Click on the alphabetic index to display terms beginning with the corresponding letter or search for a term below.

Age Hardening

Degeneration of steel that increases hardness and strength while decreasing ductility. This process normally follows rapid cooling or cold working.

AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute)

A North American trade association with 50 member companies and over 100 associate members. These companies represent the United States, Canada, and Mexico in all aspects of the steel industry.

Alloy Steel

Steel that contains more than 1.65% manganese, 5% silicon,.6% copper, or other minimum quantities of alloys such as chromium, molybdenum, nickel, or tungsten.

Alloy Surcharge

The producer’s selling price plus a surcharge added to offset the increasing costs of raw materials caused by increasing alloy prices.

Alloying Element

The adding of any metallic element in steel production in order to increase hardness, strength, or corrosion resistance. Molybdenum, nickel, and chromium are common alloying elements in stainless steel.


A process of heating cold steel to make it more suitable for bending and shaping and prevents breaking and cracking. Batch Box annealing consists of heating coils for days in an oxygen-free environment. Continuous annealing consists of running the coils through heated vertical loops to obtain certain physical properties.

Anodic Protection

Polarisation to a more oxidising potential to achieve a reduced corrosion rate by the promotion of passivity.

Argon-Oxygen Decarburisation (AOD)

A process of further reducing the carbon content of stainless steel during refinement. AOD is closely related to Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF), but has a shorter operating time and requires lower temperatures.

Austenitic Steel

Non-magnetic steels that contain nickel and 18% chromium to increase the resistance to corrosion. Austenitic steels are the most widely used category of steel.

Automatic Gauge Control

A hydraulic roll force system where steel makers can monitor a steel sheet’s thickness while it moves through the mill at over 50 mph (80 km/h). The computer’s gap sensor adjusts and monitors the thickness 50 to 60 times per second.

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