Word of the Week

The steel industry is highly technical and includes specialized language. We’ve compiled some of the most common terms here to help us all understand the industry better. We add to the list every week, so check back often!

Alloy: a metal made by combining two elements. All types of steel are alloys, but “alloy steel” is steel with a specific combination of elements that boosts strength

Annealing: a heat treatment process that makes steel easier to bend and work with

ASTM: an organization (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) that develops international standards for many products, including steel pipe and tube

Baghouse: an emission control device that filters gas streams through cloth or fiberglass bags in order to trap particles

Billet: a solid length of steel, produced through either continuous casting or hot rolling, that will be further processed to form a final product

Blast furnace: a large, brick-lined cylinder in which hot air and gases blast through iron ore, coke and limestone to extract iron from the ore

Burr: a ridge that forms on the edge of strip steel as a result of slitting, trimming, shearing or blanking

Coil: a tightly wound sheet of steel

Ductility: the ability to change shape without fracturing

ERW: electric resistance welding, a welding method using an electrical current and applied force to transform a sheet of steel into a tube or pipe

Extrusion: the process of shaping material by making it flow through a shaped opening in a die

Fabricate: to machine, form or join steel to create its finished state

Forging: a metal part that’s worked to a predetermined shape by hammering, pressing or rolling

Inmetco: a coal-based process that produces a scrap substitute using iron oxide fines and pulverized coal

Line pipe: a type of pipe used in the surface transmission of oil, natural gas, and other liquids

Molybdenum: an alloying element used as a raw material for some stainless steel classes

Pickling: a process that cleans rust, dirt and oil off a steel coil so more work can be done to the metal

Pig iron: the melted iron produced in a blast furnace

Skelp: an entry material for pipe mills; the properties of which allow for the welding operations required for pipe production

Terne: a sheet metal that is coated with a combination of lead and tin

Threads: the ridges on the end of a steel pipe that allow for the attachment of fittings

Zekelman Industries: the largest independent steel pipe and tube manufacturer in North America