Steel is a product that is used worldwide, and comes in dozens of forms and alloy mixtures. In fact, those who are looking for a product for a specific purpose often find that steel is the material they choose to fill their needs. If you are at a crossroads for a product that is strong, durable, and long-lasting, maybe it is time to consider steel. Here are some forms of steel fabrication, and how you could use each of them.
Thick sheets of steel are formed after the smelting process. Rather than roll the hot steel repeatedly to get thin sheets, the steel is rolled flat just enough to make the surfaces smooth and create a uniform sheet. These are thick sheets used for construction and insulation of buildings where steel is recommended. The thick sheets of steel may also be used to create decorative features on a building where the sheets will be exposed to the elements.
Thin sheets are thick sheets that are poured thinly and rolled into much thinner sheets. Rather than pour all of a crucible of liquid steel onto a sheet former, only a small portion is poured, and then rolled flat until it is even. This is cooled via a number of processes before it is pulled from the sheet bed. Thin sheets of steel are excellent for machining processes, and can easily be cut, bored, stamped, and shaped into whatever you need.
Cold steel is hot steel that is allowed to cool on its own. This takes a very long time, but the result is a product that refuses to bend to any form. It takes intense pressure to get cold steel to form to a shape. This resistance makes it a good building material in places where the weather is frequently unfavorable to buildings and homes.
Hot steel is not allowed to cool slowly. In fact, hot steel may be tempered many times to make it stronger, and yet more pliable than cold steel. It may also be extruded while hot to make very specific shapes, such as nails or I-beams for construction of very tall office buildings. Many of the everyday steel products around you are often made from hot steel.
Rolled steel may be hot rolled steel or cold rolled steel. This process creates giant rolls of steel of either the hot or cold variety, with the intent to sell the rolls of steel to manufacturers who use the rolls to press into forms and produce products. Once such example is pressing rolled steel into the outer shell shapes of automobiles. Having the rolls of steel on hand means that this steel work does not have to be outsourced to another factory. The entire production process is done in one factory location.
Extruded steel means that liquid steel or hot, soft steel is extruded through a molding machine to create a specific form. Sometimes extrusion is used just to make flat sheets, instead of rolling it flat. The rest of the time, the steel forms everything from fence posts to fasteners.
Injected steel is similar to extruded steel in that you are using hot or molten steel to create a form. However, extruded steel is pushed and pumped through the mold inside the extruder, where the injected steel is quickly injected into a space in an injection mold. Injection eliminates much of the refining that may need to be done after the steel items have cooled, but a lot of refinement is needed with the extrusion process. You would probably choose the injection option when you want perfection in your steel products every time and you do not want to waste time and money grinding and sanding the edges perfectly.