translate into some
Understanding Steel Terms
Published by:Hannah Alexander on 24 June 2020

Steel Terms Image

You will hear all sorts of terms within the steel industry, so we thought we would write this blog to clarify exactly what they mean! 


Bar: Steel is rolled or forged from billet into long lengths in round, flat, square and hexagon bar. 

Brinell (HB): A measurement of the surface hardness of a steel 

Carbon Steel: A steel with key components of carbon, silicon and manganese but normally has no or very low content of other alloying elements. 

Cast Iron: An alloy of iron that contains a carbon content of between 1.8% to 4.5%, combined with silicon and manganese. Cast Iron is more brittle than steel and has a lower melting temperature. 

Ferrous: Any steel, metal or alloy which is primarily made up of iron. 

Flame Cutting: A process used to cut carbon steel plate using an oxyfuel gas flame. 

Forging: A process of shaping or forming steel by using compressive forces such as hammering, upsetting, rolling or pressing. 

Grade: The name and designation of a steel defined by its composition and properties 

Hardening: A process used to increase the hardness of steel. The process usually requires heating, quenching, tempering and cooling. 

Impact: Impact testing measures energy absorption by fracturing a steel test bar at high velocity 

Mechanical Properties: Steels can achieve different measurements of strength, toughness and hardness, dependent on composition and heat treatment – commonly known as the mechanical properties of steel 

Non Ferrous Metal: A metal or alloy that has no iron content. 

Physical Properties: Relating to the physics of a steel rather than mechanical properties, usually include such properties as density, coefficient of thermal expansion and electrical conductivity. 

Pig Iron: An impure form of iron created from iron ore, it is not a product used in itself but rather to produce other forms of iron and steel. 

Plasma Cutting: A process used to cut stainless steel plate using a plasma torch. An inert gas is blown at high speed through a nozzle forming an electrical arc w 

Stainless Steel: Highly alloyed steel grades giving good resistance to corrosion and oxidation. 

Steel: An iron based alloy containing various quantities of carbon, silicon, manganese and other elements. 

Tensile Strength: A measurement of the maximum load per unit a steel test piece will achieve before fracturing. 

Yield Strength: The yield strength or yield stress of a steel relates to the level of stress in steel where plastic deformation commences 

return to blog page