Glossary

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

Scale

Rust from iron that forms on the surface of steel after it is heated.

Scrap (Ferrous)

Iron-containing material that is normally remelted and recasted into new steel. Home scrap is left over steel generated from edge trimming and rejects within the mill. It is usually sent straight back to the furnace. Prompt or industrial scrap that is trimmed by stampers and auctioned to buyers. Obsolete scrap is iron bearing waste such as old storage bins and junk cars that can be remelted in mini-mills.

Seamless Pipe

Pipe produced from a solid billet that is heated and rotated under pressure. This rotating pressure creates a hole in the middle of the billet, which is then formed into a pipe by a mandrel.

Secondary Steel

Steel that has been rejected by an original customer because of a defect in the chemistry, gauge, or surface quality. Mills then search for another customer that will accept the steel at a discount.

Semi-fabricated Steel

Semi-processed forms of metal such as bars, sheets, rods, etc.

Semi-finished Steel

Steel products such as blooms, billets, or slabs that are then rolled and processed into beams, bars, sheets, etc.

Service Center

An operation that buys metal, stores it, (often processing it in some way) and then sells it in a slightly different form than it was purchased from the producing mills.

Shape Correcting

Levelers, edge trimmers, and temper mills reshape processed steel to meet customers’ specifications. Reshaping is needed from processes that cause deformities in the steel.

Shearing

Trimming of the edges of sheet and strip to make them parallel. This is done at either the steel mill or at the steel processor.

Sheet Steel

Steel that is thin, flat and rolled in a coil. It is created in a hot strip mill by flattening a slab, but keeping the side dimensions the same. The steel will lengthen as it is rolled. The most common differences among steel bars, strip, plate, and sheet are merely their physical dimensions of width and thickness.

Product Classification by Size
Specified Thickness
in Inches
Specified Width
in Inches
Up to 6 Over 6 to 8 Over 8 to 12 Over 12 to 48 Over 48
0.2300 + Bar Bar Plate Plate Plate
0.2299 - 0.2040 Bar Bar Plate Plate Plate
0/2039 - 0.1800 Strip Strip Strip Sheet Plate
0.1799 - 0.0449 Strip Strip Strip Sheet Sheet
Source: Smith Barney Inc./Salomon Brothers Inc.

Short (net) Ton

Short (net) Ton: 2,000 pounds. Normal unit of statistical raw material input and steel output in the United States.

Shot Blasting

Blast cleaning using steel shot as the abrasive.

Shot peening

Stressing the surface layer of a material by bombarding it with a selected medium (usually round steel shot) under controlled conditions.

Shredded Scrap

Small steel scrap that is produced from shredded automobiles. The steel is separated by magnets and consumed by mini-mills for use in electric arc furnace operations.

Sigma Phase

An extremely brittle Fe-Cr phase that can form at elevated temperatures in Fe-Cr-Ni and Ni-Cr-Fe alloys.

Sintering

A process that combines iron-bearing particles into small pellets that were recovered from environmental control filters. The pellets can be used as charge in a blast furnace.

Slab

A very common type of semi-finished steel usually measuring 10 inches thick by 30 –85 inches wide and average 20 feet long. After casting, slabs are sent to a strip mill where it is rolled and coiled into sheet and plate products.

Slag

The impurities in a molten pool of iron. Flux may be added to congregate the impurities into a slag. Slag is lighter than iron and will float allowing it to be skimmed.

Slitting

Cutting a sheet of steel into a smaller strip to meet customers demands.

Solution heat treatment

Heating a metal to a higher temperature and maintaining it long enough for one or more constituents to enter the solid solution. The solution is then cooled rapidly to retain the constituents within.

Solvent cleaning

The removal of contaminants such as oil, grease, dirt, salts, etc. by cleaning with a solvent, steam, vapor, alkali, or emulsion.

Specialty Alloys

Metals with distinct chemical and physical properties. These alloys are produced for very specific applications; considered to be on the low end of superalloys.

Specialty Steel

Category of steel (normally high in carbon or other alloy) that includes electric, alloy, stainless, and tool steels.

Specialty Tube

A wide variety of high quality, specialised tubular products. It is usually found in the automotive and agricultural industries, construction equipment, hydraulic cylinders, etc.

Stainless Steel

SandvikGroup of corrosion resistant steels containing at least 10% chromium and may contain other alloying elements. These steels resist corrosion and maintain its strength at high temperatures.

Steckel Mill

A reversing steel sheet reduction mill with heated coil boxes at each end. Steel sheet or plate is sent through the rolls of the reversing mill and coiled at the end of the mill, reheated in the coil box, and sent back through the Steckel stands and recoiled. By reheating the steel prior to each pass, the rolls can squeeze the steel thinner per pass and impart a better surface finish.

Strain

The amount of elongation, force, or compression that occurs in a metal at a given level of stress. Generally in terms of inches elongation per inch of material.

Strength

The ability of steel to oppose applied forces when considering resistance to stretching, forming, compressing, etc.

Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC)

Slowly developing cracks that form in stainless steel due to mechanical stress and exposure to a corrosive environment.

Stress Relieving

Heating a metal to the appropriate temperature, maintaining it long enough to reduce residual stresses, and then cooling it slowly in order to minimise the development of residual stresses.

Strip

A thin, flat piece of steel that is generally narrower than sheet steel and the gauge is monitored more carefully. It may be cut from a steel sheet with a slitting machine.

Structurals

An architectural steel product group that includes I-beams, H-beams, wide-flange beams and sheet piling. These products are used in multi-story buildings, bridges, vertical highway supports, etc.

Sulfidation

The reaction of a metal or alloy with a sulphur-containing species to produce a sulphur compound that forms on or beneath the surface of the metal or alloy.

Sulfide Stress Cracking

Cracking of a metal under the combined action of tensile stress and corrosion in the presence of water and hydrogen sulphide (a form of hydrogen stress cracking.)

Superalloys

Lightweight metal alloys designed specifically to withstand extreme conditions. Conventional alloys are iron-based, cobalt-based, nickel-based, and titanium-based.

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