The ABC of steel

                        A glossary of terms


                        Adjusting ring – A ring-shaped structure which carries the LD-converter shell and allows it to move and tilt

                        Advanced high-strength steels – Multi-phase steels which contain martensite, bainite and/or retained austenite to achieve an improved balance of strength and formability as compared to conventional high-strength steels

                        After-treatment – Heat treatment, cooling, etc., in order to endow the steel with certain qualities; also galvanizing, organic coating, and cutting to size

                        Alloy – A substance composed of two or more metals or a metal and a non-metal

                        Alloy steel – An iron-based mixture is considered to be an alloy when minimum quantities of alloying elements are present, e.g. silicon, manganese, chromium, nickel and molybdenum

                        Alloying material – Material that is added to the molten metal during the steelmaking process and which combines with iron or other metals and changes the metal’s qualities

                        Annealing – A thermal cycle involving heating to, and holding at a suitable temperature, and then cooling at a suitable rate for such purposes as reducing hardness, improving machinability, facilitating cold working, producing a desired microstructure, or obtaining desired mechanical or other properties

                        Application – Area of use; a product which uses a certain grade of steel

                        Applications engineer – Trained specialists in the qualities of the material and its applications; problem solvers and developers


                        Blast furnace – Continuously operating shaft furnace for the reduction of iron ore. The end product in the blast furnace is called pig iron or hot metal

                        Blast air – Heated air which is blown into the blast furnace under high pressure


                        Carbon dioxide – CO2, a colorless gas, soluble in water to form carbonic acid; included in carbonated drinks and comprises 0.04% of the atmosphere and is identified as a greenhouse gas

                        Carbon monoxide – CO, a colorless and odorless energy-rich gas which burns with a blue flame; noxious. Upon combustion, carbon dioxide is formed

                        Carbon steel – Unalloyed steel

                        Charging – The act of loading material into a vessel. For example, iron ore, coke, and limestone are charged into a blast furnace; a basic oxygen furnace is charged with scrap and hot metal, and an electric arc furnace is charged with steel scrap and fluxes

                        Cladding – A covering of a building’s façade that can include solar panels, glass, color coated steel, aluminum, etc. used for new building and renovation construction

                        Coilbox – Rolling machinery; box for coiled steel employed to promote temperature uniformity during the hot-rolling process

                        Coiler – Mechanical part which captures strip from the rolling mill and coils it

                        Coke – Dry distilled coal, the basic fuel consumed in blast furnaces in the reduction of iron ore

                        Cold-formed steel section – An open steel profile. A steel strip is gradually and continuously cold formed with several rolls into various shapes of cross section. Cold formed steel sections are commonly used in steel frames and structures

                        Cold rolling – Metalworking process in which the thickness of a sheet, strip or plate is reduced by rolling at ambient temperature

                        Color coating/Coil Coating – A process where usually cold-rolled and metal-coated strip is additionally coated with an organic paint to improve corrosion protection and achieve a decorative, pleasing appearance

                        Continuous casting – A process by which molten metal is solidified into a semi-finished billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent rolling

                        Construction steel – See structural steel

                        Corrosion protection – The minimization of corrosion by coating with a protective metal

                        Cowper stoves – Heating apparatus; ceramic towers used for pre-heating blast air, also called hot stoves

                        Crude steel – Steel in its solidified state directly after casting. This is then further processed by rolling or other treatments, which can change its properties

                        Cutting station – Place for cutting the steel strand into slabs


                        Dry distillation process – Evaporation of volatile gases from the solid coal by heating the coal in the coking furnaces – two major products are solid coke and coke oven gas

                        Dual-phase steel (DP) – High-strength steel that has a one soft (ferrite) and one hard (martensite) microstructure which allows for the desired combination of good formability with high strength


                        Electric arc furnace (EAF) – Steelmaking furnace where scrap is generally 100% of the charge. Heat is supplied from electricity that arcs from the graphite electrodes to the metal bath


                        Fatigue – The progressive and localized structural damage that occurs when a material is subjected to cyclic loading at stresses considerably below the ultimate tensile strength

                        Formatting – The cutting of steel plates or sheets into the required customer dimensions

                        Four-high rolling mill – Mechanical equipment; comprises four cylindrical rollers with extremely high pressure which press slabs into plate by repeatedly rolling backwards and forwards

                        Frames – Prefabricated steel frame structures make it possible to create spacious and adaptable interiors. Steel is the perfect choice for strong, light and slender frame structures that are quick and safe to install. Steel frames can be tailored and easily optimized in terms of clear height and column spacing


                        Galvanization – The process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron to prevent rusting or corrosion


                        Hardening – Process that increases the hardness of steel, i.e. the degree to which steel will resist cutting, abrasion, penetration, bending and stretching

                        Hearth – Lower part of the blast furnace; area for the collection of molten hot metal

                        Heated slab – A slab heated to a temperature suitable for hot deformation by, for example, rolling or forging

                        Heat treatment – Heating and cooling a steel product so as to obtain desired conditions or properties

                        Hematite – Fe2O3, a non-magnetic iron ore or red iron ore

                        High-strength steels – Steels that can bear high static or dynamic loads without breaking

                        Hollow section – A circular, square or rectangular tube that can be generally used in welded steel frames. In manufacturing hollow sections, a welded tube goes through a series of shaping stands, which form the round tube into the final square or rectangular shape

                        Hot-dip galvanization – Method for adding a rust protection surface layer. For example, adding zinc and aluminum in hot, molten form on the steel. The opposite to zinc-plating, an electrochemical method of applying a coat of molten zinc to the surface of steel for the purpose of enhancing corrosion resistance

                        Hot metal – The name for the molten iron produced in a blast furnace. It proceeds to the basic oxygen furnace in molten form or is cast as pig iron

                        Hot strip rolling mill – A mill for rolling heated slabs through a series of rolling stands to produce sheet steel in coil form

                        Hot rolling – A metalworking process in which slabs are heated to high temperatures and then deformed between rollers to form thinner cross-sections


                        Injection coal – Coal powder which is injected into the blast furnace under high pressure without being converted to coke

                        Iron ore pellets – Iron ore particles rolled into small balls and thermally processed into hard spheres


                        Ladle – A “bucket” lined with refractory (heat resistant) bricks, used to transport molten steel from process to process in a steel mill

                        Ladle change – Switch from an empty to a full container of steel

                        Ladle metallurgy furnace (LMF) – An intermediate steel processing unit that further refines the chemistry and temperature of molten steel while it is still in the ladle. The ladle metallurgy step comes after the steel is melted and refined in the electric arc or basic oxygen furnace, but before the steel is sent to the continuous caster

                        Ladle treatment method – Different methods for ladle metallurgy

                        LD converter (Linz Donawitz) – Oxygen steelmaking process employing a converter (vessel) and top blowing oxygen lance to refine the blast furnace hot metal into crude steel. The name comes from the Austrian cities of Linz and Donawitz

                        Load-bearing sheets – Load-bearing profiled sheets are made of high-quality raw materials for the roof construction of commercial and industrial buildings. They are a cost-effective roof solution for achieving long spans, which eliminates secondary steelwork. They may also be designed as a stressed skin to distribute horizontal loads to the frame/foundations

                        Low alloyed steel grades – steel, other than carbon steel that requires the minimum content for each specified alloying element to be lower than the applicable limit for the definition for alloy steel


                        Magnetite – Fe3O4, magnetic iron ore, black iron oxide

                        Martensitic steel – Steel with a very hard form of steel crystalline structure called martensite that is formed by displacive transition. The martensite is formed by rapid cooling (quenching) of austenite which traps carbon atoms that do not have time to diffuse out of the crystal structure

                        Material design – Control of the steel chemical composition and processing to achieve a microstructure that offers a combination of properties desirable for an intended product or application

                        Metal coating – see Hot-dip galvanization

                        Metallurgy – The science and technology of metals

                        Microalloying – In the case of advanced fine grain steels with particularly stringent yield strength and tensile strength requirements, small quantities of alloying elements such as niobium, vanadium or titanium are added

                        Mold – Casting mold


                        Niche products – In SSAB’s case, advanced high-strength steels and quenched steels


                        Ore car – Railcar for the transportation of lump ore, iron ore concentrate or pellets

                        Oxide scale – An oxide of iron which forms on the surface of hot-rolled steel

                        Oxygen lance – Pipe-shaped lance for treatment using oxygen


                        Pair of rollers – A pair of cylindrical rollers for rolling steel to thinner dimensions under high pressure

                        Particulates filter – Purification plant for gas or air in which particulates are separated and condensed for recycling

                        Phases – Steel has different crystal structures at various temperatures and the phase(s) present depend on heat treatment, alloy quantity, hardening, quenching, etc. Best known are the martensite (quick hardening) phase, ferrite phase (pure iron) austenite (nonmagnetic) phase and bainite phase

                        Pickling line – A processing line which chemically removes oxide or scale from the steel surface to obtain a clean surface for subsequent processing

                        Plate – Flat-rolled steel product typically classified as over 1,200 mm (48”) in width and 4.5 mm (0.180”) in thickness

                        Process gas – Gas from metallurgical processes; often energy rich

                        Process water – Water from cooling or treatment in the processes. Always undergoes purification and can often be re-circulated

                        Profiled – Profiled (or corrugated) steel which is pressed in order to corrugate the steel

                        Protection steel – Structural steel with ballistic properties

                        Purlin – Purlins are cold-formed open profiles used in construction as a load-bearing element of roofing and cladding


                        Quenched steels – Hardened and/or tempered steel. SSAB’s quenched steels are also high strength


                        Rain water systems (RWS) – The rainwater systems of a steel roof consist of guttering, downpipes, water tunnels, and other elements to channel rainwater efficiently into the sewer system

                        Recycling – Return of used products or by-products to enter a new cycle of production and use

                        Reduction agents – Carbon or hydrogen used to remove oxygen from iron ore to produce iron

                        Refining – In oxygen-blown steelmaking processes, the reduction of the hot metal’s carbon content during refining by the use of gaseous oxygen

                        Roll stand – Load-bearing structure in which the rolls are mounted

                        Rolling mill – Any of the mills in which metal undergoes a rolling process. For plate, sheet and strip, these include the slabbing mill, hot-rolling mills, cold-rolling mills, and temper mills. Any operating unit that reduces gauge by application of loads through revolving cylindrical rolls; operation can be hot or cold. The elevated temperature rolling mill is the Hot Mill and is capable of reducing the gauge of a slab 92–99%

                        Roll pass – Number of times a billet or slab passes through a pair of rollers

                        Roofing - A steel roof made of roofing sheets. Usually also includes understructures, rainwater systems, roof safety products, flashings and other elements and accessories

                        Rougher/Roughing mill – Two rough cylindrical rollers which press the steel to thinner dimensions prior to hot rolling

                        Runner – Ceramic-lined spout for controlling molten, hot metal


                        Sandwich panel – Sandwich panels are prefabricated elements that consist of an inner insulation core between two color-coated steel sheet layers. The insulating core can be mineral wool, polyurethane or polystyrene. Sandwich panels are used in façades, partition walls and ceilings. The most typical applications include industrial, office and commercial buildings, sports halls, warehouses and power plants. The panels are also suitable for food industry construction and demanding clean room applications

                        Scrap – Ferrous (iron-containing) material that generally is re-melted and re-cast into new steel

                        SEN – Submerged entry nozzle, a ceramic pipe which protects the steel from exposure to air, in conjunction with casting

                        Sheet pile wall – Long structural sections with a vertical interlocking system that creates a continuous wall. The walls are most often used to retain either soil or water

                        Shot blasting – Cleaning and descaling metal by means of a stream of abrasive powder or shot. The shot can be sand, small steel balls of various diameters, granules of silicon carbide, etc.

                        Sintering – A process that combines iron-bearing particles into small pellets

                        Skirt – Pipe around the blast furnace for the supply and allocation of hot blast air, also known as a bustle pipe

                        Slab furnace – Furnace for heating steel slabs to rolling temperatures

                        Slab – The most common type of semi-finished steel, used for production of flat steel products

                        Slag – Solution of mainly liquid oxides. 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 – A metalworking process involving shearing which is typically employed to cut a wider steel coil into one or more narrower coils

                        Smelting reduction process – Reduction of iron ore which takes place in a smelting phase

                        Special steel – Alloyed steel

                        Standard steels – Steels with lower strength (yield strength often 235–355 N/mm2). Used within more conventional applications within the engineering industry and construction sector

                        Steckel mill – A four-high reversing rolling mill, a Steckel mill allows the rolling of a large slab by providing heated coil furnaces or boxes on both sides of the mill to store the increased length produced during rolling

                        Steel – Alloy of iron and carbon with a carbon content of less than 1.7%

                        Steel bath – The hot, molten steel in a container

                        Steel shuttle – Train system for transportation of steel slabs between Luleå, Borlänge and Oxelösund production facilities

                        Strand – The continuous cast slab within the continuous casting machine prior to cutting into individual slabs

                        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

                        Strip – Thin, flat steel that resembles hot-rolled sheet, but it is normally narrower and produced to more closely controlled thicknesses

                        Structure – The steel’s molecular form following different treatment methods; crystalline structure. May also refer to the size, shape, and arrangement of phases within the steel

                        Structural steel – Steel intended for, e.g. load-bearing structures, e.g. crane girders. Important qualities include strength, weldability, bendability and toughness

                        Sulfur purification – Method for removing sulfur from the hot metal or the steel, e.g. through the addition of caustic lime

                        Surface treatment – Cleaning, polishing or coating of surfaces; for example, through galvanization or organic coating


                        Temper mill – A type of cold rolling mill, usually a four-high, single stand mill, used to provide a relatively light, cold-rolling reduction to hot-rolled, cold-rolled, or coated flat steel products to improve flatness, minimize surface imperfections/flaws such as coil breaks, and to alter mechanical properties

                        Tempering – Heating to 200–700°C degrees to make steel tougher and less brittle

                        Tensile strength – Ability to withstand tensile stress. (See Strength)

                        Thermo-mechanical treatment – A manufacturing method that gives steel the desired strength etc. properties by a careful combination of mechanical work (rolling) and temperature control

                        Thin plate – A thin plate/sheet 2-15 mm or coil normally produced as a coil in a hot-strip rolling mill and/or further rolled down in a cold-rolling mill

                        Torpedo – Cylinder-shaped brick-lined railway car used for transporting hot, molten metal

                        Tube – Round or square tube is made in the same way as pipe. During the manufacturing process, a flat steel strip is gradually forced into shape to become round, and the edges are presented ready to weld. The edges are then welded together to form the tube. In making a square or rectangular cross-section, a welded tube goes through a series of shaping stands, which form the round tube into the final shape

                        Tundish – An intermediate container in the casting process to facilitate ladle change without disruption in the process


                        Vacuum degassing – An advanced steel refining facility that removes oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen under low pressures (in a vacuum) to produce high-quality steel for demanding applications


                        Wear resistance – Ability to resist the erosion of material from the surface as a result of mechanical action, e.g. abrasion and friction

                        Wear steel – Steel with qualities adapted to withstand wear, e.g. abrasion

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