Steel service centers offer their customers a wide variety of value-add services and processes. This article will discuss the different services they provide and the various processes they use to get the job done. We will also highlight some of the benefits that steel service centers offer to their customers.
What are Steel Service Centers?
Steel service centers are facilities that house steel processing equipment and personnel. These facilities provide a variety of services to their customers, including cutting, painting, and product corrections. In addition to these services, steel service centers also offer value-add processes such as heat treating, surface finishing, and packaging.
What Value-Added Services Do Steel Service Centers Offer?
The most common value-add services offered by steel service centers are cutting and painting. Steel shape and size can be customized to meet specific customer needs. Common shapes and sizes include bars, sheets, plates, coils, and pipes.
The process of unrolling and cutting metal coils into lengths is called leveling. Metal service centers frequently cut material ahead of time and shape it into conventional stock lengths. Common sheet sizes are 24”, 36”, 48”, 60”, and 72” wide by 96”, 120”, or 144” long.
The capabilities of leveling or cut-to-length lines can vary. By running a steel coil through sets of rollers, leveling can erase material memory in some situations. In other cases, service centers will elongate the material before cutting it. Regardless of how they deal with the coils, let them know what you’re utilizing the material for so they can assist you in finding the best form or product for your specific application.
Blanks are much smaller pieces of metal, making them significantly easier to handle. And, if you need a nonstandard size, many service centers have the equipment to size a custom flat product that will add value to your product. Blanks are frequently an excellent choice because they offer less scrap, tighter diagonal tolerances, and lower stress levels than full-sized sheets.
While leveling deals with length, slitting concerns the width of material. Metal service centers use custom machinery to cut materials into the required width for processing. These centers are able to:
- Ensure product consistency
- Provide tight metal tolerances
- Reduce waste/scrap
Slitting metal to the width you need can be a significant time-saver for your project, making the process easier.
Edge Rolling/Edge Conditioning
Edge rolling and conditioning services provide a cleaner edge for coil and strip. Metal cutting may result in sharp edges and minor flaws in the edge. However, when service centers go above and beyond to give metal items a better edge, you get a more uniform product that is simpler to process and produce. A radiused edge makes material safer to handle as well.
Painting is another popular value-add service that steel service centers offer. Applying a layer of paint or another coating to the surface of the steel protects it from corrosion or gives it the desired appearance. Paint can also be used for aesthetic purposes or to increase the durability of the steel.
Other value-add services offered by steel service centers are heat treating and surface finishing.
Heat treatments alter a metal’s physical and mechanical properties without changing its shape. They are essential processes that increase the desirable characteristic of metal while allowing for further processing.
Various heat treatment processes involve carefully controlled heating and cooling of metal. Steel is commonly heat-treated for use in a variety of commercial applications. Common objectives of heat treatment are to:
- Increase strength
- Increase hardness
- Improve toughness
- Improve machining
- Improve formability
- Increase ductility
- Improve elasticity
Annealing involves heating steel to a specified temperature and cooling at a very slow and controlled rate. It is frequently used to:
- Soften a metal for cold working
- Improve machineability
- Enhance electrical conductivity
Annealing also restores ductility. During cold working, the metal can become hardened to the extent that any more work will crack it. Annealing the metal beforehand enables cold-working without the risk of cracking, as annealing releases mechanical stresses produced during machining or grinding.
Tempering increases the toughness of steel. Untempered steel is very hard but too brittle for most applications. It involves heating the steel to an exact temperature below the critical point and is often done in air, vacuum, or inert atmospheres. Tempering is frequently done after hardening to alter:
- Structural stability
After heat treatment, surface finishing is often performed on steel products. This process changes the appearance or function of the surface without changing its dimensions. Some common surface finishing processes include:
- Powder coating
The Value of Mainline Metals’ Value-Add Services
At Mainline Metals, we not only offer value-add services, but our employees have the industry knowledge and overall expertise to execute these services to the highest standards. And with our exceptional value-add services, we supply our customers with the materials they need, at the specs they need them to be, at a much faster rate.
This list is not an exhaustive account of value-add steel services that centers offer. If you didn’t see the service you need, please feel free to reach out to us. With over 36 years of industry experience, we have formed key strategic partnerships to ensure we meet our customers’ needs.
Contact us today to get a free quote on our unparalleled value-add services.← Back To News