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AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute): A North American trade association
Alloying Element : The adding of any metallic element in stainless steel production in
Order to increase hardness, strength, or corrosion resistance. Molybdenum, nickel, and
chromium are common alloying elements in stainless steel.
Alloy steel (S): Refers to steels made with deliberate additions of one or more alloying
elements during steelmaking to enhance the properties of the steel. The most common
alloying elements are Mn, Cr, Mo and Ni.
Annealing (Solution Annealing): A process of heating cold stainless steel to obtain
maximum softness and ductility by heat treatment which also produces a homogeneous
structure (in austenitic grades). It relieves stresses that have built up during cold working
and insures maximum corrosion resistance. Annealing can produce scale on the surface
shall be removed by pickling.
Austenitic Stainless Steel: Non-magnetic stainless steels that contain nickel and
chromium. Austenitic stainless steels are the most widely used category of stainless
Cold Forming (Cold Working): Any mechanical operation that makes permanent
deformation, such as bending, rolling, drawing, etc. performed at room temperature
that increases the hardness and strength of the stainless steel.
Cold roll formed sections (S): The term usually refers to hot rolled steel (although
it can be cold rolled steel) that is roll formed [or 'bent'] cold into angles, channels or
shaped / corrugated sheet. The word 'cold' refers to the forming process, not to the
type of steel that is used
Cold-Rolled Strip (Sheet): Stainless steel that has been run through a cold
Drawing (Drawn): A forming process that presses metal into or through a die
(as in cold drawn wire).
Ferritic: Magnetic stainless steels that have a low carbon content and contain
Chromium as the main alloying element, usually between 13% and 17%. It is the
second most widely used stainless steel.
Ferrous: Any metal that is primarily composed of iron.
Galvanneal (S): Refers to a sheet steel product that is annealed after hot dip
galvanizing with zinc. The additional annealing step produces an external zinc-iron
alloy coating which gives the coated steel product exceptional corrosion resistance
Gauge (S): Another term for the thickness of sheet steel
Hardness Test: Hardness testing consists of pressing an indenter into a flat surface
under a perfectly controlled load, then measuring the dimension of the resulting
indentation. The three methods most commonly used for stainless steel are the
Rockwell B, Rockwell C and Vickers tests. The higher the number, the harder the
HRC (S): Common abbreviation for hot rolled coil
Low-Carbon Stainless Steel: Stainless steel containing less than 0.03% carbon.
Martensitic: A small category of magnetic stainless steels typically containing 12%
chromium, a moderate level of carbon, and a very low level of nickel.
Mild steel (S): Low carbon steel - often also referred to as soft steel. Carbon content
generally under 0.25%
Molybdenum (Mo): An alloying element that enhances corrosion resistance along with
chromium in stainless steels.
Nickel (Ni): An alloying element used in stainless steels to enhance ductility and
Non-Ferrous Metal: Metal or alloy that contains no iron.
Passivation: When exposed in air, stainless steels passivate naturally (due to the
presence of chromium). In order to ensure that the passive layer reforms rapidly after
pickling, a passivation treatment is performed using a solution of nitric acid and water.
Pickling: A process that removes surface scale and oxidation products by immersion in
a chemically active solution, such as sulfuric or hydrochloric acid.
Quenching (S): Rapid cooling - typically undertaken to obtain a specific property such
as increased hardness of steel
Secondary Stainless Steel: Stainless steel that has been rejected by an original
customer because of a defect in the chemistry, gauge, or surface quality. Mills then
search for another customer that will accept the stainless steel at a discount.
Stainless Steel: Group of corrosion resistant steels containing at least 10.5% chromium
and may contain other alloying elements. These steels resist corrosion and maintain its
strength at high temperatures.
Titanium (Ti): A very ductile and malleable white metal that is used in aviation,
aerospace, etc. because of its high strength and light weight.
Tungsten (W): Gray metal with high tensile strength. It is ductile, malleable, and
resistant to atmospheric elements and all acids except strong alkalies.