Glossary of Metal Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

GAGES

(Metal) - Mfrs. standard numbering systems indicating decimal thickness or diameters.

GALVALUME

Steel sheet with a unique coating of 55% aluminum and 45% zinc that resists corrosion. The coating is applied in a continuous hot-dipped process. The product is a registered trademark of BHP Steel of Australia.

GALVANIZED

Metal (usually steel) coated with a thin layer of zinc to provide corrosion resistance; i.e., rust proofing. Galvanizing methods are (1) "hot-dipped galvanizing", which consists of passing the continuous length of sheet, wire, rod, or shape through a molten bath, followed by an air stream "wipe" that controls the thickness of the zinc finish; and (2) "electro-galvanizing", which continuously zinc-coats an uncoiled sheet or unwound wire or rod electrolytically. Galvanized sheet also is known in the market as "coated sheet".

GALVANNEALED

Steel sheet covered with zinc on both sides and immediately heat-treated so the coating becomes a zinc-iron alloy bonded to the surface.

GERMANIUM

Chemical symbol Ge. A rare, grayish-white metal chemically similar to tin; obtained from processing copper and zinc. Used in the production of infrared glasses, fiber optics, electronic detectors, and semiconductors.

GOLD

Chemical symbol Au. The heraldic metal. A rare yellow mineral that is the most malleable and pliable of all metals. Gold does not tarnish or corrode, and is unaffected by exposure to air or water.

GUIDE

Device for holding the metal in the proper position, during rolling, or slitting.

GUIDE SCRATCH

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(Defect) - Scratches or marks appearing parallel to edges of cold rolled strip caused by scale or other articles which have become imbedded in or have adhered to the rolling mill guide. Also applies to similar scratches appearing as a result of slitting.

HARDENED

Metal processed by heat or cold-worked to resist cutting, abrasion, penetration, bending, and stretching.

HEAVY STRUCTURAL SHAPES

A general term given to rolled flanged sections that have at least one dimension of their cross sections three inches or greater. The category includes beams, channels, tees, and zees if the depth dimension is three inches or greater, and angles if the length of the leg is three inches or greater.

HEAT TREATMENT

Altering the properties of a metal by subjecting it to a sequence of temperature changes, time of retention at specific temperature and rate of cooling there from being as important as the temperature itself. Heat treatment usually markedly affects strength, hardness, ductility, malleability, and similar properties of both metals and their alloys.

HIGH-CARBON STEEL

Steel with more than 0.3% carbon. The more carbon that is dissolved in the iron, the less formable and the tougher the steel becomes. High-carbon steel's hardness makes it suitable for plow blades, shovels, bedsprings, cutting edges, or other high-wear applications.

HIGH-STRENGTH/LOW-ALLOY STEEL

Steel containing a total of less than 5% of such hardening or strengthening alloys of nickel, chromium, silicon, manganese, tungsten molybdenum, and vanadium.

HOLLOW STRUCTURAL SECTIONS

Known in the market at HSS, this is high-strength, cold-formed, electric-welded structural tubing welded steel tubing used as structural elements in a broad range of construction and architectural applications, structural components for vehicles, and industrial machinery, buildings and other structures, and a variety of manufactured products. It is produced in round, square and rectangular shapes and a broad range of sizes.
Structural tubing's basic advantages lie in its high strength-to-weight ratio, attractive appearance and cost-effectiveness

HOOKE’S LAW

Stress is proportional to strain in the elastic range. The value of the stress at which a material ceases to obey Hooke’s law is known as the elastic limit.

HOT BAND

A coil of steel rolled on a hot-strip mill (aka, hot-rolled sheet). I-BEAM-Structural section on which the flanges are tapered and are typically not as long as the flanges on wide-flange beams. The flanges are thicker at the cross sections and thinner at the toes of the flanges. They are produced with depths of 3-24 inches.

HOT DIP

In steel mill practice, a process whereby ferrous alloy base metals are dipped into molten metal, usually zinc, tin or terne, for the purpose of fixing a rust resistant coating.

HOT-ROLLED STEEL (HR)

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Rolling steel slabs into flat-rolled steel after it has been reheated.

INDIUM

Chemical symbol In. Grayish-white minor metal obtained by treating smelter flue dusts and slags or other residue of base metal concentrates. Capable of marking paper (just as lead does), indium is used in low-melting alloys, solders, electrical contact coatings, infrared detectors, nuclear reactor control rods, and various electronic components.

INGOT

A form of semi-finished metal (created by pouring liquid metal into molds for solidification during cooling). Ingot then is rolled or forged into other shapes. Note that steel ingots weight as much as 30 tons.

IRIDIUM

Chemical symbol Ir. A yellowish mineral with the most corrosion resistance of any metal known (See PLATINUM GROUP METALS).

IRON

A magnetic, silver-white metal of high tensile strength, ductility and malleability. Principal commercial forms are steel, cast iron, or wrought iron.

IRON-BASED SUPERALLOYS

Also known as "super chrome steels," these metals are at the highest end of the range of high-temperature, high-strength steels. Besides chrome, other additives can be nickel, titanium, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, and carbon.  

KILLED STEEL

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The term “killed” indicates that the steel has been sufficiently deoxidized to quiet the molten metal when poured into the ingot mold. The general practice is to use aluminum ferrosilicon or manganese as deoxidizing agents. A properly killed steel is more uniform as to analysis and is comparatively free from aging. However, for the same carbon and manganese content Killed Steel is harder than Rimmed Steel. In general all steels above 0.25% carbon are killed, also all forging grades, structural steels from 0.15% to 0.25% carbon and some special steels in the low carbon range. Most steels below 0.15% carbon are rimmed steel.

LEACHING

A process in which metal is extracted from mined ore by means of adding a soluble substance. Commonly used in gold mining.

LEAD

Chemical symbol Pb. Very soft, bluish-white metal; highly malleable and ductile; poor conductor of electricity, but good noise-dampening material; resistant to corrosion and radiation. Obtained from galena ore. Major end use is storage batteries, which accounts for 60% of world lead consumption. Also used ammunition, but has declining use in paints, plumbing equipment, and cable coverings because of its toxicity. Metal also used to dampen noise, in containers for corrosive liquids, and as radiation shields for x-rays and nuclear reactors.

LEVELING

A process to flatten shape deficiencies (wavy edges and buckles) in the metal sheet prior to final shipment. Most metal sheet initially has a crowned cross-section that is flattened by leveling.

LIGHT-GAUGE STEEL

Very thin steel sheet that has been temper-rolled or passed through a cold-reduction mill. Light gauge steel normally is plated with tin or chrome for use in food containers.

LIGHT METALS

Metals and alloys that have a low specific gravity, such as beryllium, magnesium and aluminum.

LINE PIPE

Steel pipe used in the surface transmission of oil, natural gas, and other fluids.

LONG TERNE

A term applied to steel sheets that have been coated with terne (lead and tin) by immersion in a bath of the lead-tin alloy.

LOW-CARBON STEEL

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Steel with less than 0.005% carbon is more ductile (malleable); capable of being drawn out or rolled thin. Carbon is removed from the steel bath through vacuum degassing.