23 15/16' and narrower; under 0.250' in thickness.


Metal product group that includes beams and, for steel, sheet piling.




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Lightweight metal alloys designed for continuous exposure to extreme heat or corrosive environments. Also called "high-performance specialty metals," the conventional superalloys are iron-based, cobalt-based, nickel-based, and titanium-based.


Chemical symbol Ta. A by-product of tin processing, this refractory metal is used as a barrier to corrosion of chemical processing and carbide cutting tools, and still-growing use as electronic capacitors and filaments. Melts at 2415-degree F.


Chemical symbol Te. A brittle, silvery-white metal produced commercially as a by-product of copper smelting and maintained in the tellurium-copper alloy to aid in machining.


Re-heating a quench-hardened or normalized ferrous alloy to a temperature below the transformation range and then cooling at any rate desired. In heat treatment, re-heating hardened steel to some temperature below the A1 temperature for the purpose of decreasing hardness and/or increasing toughness.


Mixture of lead and tin.


Chemical symbol Sn. Soft, silvery-white metal with high malleability and ductility, but little tensile strength. One of the earliest metals known; because of its hardening effects on copper, used to make bronze for fabrication of construction and hunting tools and war weapons as early as 3500 B.C. With a melting point of 449-degrees F and a boiling point of 4384-degrees F, tin has the longest molten-state range of any common metal; thus, its principal use as a steel coating and constituent in alloys to make bronze, pewter, die-casting alloys, and specialty titanium alloys. Used in biocides to control insect infestation, and in solders for joining pipes or electrical conductors.


Continuous tin-plating facility to produce tin mill steel sheet to be used in food and beverage cans and other containers.


A plating process whereby the molecules from the positively charged tin or chromium anode attach to the negatively charged sheet steel. The thickness of the coating is readily controlled through regulation of the voltage and speed of the sheet through the plating area.


Chromium-coated steel. Because it is used in food cans just like tin plate, it is misclassified as a tin mill product.


Sheet steel that has been coated on both sides with a very thin coating of commercial pure tin by an electro-deposition process, in which the steel is made to be the cathode (negative electrode) in an electrolytic bath containing a decomposable tin salt.


Chemical symbol Ti. A bright white metal; very malleable and ductile. Its principal function has been as an alloy in steel making, but now is being used extensively (especially in aviation and aerospace) because of its high strength, lightweight, and good corrosion resistance.


Lightweight, non-corrosive alloys suitable for high-temperature applications (such as jet aircraft structural parts). Titanium alloy comes from blending with such other metals as aluminum, iron, vanadium, silicon, cobalt, tantalum, zirconium, and manganese.


Also called "tool steel," any high carbon or alloy steel capable of being suitably tempered for use in the manufacture of tools and dies.


Quantities of commodities, including primary and secondary metals, that amount to as much as 44,000 pounds each, which is the standard weight limit on U.S. highways.


Usually carbon (but also alloy and stainless) steel plate rolled with closed surface designs of small perforated buttons or small diamond-shaped lugs; used widely for ramps, walkways, and stairs.


(See PIPE)


Chemical symbol W. Gray metal with high tensile strength; ductile and malleable, immune to atmospheric influences and all acids but strong alkalis. Extremely pliable; can be drawn into filament for incandescent bulbs, rolled into thin sheet for radio tubes; ground into powder, and mixed with carbon and then embedded in soft metal (such as cobalt) to produce carbide tools, or alloyed within steel to make abrasion-resistant tool and die steels.


Chemical symbol V. Vanadium is a gray metal primarily used as an alloying agent for iron and steel and as a strengthener for titanium-based alloys. Vanadium is also a catalyst in sulfuric acid production. After the steel industry, the aerospace market ranks as the second-largest end-user of the metal named for the Scandinavian love goddess Vanadis.


A structural steel section on which the flanges are not tapered, but have equal thickness from the tip to the web and are at right angles to the web. Wide-flange beams are differentiated by the width of the web, which can range from 3 inches to more than 40 inches, and by the weight of the beam, measured in pounds per foot.


Semi-finished form of electrolytically refined copper, designed for rolling into rod or bars and, ultimately, into strip or wire.


Chemical symbol Zn. Bluish-white, lustrous metal derived from ores that also contain lead, silver, copper, germanium, and cadmium. Essential nutrient element in soils and animals. Pure metal is malleable and ductile even at ordinary temperature. It can be electro-deposited, and is used primarily as a galvanized protective coating for steel (especially steel destined for use in construction, transportation, and electrical equipment). Its most important alloys are brass and bronze. Of great importance in die casting, although new ZA (zinc-aluminum) alloy is becoming a major force in die-casting. Compounds and dusts used by agricultural, chemical, paint, and rubber industries.


A cold-rolled steel sheet product with a base coat of chromium and zinc and a top coating of a weldable zinc-rich primer.


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Chemical symbol Zr. A steel-gray, strong, ductile metal obtained by chemical processing of zircon-bearing sands. Minor metal has good corrosion-resistance, especially at elevated temperatures. Used in steel making, and as structural material in nuclear reactors and cladding material for uranium.