A producer of intermediate products that does not also produce primary metal. For example, a rebar (see Reinforcing Bar) fabricator purchases rebar and processes the material to the specifications of a particular construction project.

Face bend test
A bend test in which a specified side of the weld Normal bend test. (The side opposite that containing the root or )


A process to directly reduce iron ore to metallic iron pellets that can be fed into an electric arc furnace with an equal amount of scrap. This process is designed to bypass the coke oven-blast furnace route to produce hot metal from iron ore. It is also one of several methods that mini-mills might use to reduce their dependence on high-quality scrap inputs (see Direct Reduced Iron and Hot Briquetted Iron).

A condition leading to the eventual fracture of a material due to constant or repeated stresses that exert less pressure than the tensile strength of the material.

The carbon-rich zone, visible in a flame, extending around and beyond the cone when there is an excess of carbonaceous gas.

The room temperature form of alpha iron, one of the two major constituents of steel (cementite) in which it acts as the solvent to form solid solutions with such elements as manganese, nickel, silicon and, to a small degree, carbon

The second-largest class of stainless steel, constituting approximately 25% of stainless production.

Ferritic stainless steels are plain chromium steels with no significant nickel content; the lack of nickel results in lower corrosion resistance than the austenitic (chromium-nickel stainless steels). Ferritics are best suited for general and high-temperature corrosion applications rather than services requiring high strength. They are used in automotive trim and exhaust systems, interior architectural trim, and hot water tanks. Two of the most common grades are type 430 (general-purpose grade for many applications, including decorative ones) and type 409 (low-cost grade well suited to withstanding high temperatures).

A metal product commonly used as a raw material feed in steelmaking, usually containing iron and other metals, to aid various stages of the steelmaking process such as deoxidation, desulphurization, and adding strength. Examples: ferrochrome, ferromanganese, and ferrosilicon.

An alloy of iron and chromium with up to 72% chromium. Ferrochrome is commonly used as a raw material in the making of stainless steel.

An alloy of iron and manganese (80% manganese) used in making additions of manganese to steel or cast-iron. Ferroalloy, An alloy of iron with a sufficient amount of some element or elements such as manganese, chromium, or vanadium for use as a means in adding these elements into molten steel.

Metals that consist primarily of iron.

Filed Edges
Finished edges, the final contours of which are produced by drawing the strip over a series of small steel files. This is the usual and accepted method of dressing the edges of annealed spring steel strip after slitting in cases where edgewise slitting cracks are objectionable or slitting burr is to be removed.

Filler Metal
A third material that is melted concurrently with the parent metal during fusion or braze welding. It is usually, but not necessarily, of different composition from the parent metals.

Fillet weld
A fusion weld, other than a butt, edge or fusion spot weld, which is approximately triangular in transverse cross-section.

The surface appearance of steel after final treatment.

Finish Coat
The topcoat or exposed prime side paint film.
Finished Steel
Steel that is ready for the market without further work or treatment. Blooms, billets, slabs, sheet bars, and wire rods are termed semi-finished produced by the in-the-line thermal treatment following electrodeposition.

Finishing Facilities
The portion of the steelmaking complex that processes semi-finished steel (slabs or billets) into forms that can be used by others. Finishing operations can include rolling mills, pickle lines, tandem mills, annealing facilities, and temper mills.

Finishing Temperature

The temperature at which hot working is completed.

The process reduces iron ore fines with gas in a descending series of fluidized bed reactors. The reduced iron is hot briquetted.

Raised area on the strip caused by a thermal crack on the work roll surface.

Fish eyes
Areas on a fractured steel surface having a characteristic white crystalline appearance.

Fish Tail
The condition on the tail end of the strip from the Hot Strip Mill.

Short discontinuous internal fissures in ferrous metals attributed to stresses produced by localized transformation and decreased solubility of hydrogen during cooling after hot working. In a fractured surface, flakes appear as bright silvery areas; on an etched surface they appear as short discontinuous cracks. Also called shatter cracks and snowflakes.

Flame Annealing
A process of softening a metal by the application of heat from a high-temperature flame.

Flame cutting
Oxygen cutting in which the appropriate part of the material to be cut is raised to ignition temperature by an oxy-fuel gas flame.

Flame snap-out
Retrogression of the flame beyond the blowpipe body into the hose, with possible subsequent explosion.

Flame washing
A method of surface shaping and dressing of metal by flame cutting using a nozzle designed to produce a suitably shaped cutting oxygen stream.

Flame Hardening
A hardening process in which the surface is heated by direct flame impingement and then quenched

Flare Test
A test applied to tubing, involving a tapered expansion over a cone. Similar to pin expansion test.

(1) In forging, the excess metal forced between the upper and lower dies.
(2) In resistance butt welding, a fin formed perpendicular to the direction of applied pressure.

Flashback arrestor
A safety device fitted in the oxygen and fuel gas system to prevent any flashback reaching the gas supplies.

Flash Welding
A resistance butt welding process in which the weld is produced over the entire abutting surface by pressure and heat, the heat being produced by electric arcs between the members being welded.

Flat-Rolled Steel
Category of steel that includes Sheet, Strip, and Tin Plate, among others.

Flatness is a measure of a cut length sheet's ability to conform to a flat horizontal surface. Maximum deviation from that surface is the degree to which the sheet is out of flat. Flatness is often expressed quantitatively in either Steepness or I-Units
Flow Lines
(1) Texture showing the direction of metal flow during hot or cold working. Flow lines often can be revealed by etching the surface or a section of a metal part.
(2) In mechanical metallurgy, paths followed by volume elements of metal during deformation.
The degree to which a paint film can withstand deformation without significant change in color and appearance

Floating head
A blowpipe holder on a flame cutting machine which, through a suitable linkage, is designed to follow the contour of the surface of the plate, thereby enabling the correct nozzle-to-work piece distance to be maintained.

Kinking or breakage due to curving of metal strip on a radius so small, with relation to thickness, as to stretch the outer surface above its elastic limit. Not to be confused with the specific product, Fluted Tubes.

An iron-cleaning agent. Limestone and lime react with impurities within the metallic pool to form a slag that floats to the top of the relatively heavier (and now more pure) liquid iron.

Forge Welding
Welding hot metal by applying pressure or blows.

An accumulation of marine organism deposits on a submerged metal surface. Fouling also refers to the accumulation of normally inorganic deposits on heat exchanger tubing.

Fracture Test
Nicking and breaking a bar by means of sudden impact, to enable macroscopic study of the fracture.

The subdivision of a grain into small discrete crystallites outlined by a heavily deformed network of intersecting slip bands as a result of cold working. These small crystals or fragments differ from one another in orientation and tend to rotate to a stable orientation determined by the slip systems.

Free bend test
A bend test made without using a former.

Free Machining
Pertains to the machining characteristics of an alloy to which one or more ingredients have been introduced to produce small broken chips, low power consumption, better surface finish or longer tool life.

Freight on Board Pricing
Phrase that explains whether the transportation costs of the steel are included. "FOB Mill" is the price of steel at the mill, not including shipping.

Freight Equalization
A common industry practice when a mill sells steel outside its geographic area; it will assume any extra shipping costs (relative to the competition) to quote the customer an equivalent price to get the business.

Action that results in surface damage, especially in a corrosive environment, when there is relative motion between solid surfaces in contact under pressure.

Fretting Corrosion
Deterioration at the interface of two contacting surfaces under load which is accelerated by their relative motion.

Full Annealing
Heating the metal to about 100 (degrees) F. above the critical temperature range, followed by soaking at this point and slow cooling below the critical temperature.

Full Hard
Cold reduced sheet that has not been annealed.

Fusion penetration
In fusion welding. The depth to which the parent metal has been fused.

Fusion Welding
Any welding process in which fusion is employed to complete the weld.

Fusion zone
The part of the parent metal which is melted into the weld metal.

Futures Contract
An agreement to buy or sell a fixed amount of metal for delivery on a fixed future date at a price agreed today.