Category Archives: News and Articles

Stainless Steel News & Articles, from the specialists in the stainless steel industry. For  everything you need to know, Contact Steelmor Today

Chromate Versus Dichromate in Galvanizing

In this debate, both chromate and dichromate are galvanizing applications for metals such as steel. Because they are both only slightly soluble in water, they are used as pigments in plating. Both chromate and dichromate convert into trivalent chromium or Cr3+ for the tech-minded, which are salts with a distinctive colour. Both serve as plating…
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What is the Difference Between Steel Bar and Steel Rebar?

Let’s start with definitions. Steel Rebar, or just Rebar, stands for a steel reinforcing bar. It’s not new but man, has it come a long way. The industry idiom, ‘What could be better than steel?’ has been superseded by Rebar plain and simple. Actually, considering what Steel Rebar has done for the steel and construction…
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What are the Main Benefits of Sandwich Panels?

Sandwich panels, something akin to the process of lamination, basically describes a core of thermally efficient material, sandwiched and bonded between two outer layers of pre-stressed ‘skins’ of the metal sort. That does help explain why sandwich panels are in such demand for industries where hygienic insulation is the name of the game. Limited only…
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What is Organic Coated Steel?

Organic coated steel isn’t a new vogue veggie dip treatment for metal. Of course, you already knew that. So, what is the deal when it comes to organic coated steel? In the world of organic or inorganic coating for steel, the options depend on the application and environmental factors. To cut a long story short,…
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The Case of Plastic versus Steel Water Bottles

Steel water bottles are coming into their own for every good reason. If you’re still purchasing drinking water in plastic containers there are a few hard facts that you and your family should know. Despite convincing everyone that the plastic used for bottled water is ‘recyclable’, make no mistake that PET (polyethylene terephthalate) that they’re…
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Innovation in the World of Steel

The steel industry deserves recognition and commendation for continuing to innovate to reduce its carbon footprint on multiple fronts. Not resting on the fact that steel is 100 % recyclable without loss of integrity, innovating in the world of steel will continue to demonstrate digitization toward steel ‘smart’ plants, going forward. Leading steel manufacturing plants…
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Removing CO2 from the Air with Steel-built Carbon Capture Technology

The story goes that a company, called Climeworks, set up a steel-built carbon-capturing plant on a remote site in Iceland – we kid you not. The inspiration for the project found its roots in a way to recycle the carbon already present in the earth’s atmosphere. It sounds like something out of a science fiction…
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The Return to Steel Golf Clubs

The emergence of graphite golf clubs stole some of the show from steel golf clubs initially. That often happens when there’s a ‘new kid on the block’ and everyone who thinks she’s someone doesn’t want to be out of what’s hip-hop-and-happening. Then the novelty wears off and a more balanced swing at the thing becomes…
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What are the Most Common Metals in Surgical Instruments?

We wouldn’t be talking about this if stainless steel surgical instruments weren’t on the list for exacting medical application. The thing is, not only is stainless steel on the list, it’s on the top of that list hands down! Take a look. Stainless steel Titanium Tantalum Platinum Palladium Understandably, finding the right metals to use…
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What is Self-Healing Metal?

Self-healing materials find their inspiration in nature’s biological organisms with self-repairing capabilities. Not without its challenges is the exploration into engineering self-healing properties for metals. The degree of difficulty is mostly due to the high temperatures needed and the chemistries involved in the process. But it’s happening and it’s an advantageous advancement on many levels.…
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Producing Green Steel with Electric Arc Furnaces and Scrap Metal

CO2 from steel production accounts for over 5% of global emissions. However, German company Deutsche Edelstahlwerke (DEW) is making a real difference by producing green steel using scrap metal and an electric arc furnace.  The production of steel traditionally uses coal in a blast furnace. However, this process produces around 2000 kilograms of CO2 per…
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304 vs 316: Choosing the Right Stainless Steel Grade for Your Requirements

Corrosion is a costly affair and needs to be factored into any metal fabrication project. Two of the most common stainless grades which satisfy these essential anti-corrosion criteria are 304 and 316. What are the basic differences between these two austenitic steels and under what circumstances do they perform best? 304 vs 316 Stainless Steel…
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What’s the Difference Between a Bevel and a Chamfer in Metalworking?

While the terms bevel and chamfer are often used interchangeably, they are actually quite different. Does it really matter? Well, in the world of metal fabrication it does as we will see. When working with metal parts that require a welded joint, a bevelled edge is a common process to ensure a stronger join. It…
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Unpacking the Process of Metal Drawing

Metal drawing is one of many fabrication processes, including folding, welding, cutting, casting, and punching.   Drawing uses tensile force to stretch and shape metal and it offers some key advantages over these other metalworking processes. For example: Speed. Drawing processes are readily automated and can produce high volumes in relatively short periods of time.  Complex.…
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Speeding Up Advancement with Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings

If a project can be completed faster and cheaper then it’s well worth looking into, right? This is the basic premise behind pre-engineered metal buildings which are making their mark on the building industry worldwide.  What are the key benefits of pre-engineered metal structures? How do they compare to traditional building techniques? Key benefits of…
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The Essential Process of Hot Dip Galvanizing

The effective process of hot dip galvanizing is one of many used to prevent corrosion of steel and iron and is a fairly simple but incredibly durable option. Data shows that one of the main benefits of hot dip galvanization is its longevity with corrosive protection lasting between 34 and 170 years, depending on the…
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3 Reasons to Choose Laser Cutting on Sheet Metal

Smart people know that if you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when will you have the time to fix it? This is just one reason that we make use of the advanced tech behind laser cutting.  Laser cutting, especially on sheet metal, is one of the best ways to get…
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What Do You Know About Titanium Steel?

Without a doubt, steel has proven to be the mainstay of modern civilization for as long as we can remember. It’s strong, it’s affordable, it’s easy to work with, and it is recyclable. However, as tech gallops forward it was never going to be long before steel enjoyed a facelift.  Enter titanium steel. What is…
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Press Forging for High-Volume, Economical Production

When we think of metal forging our minds can easily go back to the times of old when a talented blacksmith would shape metal using a hammer, an anvil, and brute force.  Fortunately for us, we have come a long way since then and can enjoy the benefits that come along with powerful new tech.…
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Casting vs Forging: What’s Best for Your Project?

Mechanical engineers know that there’s no simple answer to the casting versus forging debate as it’s very much the same as asking the length of a piece of string.  What factors come into play when deciding on the best process for your component? While there are many, we’d like to highlight just three which will…
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Ordering Steel Tubes for Your Next Project

We’ve previously discussed the difference between pipes and tubes and determined that, while they may look the same, their uses, strength, and classifications differ.  A pipe is always circular and will be used to carry gas or liquid. They are, therefore, measured based on their carrying capacity and pressure tolerance. A tube, on the other…
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Seamless Pipe vs Welded Pipe

In high-pressure applications such as refineries, hydrocarbon industries, oil and gas infrastructure, engineers are tasked with ensuring that every component used is capable of withstanding the forces under which it is expected to operate.  In these instances, seamless pipe will always be chosen over its welded counterpart. But, as a more costly product with a…
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Laser Beam Welding Gains Ground

Given the option to employ a process that is simpler, cheaper, and faster than what we currently use, we’d be crazy not to, don’t you agree? It’s for this reason that laser beam welding (LBW) is gaining ground as a preferred and versatile method of welding. After all, improved productivity and reduced costs in fabrication…
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Why the Hype Around Hydroforming?

Of the many different processes used in metal fabrication, hydroforming is certainly an intriguing one which demonstrates clearly the power and versatility of using pressurised liquid to force metal into shape.  What is hydroforming? As we know, the term hydro relates to water, liquid or fluid. This tells us most of what we need to…
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What is TWIP Steel?

There are all manner of descriptions given to steel, TWIP being one of them, that relate to modifying metal with the use of alloys. In street speak, that means the clever dudes meltdown what nature supplies, add a few chemicals mix it around a bit then let it harden again. And voilà we have something that…
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Carbide Dies Do it to Steel

The role of carbide dies in steel forming is indeed an exact science. From the simple office paper clip and complex parts for high-tech application to 9mm bullets, artillery shells, drill bits and automobile parts, man has learned to shape steel using carbide tool dies. Dies are most often metal blocks used for forming steel…
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Why is Kerf Width Important?

Industrial fabrication requires extremely low tolerances and highly accurate metal cutting. Kerf width is a critical aspect to precise cutting and will factor in no matter the type of metal in production. Kerf width refers to the amount of material which is removed during the cutting process. Just as a wood saw would remove a…
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Welding Safety Hazards in the Metal Industry

There’s no doubt that welding is a difficult skill to master and can very easily cause injuries to a careless staff member. If you’re considering working within the metal and fabrication industry or are new to this arena, then we’d like to highlight a few key points regarding welding safety. Certainly, employers have a responsibility…
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3 Key Advantages of Robotic Welding

Way back in 1962, George Devol and Joseph Engelberger fired up the world’s first robotic welder on the General Motors factory assembly line. Spot welding – which was considered hazardous for humans – was now the responsibility of this accurate and tireless tool. It was only 20 years later that robotic welding found its commercial…
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3 Reasons Why Custom Sheet Metal May Be Right for You

We generally think that a custom product is going to come in at a higher price than a standard product, and for the most part that remains true. A standard product can be mass-produced at a lower cost than a custom piece, by a large factory that does that one thing.  However, when it comes…
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Examples‌ ‌and‌ ‌Uses‌ ‌of‌ ‌Ferrous‌ ‌Metals‌ ‌

We often refer to ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals, but what determines which category a metal falls under, and why does it matter? Simply put, ferrous metals contain iron, while non-ferrous metals don’t. Iron offers strength and durability to an alloy, and as it is mixed in various ratios with other elements it results in…
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When Should You Reverse Engineer a Part?

In the world of mechanical engineering, there is very little margin for error. Therefore, when drawings or documentation for a part are missing, or the original manufacturer either no longer makes the component or no longer exists, we can be left in a bit of a quandary.  The decision to reverse engineer a part may…
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Careers in Metal Work: What Can You Do?

If you are thinking of going into a career in metalwork, then you should look into some career information on the different options in the industry. Whether you are good at working with your hands and more practical-minded, or if you are more interested in the technical side of the industry and operating of CNC…
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What Are Shop Drawings and Why Are They Important In A Project?

In basic terms, shop drawings are a drawn version of the same information that is shown in the construction documents. Shop drawings are created by the contractor or fabricator, and often show much more detail than the construction documents. These drawings also show the process of manufacture and installation. How Are They Made? Shop drawings…
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The Essential Art of Steel Detailing

Long before fabrication begins, before the men and machines are hauled in to form chunks of metal into precisely crafted pieces of a building puzzle, the process of steel detailing needs to be completed.  What exactly is steel detailing? Steel detailing is the process of producing shop drawings for steel fabricators to create exactly what…
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Steel Pipe vs Plastic Pipe in South Africa

The ongoing debate of steel pipe versus plastic pipe in plumbing generally comes down to cost versus practicality and longevity. What are the best choices for our plumbing systems in South Africa, bearing in mind our climate and infrastructure? We never want to pay over the odds for a product or service. After all, if…
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Eco Pickling Surface (EPS) – A Green Pickling Option for Steel

We’ve recently discussed various metal treatments including the most common form of pickling, that being acid pickling in hydrochloric or sulphuric acid. Another more eco-friendly way of removing surface oxides from rolled steel comes in the form of a patented process called eco pickling surface (EPS). EPS comes with an excellent set of benefits and…
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Eco-Friendly Waste Management Makes Cents

The steelmaking industry is an energy-intensive process with a long process chain. The drive towards reusing and recycling in this industry and making it more ‘green’ is gaining ground with some exciting advances. Traditionally the responsibility of waste management has fallen to a few officials who do their best to oversee the processes and ensure…
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What Are the Benefits of Smooth Clean Surface (SCS)?

We recently chatted a little about metal pickling, and how it is a fast and efficient way to strip oxidation and impurities from metal before further processing. This surface is necessary for a quality finish in the case of coating, painting, or even further fabrication. However, the pickling process uses some harsh chemicals and results…
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What is Metal Pickling?

The process of metal pickling is a necessary part of the manufacture process and is a method of removing stains, rust or scale from ferrous metals. While there are newer methods being introduced all the time, metal pickling is mostly done with the use of some pretty strong chemicals called pickle liquor. Metal Pickling in…
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Judging the Strongest Metals

Metal is one of the most used and versatile materials in many industries, and what it is used for is dependant on its strength. While this may seem like a simple process, making comparisons between metals is a bit bit more complex than it sounds. How To Judge Strength As there is no one way…
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Sustainable Steel in Solar

Big industrial companies require large amounts of energy to run their day to day operations – steel industries being at the high end of this usage. While fossil fuels are the industry norm, and currently how energy is being generated, they are considered dirty energy in today's society and are not environmentally friendly. Many industries…
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Metal Roofs in Solar Installations

Over the last few years, the use of metal as a roofing material has begun to increase. Metal has many benefits as a roof, being fire resistant and long-lasting. As we many people move towards a more sustainable lifestyle, the question many are asking is if they have metal roofs, are solar panels still an…
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Carbon Vs Alloy Steel

Steel is one of the most widely used materials across many industries. But what is the difference between carbon steel and alloy steel? Carbon steel is comprised of iron and carbon, where alloy steel is made of these two plus additional metals. There are several grades of steel, and these are classified based on the…
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The Magic of Medical Steel

Medical steel, also known as surgical steel, has proven itself as the best option in medicine for several reasons. The stringent requirements for durable and hypoallergenic metals need to be adhered to in an increasingly litigious field. What are some requirements for medical steel? Both for implants and instruments, medical steel is characterised by the…
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Understanding Carbon Tax in South Africa

Businesses in the manufacturing industry are by now very aware of the new carbon tax act which was gazetted in May 2019, and which came into effect from 01 June 2019. As with most new laws, there are pros and cons which people will no doubt be debating for years to come.  We’d like to…
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Smart Coatings are Smart Decisions

Smart coatings for metals sound like something out of science fiction. The technology behind it is an incredible process which is being widely used in medical, military, transport and construction industries.  What are smart coatings, and how do they work? Defining Smart Coatings Smart coatings are programmable films which coat a product and perform a…
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What Are The Best Protective Coatings For Steel?

The strength and durability of steel make it the popular choice for – well – almost anything, from small household appliances to massive sea-going vessels. However, the Achilles heel of steel comes in the form of corrosion.  In an untreated state, steel falls victim to corrosion and can lose its integrity quickly. This makes a…
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Business Benefits Of Sustainable Manufacturing (Part 2)

Part 2 Our previous article touched on the business benefits of employing sustainable manufacturing processes in the areas of waste reduction and customer reach. From the smallest business to large corporations, the move to ‘green manufacturing’ is gaining momentum. With each company and each person doing their part, we will certainly be able to relieve…
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Business Benefits Of Sustainable Manufacturing

Part 1 Establishing sustainable manufacturing processes makes good business sense.    What does that look like in the metal industry? What changes can we make to our purchasing and processing that will make a difference?   To be fair, establishing new processes to replace those which you have been training your staff in for years…
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