SAWING 3 Cutting metal into customer specified lengths, shapes, or sizes. ****
SCALE The oxide of iron that forms on the surface of steel after heating. ****
SCRAP (FERROUS) Ferrous (iron-containing) material that generally is remelted and recast into new steel. Integrated steel mills use scrap for up to 25% of their basic oxygen furnace charge; 100% of the mini-mills’ raw material for their electric furnaces generally is scrap.
Home Scrap Waste steel that is generated from within the steel mill, through edge trimming and rejects. It normally is sent directly back to the furnace.
Prompt (Industrial) Scrap Excess steel that is trimmed by the auto and appliance stampers and auctioned to scrap buyers as factory bundles. This is a high-quality scrap as the result of its low-residual content and consistent chemistry.
Obsolete Scrap Iron-bearing items such as old automobiles; household appliances; farm, office, and industrial equipment; ships and railroad cars; buildings and bridges that have completed their useful life which can be recovered from the junkyard and remelted. The residual impurity of such scrap normally relegates obsolete scrap to the mini-mills (see No. 1 Heavy Melt). ****
SCRAP SUBSTITUTE Raw material that can be charged in place of scrap in electric arc furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces. Scrap substitutes include, among others, DRI, HBI, iron carbide, and pig iron. ****
SCRUBBER 2 An air pollutant device that reduces the temperature of an emission – a liquid spray is used to remove pollutants from a gas stream by absorbtion or chemical reaction. ****
SEAMLESS PIPE Pipe 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 pipe. ****
SECONDARY STEEL Steel that does not meet the original customer’s specifications because of a defect in its chemistry, gauge or surface quality. Mills must search to find another customer (that can accept the lower quality) to take the off-spec steel at a discount. While secondary will not affect the reported yield, margins will suffer. ****
SEMI-FINISHED STEEL Steel shapes — for example, blooms, billets, or slabs — that later are rolled into finished products such as beams, bars, or sheet. ****
SENDZIMIR MILL (Z-MILL)
What? Compact mill used for rolling cold coils of stainless steel in order to make the steel thinner, smoother, and stronger.
Why? To control the thickness of steel better at lower capital cost, and to roll thinner sheets and strips.
How? Stainless steel sheet or strip passes between a matching pair of small work rolls with extremely smooth surfaces, heavily reinforced by clusters of back-up rolls. The rolls reduce the steel to the desired thickness. ****
SERVICE CENTER A catchall name for an operation that buys steel, often processes it in some way and then sells it in a slightly different form. A service center is distinguished from an end-user by the fact that, unlike an end-user, a service center sells steel, not a fabricated product. Service centers are manufacturers to the extent that they add labor to steel by providing a service. ****
SHAPE CORRECTING Rolling, heating, and quenching steel sheets often affect the dimensions of the steel. Levelers, temper mills, and edge trimmers rework the processed steel to match customer specifications. ****
SHEARING If the edges of sheet and strip are not controlled during reduction, they must be trimmed parallel by shears. This process may be performed by either the steel mill or steel processor to match customer needs. ****
SHEET STEEL Thin, flat-rolled steel. Coiled sheet steel accounts for nearly one-half of all steel shipped domestically and is created in a hot-strip mill by rolling a cast slab flat while maintaining the side dimensions. The malleable steel lengthens to several hundred feet as it is squeezed by the rolling mill. The most common differences among steel bars, strip, plate, and sheet are merely their physical dimensions of width and gauge (thickness). ****
SHREDDED SCRAP Fist-sized, homogenous pieces of old automobile hulks. After cars are sent through a shredder, the recyclable steel is separated by magnets. Mini-mills consume shredded scrap in their electric arc furnace operations. ****
SILICON ELECTRICAL STEEL A type of specialty steel created by introducing silicon during the steelmaking process. Electrical steel exhibits certain magnetic properties, which make it optimum for use in transformers, power generators, and electric motors.
Grain-Oriented The metal’s grain runs parallel within the steel, permitting easy magnetization along the length of the steel. Although grain-oriented steel may be twice as expensive to produce, its magnetic directional characteristics enable power transformers, made from this metal, to absorb less energy during operation.
Non-Grain-Oriented Because there is no preferential direction for magnetization, non-grain-oriented steel is best used in rotating apparatus such as electric motors. ****
SINTERING A process that combines iron-bearing particles, once recovered from environmental control filters, into small pellets. Previously, these materials were too fine to withstand the air currents of the smelting process and were thrown away. The iron is now conserved because the chunks can be charged into the blast furnace (see Agglomerating Processes). ****
SKELP Steel that is the entry material to a pipe mill. It resembles hot-rolled strip, but its properties allow for the severe forming and welding operations required for pipe production. ****
SKIN MILLING 3 Grinds the top and/or bottom of a large aluminum plate into close tolerance. ****
SLAB The most common type of semi-finished steel. Traditional slabs measure ten inches thick and 30–85 inches wide (and average about 20 feet long), while the output of the recently developed “thin-slab” casters is approximately two inches thick. Subsequent to casting, slabs are sent to the hot-strip mill to be rolled into coiled sheet and plate products. ****
SLAG The impurities in a molten pool of iron. Flux such as limestone may be added to foster the congregation of undesired elements into a slag. Because slag is lighter than iron, it will float on top of the pool, where it can be skimmed. ****
SLITTING Cutting a sheet of steel into narrower strips to match customer needs. Because steel mills have limited flexibility as to the widths of the sheet that they produce, service centers normally will cut the sheet for the customer. ****
SPANGLE 1 Finish achieved when zinc is allowed to “freeze” naturally on the sheet – galvanize. Achieved by adding antimony to the hot dip bath. ****
SPECIAL BAR QUALITY (SBQ) SBQ represents 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 generally contains more alloys than merchant quality and commodity grades of steel bars, and is produced with more precise dimensions and chemistry. ****
SPECIALTY STEEL Category of steel that includes electrical (see Silicon Electrical Steel), alloy (see Alloy Steel), stainless (see Stainless Steel), and tool steels (see Tool Steels). ****
SPECIALTY TUBE Refers to a wide variety of high-quality custom-made tubular products requiring critical tolerances, precise dimensional control and special metallurgical properties. Specialty tubing is used in the manufacture of automotive, construction, and agricultural equipment, and in industrial applications such as hydraulic cylinders, machine parts, and printing rollers. Because of the range of industrial applications, the market typically follows general economic conditions. ****
SPOT MARKET Sales for delivery in less than three months. ****
STAINLESS STEEL The term for grades of steel that contain more than 10% chromium, with or without other alloying elements. Stainless steel resists corrosion, maintains its strength at high temperatures, and is easily maintained. For these reasons, it is used widely in items such as automotive and food processing products, as well as medical and health equipment. The most common grades of stainless steel are:
Type 304 The most commonly specified austenitic (chromium-nickel stainless class) stainless steel, accounting for more than half of the stainless steel produced in the world. This grade withstands ordinary corrosion in architecture, is durable in typical food processing environments, and resists most chemicals. Type 304 is available in virtually all product forms and finishes.
Type 316 Austenitic (chromium-nickel stainless class) stainless steel containing 2%–3% molybdenum (whereas 304 has none). The inclusion of molybdenum gives 316 greater resistance to various forms of deterioration.
Type 409 Ferritic (plain chromium stainless category) stainless steel suitable for high temperatures. This grade has the lowest chromium content of all stainless steels and thus is the least expensive.
Type 410 The most widely used martensitic (plain chromium stainless class with exceptional strength) stainless steel, featuring the high level of strength conferred by the martensitics. It is a low-cost, heat-treatable grade suitable for non-severe corrosion applications.
Type 430 The most widely used ferritic (plain chromium stainless category) stainless steel, offering general-purpose corrosion resistance, often in decorative applications. ****
STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL (SPC) A technique used to predict when a steelmaking function’s quality may deteriorate. By tightly monitoring the product’s variance from specifications, the operator can determine when to apply preventative maintenance to a machine before any low-quality (secondary) steel is produced. ****
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. ****
STEEL INTENSITY The amount of steel used per unit of gross domestic product. Intensity reflects the secular demand for steel, as opposed to cyclical demand. The amount of steel used in vehicles and the popularity of alternative materials affect the intensity, or how much steel is needed per unit produced. The state of the economy, however, determines the number of units. ****
STEEL-INTENSIVE PRODUCTS Consumer products such as automobiles and appliances that, because so much of their weight is from steel, exhibit a high demand correlation with steel. ****
STEEL SERVICE CENTER INVENTORIES End-of-period material stocks reported by the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI). ****
STEEL STRAPPING Banding and packaging material that is used to close and reinforce shipping units, such as bales, boxes, cartons, coils, crates, and skids. ****
STRENGTH Properties related to the ability of steel to oppose applied forces. Forms of strength include withstanding imposed loads without a permanent change in shape or structure and resistance to stretching. ****
STRESS CORROSION CRACKING (SCC) Slow growth of cracks in stainless steel caused by the combined effect of mechanical stress and exposure to a corrosive environment. ****
STRIP Thin, flat steel that resembles hot-rolled sheet, but it is normally narrower (up to 12 inches wide) and produced to more closely controlled thicknesses. Strip also may be cut from steel sheet by a slitting machine (see Sheet Steel). ****
STRUCTURALS Steel product group that includes I-beams, H-beams, wide-flange beams, and sheet piling. These products are used in the construction of multi-story buildings, industrial buildings, bridge trusses, vertical highway supports, and riverbank reinforcement. ****
SUBSTRATE Raw material used as an input for steel processing: For example, hot-rolled steel is the substrate for cold-rolling operations. ****
SUPERALLOY 5 An alloy, usually based on nickel, cobalt, or iron, developed for high temperature service where relatively severe mechanical stressing is encountered and where high surface stability is frequently required. ****
SUPER STAINLESS STEEL 5 Stainless steel alloys with significant additions of chromium, nickel, molybdenum, or copper. Super stainless steel is used in chemical processing, petroleum refining, marine, heat treating, pollution, and waste control industries where there are requirements for extra corrosion protection, strength, or heat resistance. ****
SUSPENSION AGREEMENT A resolution of an unfair trade dispute that can suspend further proceedings in an unfair trade suit. The U.S. government, in consultation with the domestic industry, can enter into such an agreement with the foreign industry. ****