Knowing the lingo surrounding an industry can prove beneficial by both saving you time in normal conversations and helping you to sound better informed and knowledgeable on the subject. Structural steel is one application that comes with numerous acronyms and terms, all combining to create an intimidating nexus for customers and clients. Sanilac Steel is here to help in any way we can when it comes to steel structure design, fabrication, and installation. We proudly supply safe, experienced structural steel fabricators across Michigan to optimize the outcomes of every jobsite we set foot on. Since 1967, we have worked to set the standard for how steel fabrication companies should act, including a premium focus on honesty in all endeavors. If you need a help with your project, our steelmakers will be happy to help!

Today, we’ll continue to look into a few of the many terms surrounding structural steel. If you are in need of a steel supplier for your upcoming project, be sure to reach out to Sanilac Steel. Whether your project is big or small, we’ll happily do it all!


Also known as heavy melting steel or scrap, this title encapsulates any wrought iron or recyclable steel. There are two categories of these products, known as HMS 1 and HMS 2. The first class does not contain blackened or galvanized steel while the second one does. It’s important to note that all of this metal comes from obsolete scrap only or the metals that have been salvaged from items that were demolished because they were at the end of their life cycle. Everything from truck frames to springs, nearly every item will eventually fall into the HMS category.


After your liquid metal has been processed, it is poured into one or more molds with the intention of solidifying once cooled. After the metal becomes solid, it is removed from the mold to create a large block that is ready to be moved to the next stage to be rolled or processed further.


In regards to welding, kerf is a common term that is used to describe the divergence of two sides that is created when a cut is made. Another way to describe a kerf is that it is simply a slit produced by a cutting measure.


This term is self-explanatory in that it describes the process of utilizing a leveling machine to flatten metal products by rolling the materials up and down via rolling devices. Essentially, tension leveling is the process of using an odd number of rollers to create interrupting arcs to stretch shorter fibers along the center so that they match the length of longer fibers. Once all of your fibers are the same length across the width of the steel, you officially have flat steel.

Long Products

Any steel that is not classified as flat will probably fall into the long category. This term includes structural steel components, bars, rods, and any other steel products that are long. Billets of metal, rails, and wire can also be classified as long, whereas flat products include any manner of coils or plates.

Low-Carbon Steel

As an opposite to our high-carbon definition, any steel that holds between 0.04 percent and 0.3 percent can be classified as low-carbon steel. This category envelopes a major portion of carbon steel products, coming with versatility and affordability along the way. Steel that is low in carbon will be much more malleable and easy to manipulate. It is important to note that low-carbon isn’t as hard as other options, but carburization can help to boost surface hardness.

Oscillating Coils

Also known as traverse wound coils, oscillating is the process of winding several steel coils from end to end on a drum. This activity is beneficial for maximizing the amount of steel present in each coil, delivering a product that is more time-efficient when compared to ribbon wound coils. Essentially, each wrap is rolled up alongside the previous wrap to create a reel that is composed of much more steel. It can be helpful to think of this process as the same as rolling up your garden hose on a plastic reel, where the material is wound up to maximize efficiency.


Pellets in this industry consist of small balls of iron ore that are used primarily for steel production. By feeding pellets into a blast furnace, we are able to take on high heats along with high weights, keeping the furnace from bogging down. When ore is made into a powder, it is mixed with water and clay and sent to a mill in order to be processed. During extraction, the iron ore is pulled and utilized to make steel.

The work surrounding steel is both fascinating and complex, consisting of numerous terms that may sound foreign to those who do not work in the industry. Next time, we’ll work to conclude our look into a few common terms that may prove useful in your daily life. Anyone in need of professional structural steel fabricators in Michigan can benefit from working with Sanilac Steel. Our reputable team is here to deliver optimal results that center around honesty, efficiency, and integrity. Contact us today to receive a quote for project!