When it comes to structural steel, many individuals and entities have high demands for the products that they need for construction, automobiles, and so on. With so much versatility and so many applications of steel, those who are not familiar with the industry will quickly run into a slough of foreign terms and acronyms. Today, our steel fabrication company will conclude our look into a few of the many terms surrounding the steel industry. We’re here to help your project every step of the way, and knowing the vernacular of this process will help greatly in getting the job done.

Sanilac Steel is proud to have some of the most experienced structural steel fabricators in Michigan. Since 1967, our team has worked tirelessly to optimize our structural steel design, fabrication, and erection processes to enable our clients to do more with less. When you are in need of a team that provides all of the steel solutions you need to complete your project on time and under budget, be sure to reach out to Sanilac today!


This process includes the removal of dirt, oil, and other debris that accumulates on steel throughout the treatment process. Rust and exposure to air can dramatically affect numerous steel products. Any impurities found on the surface are treated and subsequently removed with a cleaning solution called pickle liquor. The metal is put through numerous hydrochloric acid baths before being rinsed off and prepared for the next stage of production.


For those that do not know, reinforcing bar (rebar) is one of the most common terms used in our structural steel applications. Structures that require additional support beyond the limits of concrete can benefit from reinforcing bar. Rebar’s high resistance to tension helps to make up for concrete’s weaknesses. When you add steel, your structure is able to carry a much higher tensile load. Generally, rebar is classified by two categories:

Primary reinforcement consists of the rebar that is needed to fully support a structure and its design loads.
Secondary reinforcement denotes steel that is used for superficial reasons, including steel that supports resistance to cracking and shearing caused by environmental changes.

Shape Correction

The process of manufacturing and processing steel can change the finished dimensions of the product being crafted. Through rolling and heating, steel will hold its shape memory, which can be negated by shape correcting. By using trimmers and levelers, steel fabrication companies are able to refine the product in order to match consumer specifications. The end result is a precise product that holds up better to the tight tolerances required within the industry.


This term is used to encompass the most common type of steel that you will find in a semi-finished state. A typical steel slab will consist of a piece of metal that is ten inches thick and ranges between 30 and 90 inches in width with an average length of roughly 240 inches. New technology and processes have enabled the common use of thin slabs, which are relatively the same dimensions with a two-inch thickness.


The process of creating a metal and separating it from its raw ore create a by-product known as slag. This mixture normally consists of oxides, sulfides, and silicon dioxide. Slags are intended to be used for the purpose of removing waste during the smelting process. People can flux this material with limestone or dolomite, creating an after-product that can be useful for construction and gardening purposes.


The raw substance on which a process is operated off of. In structural steel applications, for example, hot-rolled steel is the substrate for the next operation, which would typically consist of cold-rolling the product. In more generic terms, a substrate is a substance that underlies something else, or upon which a process is enacted to create a new outcome.

After reading all of these definitions, we hope that you take on your next project feeling better informed than you were before. Remembering the myriad of acronyms and slang terms for steel can help you in nearly every facet of the construction process. Those that are in need of quality structural steel fabricators in Michigan can benefit from working with Sanilac Steel. Our professional, honest steel company is here to keep your project on time and under budget. Contact us today to learn more about our process or to receive a quote on your project!