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Steel – More on Magnetism

In our earlier blogs we discussed magnetism and the Voodoo that surrounds it. This is just  a little more on that mystery condition. Magnetism in steel is right up there with the loveliest things you would rather not encounter; Poison Ivy, Root Canal, Oil Canning on a steel plate, and filing your taxes. We are speaking of steel that picks up magnetism, i.e. will attract another piece of steel. This is different from whether or […]

Endurance Limit – Fatigue Failure

Endurance limit is another way of saying fatigue strength. It may be expressed in “Cycles to failure” as opposed to “PSI”. One of the most difficult questions to answer is a question relating to endurance limit. When someone asks about endurance limit, they are trying to find out how long a finished part will last in an application involving constant/repetitive motion or vibration. Failure may be anything from a small crack to an abrupt and […]

Measurements and Tolerances

Measurement science is its own language. These few notes barely scratch the surface. If you are new to this, or will just be peripherally involved, perhaps as a sales support person, it is suggested that you learn decimal equivalents down to the sixteenths, and key metric sizes, such as 5mm, 10mm, 20mm, 50mm, etc. It will make your life a lot easier. 15/16″ is fifteen sixteenths. Not fifteen sixteens. .010″ is ten thousandths, .003″ is […]

Exactly the Same, Only Different

When steel flat products are thin, they are typically referred to as sheet and strip; as opposed to flats and plate. There are specific delineations separating the two types, however in general use distinction of the terms is pretty loose. It is customary to describe flats and plate, or strip and sheet, from the smallest dimension through to the largest dimension. Thuse, 1/4″ x 48″ x 240″ would be how a quarter inch thick piece […]

General Steel Terms – “Talk the Talk”

You may have noticed every activity, workplace, social group, college, etc. seems to have its own language. One sure way to expose yourself as “new to the program” is to not use the approved language customary to the endeavor you are undertaking. In those cases, the dialog/language might be said to be “esoteric” (known by a certain group) to the group or business. I remembered vividly the first time I had to call a steel […]

What is Keystock?

In the steel industry and in the most general terms, anytime you see the word “stock” attached to another word; think, “stock used to make”. Barstock, Bushing Stock, Rifle Barrel Stock, Pump Shaft Stock, etc. would be stock that you can use to make those items. All details need to be clarified; is it pre-drilled, pre-hardened? What is the finish allowance? The term “stock” just means “may be used for”. Facetiously, a tree might be […]

Metrics. Why So Difficult?

We have been actively pursuing adopting the metric system in the US roughly since the latter part of the 1700’s. Its been dubbed “Mandatory” in 1809. The success of those efforts has only been eclipsed by Y2K and the great reveal of the contents of Al Capone’s safe. In fact, for a quick chuckle, if you can still find a veteran businessman, mention you heard we are going to be exclusively adopting the Metric System […]

Light Gage

Every once in a while, I have to engage in something that smacks of shameless sales dialog. This is one of those times. So, grit your teeth, send small children out of the room and just get through it. If you are involved with heavy plate fabrication, and more specifically, if you occasionally handle hardened wear plate, you may want to give some thought to a product we carry that seems to be useful to […]

Inventory Turns – Somebody Pays

Recently we touched upon blanket orders. Today, we are going to look at them specifically as to how they might relate to inventory management. So, my favorite cautionary snippet warns about “Not shooting pool with anyone who’s first name is the name of a major city.” To an extent, there is wisdom in that. Unless of course you’re THAT GOOD! And, most of us are not. When it comes to the idea of keeping steel […]

Partnering

The “partnering” discussed here, in the steel industry, will refer to a working relationship between supplier and end-user, where benefit is derived by both parties. One specific example that has been very effective is the blanket order, or blanket contract. Both parties need the potential advantages of a well-constructed blanket contract. The vendor gets a bit of predictable inventory usage and potential predictable cash flow. The customer will benefit from: continuance of supply, firm pricing, […]