You would be surprised to know that in October 2023, 71 countries across the globe produced a whopping 150 million tons of crude steel according to the World Steel Association. As per the latest steel news, the global steel industry will continue to grow in 2024. That sounds great as the sector will contribute to the growth of the global economy.
With that being said, let’s explore the different steel products available in the market.
Steel Product Types
Here are the details:
- Semi-Finished: Also known as semis, these are intermediate solid steel products made by hot rolling/ingots forging (conventional process) or by liquid steel continuous casting. To produce finished steel products, semis are further processed via forging or rolling and that’s how they got their name.
A wide range of semi-finished steel products is mentioned below:
- Billets: Available in square or rectangular shapes, these come in smaller cross-sectional sizes which generally are /smaller than 5 Inches X 5 Inches / 7 Inches X 7 Inches. They are raw materials for producing finished steel long products such as light sections, bars, rods etc.
- Blooms: They are similar to billets but have slightly bigger cross-sectional sizes. Usually, they are available in the square but there can be times when they are available in rectangular cross-sectional size as well. In modern mills, these days the term bloom covers products bigger than the cross-sectional size of 8 Inches X 8 Inches. These are used for raw materials for making sheet piling sections and heavy sections by hot rolling.
- Thin Slabs: These are made in a modern thin slab casting machine by continuously casting liquid steel into super thinner slabs of approximately 35 mm to 50 mm directly. Later, they are used for making finished hot rolled flat products by exposing them to heat.
- Slabs: They are wide products whose width ranges between approximately 150 mm-250 mm. They are intended for making finished hot-rolled flat products such as sheets, strips, plates, etc.
- Finished Steel: The products are made by forging/hot-rolling semi-finished steel products such as blooms, slabs, and billets.
Broadly, they cover 2 broad categories of products mentioned below:
- Flat Products: Also known as flat rolled products, using flat rollers these products are made from thin slabs in rolling mills. During the production process, these are hot-rolled, cold-rolled or coated as per the requirement.
Let’s have a look at various flat products:
- Sheets: These are thin flat finished steel products having +500mm width, (-) 5mm thickness and it is supplied in straight/cut length. These sheets made with the hot rolling (HR) process are called hot rolled sheets, cold rolling (CR) processes are called cold rolled sheets, and the coating process is called coated sheets.
- Plates: These are thick flat finished steel products having + 500mm width, and + 5mm thickness and it is supplied in straight/cut lengths. Generally, plates are produced in hot rolled condition.
- Strips: These are flat-rolled products which are supplied in regularly wound coils of superimposed layers. On the basis of width size, these strips are categorized into two categories:
- Wide strips
- Narrow strips
304 stainless steel price specifically today’s domestic 304 SS HR (3mm) FOR Pune is ₹1,80,000/MT.
- Long Products: The finished steel products are produced by forging/ hot rolling of bloom, billets, pencil ingots etc. into useable shapes/sizes. Generally, they are supplied in cut length/straight length except for wire rods as they are supplied in irregularly wound coils.
Different long product variants are listed below:
- Bars And Rods: Long steel products are produced by forging or hot rolling of blooms or billets. They include flats (flat bars), squares, rounds, hexagons, octagons etc. which are used in sectors like engineering, agriculture, household goods etc.
- CTD/TMT Bars And Rods: Cold-Worked Twisted and Deformed, and Thermo Mechanically Treated hot rolled round rods/ bars with ribs/ indentations are typically supplied in folded bundles or straight length and are used in civil construction.
- Wires: They are made via cold drawing of wire rods with the help of a die. Typically, these are supplied in coil form.
- Wire Rod: These are hot rolled rods/ bar that comes without indentation in coil form. They are used to produce steel wires as well as steel bright bars.
- Bright Bars: These cold drawn/ peeled/ ground plain bars are produced from hot rolled wire rods or plain bars.
- Angles, Shapes & Section: These are hot-rolled structural sections made by hot-rolling billets/ blooms. They come in the form of angles, girders, channels, joints, H beams, I beams etc. and are employed in civil/mechanical construction.
- Rails: These are hot-rolled rail sections made by hot-rolling billets/blooms. They are used in tramways or railways to enable the movement of rail/tram.
Summing It Up
Steel comes in different shapes and sizes that we have explored in the article. Steel is a widely used versatile alloy which has played a monumental role in shaping today’s world. Primarily made from iron and carbon and having a small proportion of other elements, this metal exhibits remarkable durability, flexibility, and strength. As made clear by the latest steel news, the steel industry will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.