Any cold-finished round, square, octagon, hexagon or shape over 1/2″ in diameter or size. Any cold-finished flat 3/8″-and-over width and 1/8″ an-over in thickness. Any hot- rolled (not in coil form) or forged round, square, octagon, hexagon or shape 1/4″ and over in diameter or size. Any hot-rolled flat 1/4″ to 10″ inclusive in width and 1/4″-and-over in thickness.


Surface of metal, under the oxide-scale layer, resulting from heating in an oxidizing environment. In the case of steel, such bark always suffers from decarburization.

Basic Oxygen Process

A steel-making process wherein oxygen of the highest purity is blown onto the surface of a bath of molten iron contained in a basic lined and ladle shaped vessel. The melting cycle duration is extremely short with quality comparable to Open Hearth Steel.

Basic Steel

Steel melted in a furnace with a basic bottom and lining and under a slag containing an excess of a basic substance such as magnesia or lime.

Beach marks

Progression marks on a fatigue fracture surface that indicate successive position of the advancing crack front. The classic appearance is of irregular elliptical or semielliptical rings, radiating outward from one or more origins. Beach marks (also known as clamshell marks or tide marks) are typically found on service fractures where the part is loaded randomly, intermittently, or with periodic variations in mean stress or alternating stress.

Bearing Strength

The maximum bearing load at failure divided by the effective bearing area. In a pinned or riveted joint, the effective area is calculated as the product of the diameter of the hole and the thickness of the bearing member.

Belt Ground

A dull surface achieved by mechanically scratching the surface with abrasives. This is not produced by Ulbrich, but purchased from major mills.

Bend Radius

The inside radius of a bent section.

Bend Test

A test for determining relative soundness, toughness and ductility of a metal to be formed. The specimen is usually bent over a specified diameter through a specified angle for a specified number of cycles.

Beryllium Copper

An alloy of copper and 2-3% beryllium with optionally fractional percentages of nickel or cobalt. Alloys of this series show remarkable age-hardening properties and an ultimate hardness of about 400 Brinell (Rockwell C43). Because of such hardness and good electrical conductivity, beryllium/copper is used in electrical switches, springs, etc.

Bessemer Process

A process for making steel by blowing air through molten pig iron contained in a refractory-lined vessel so that the impurities are thus removed by oxidation.


A solid semi-finished round or square product that has been hot-worked by forging, rolling, or extrusion. An iron or steel billet has a minimum width or thickness of 1 1/2 inch and the cross-sectional area varies from 2 1/4 to 36 square inches. For nonferrous metals, it may also be a casting suitable for finished or semi-finished rolling or for extrusion.

Binary Alloy

An alloy containing two elements, apart from minor impurities, as brass containing the two elements copper and zinc.


An early step in preparing flat-rolled steel for use by an end user. A blank is a section of sheet that has the same outer dimensions as a specified part (such as a car door or hood) but that has not yet been stamped. Steel processors may offer blanking for their customers to reduce their labor and transportation costs; excess steel can be trimmed prior to shipment.

Blast Furnace

A vertical shaft type smelting furnace in which an air blast is used, usually hot, for producing pig iron. The furnace is continuous in operation, using iron ore, coke, and limestone as raw materials that are charged at the top while the molten iron and slag are collected at the bottom and tapped out at intervals.


A raised area, often dome-shaped, resulting from (a) loss of adhesion between a coating or deposit and basis metal or (b) delimitation under the pressure of expanding gas trapped in a metal in a near subsurface zone. Very small blisters may be called pinheads or pepper blisters.

Blister Steel

High-carbon steel produced by carburizing wrought iron. The bar, originally smooth, is covered with small blisters when removed from the cementation (carburizing) furnace.


A semi-finished steel form whose rectangular cross-section is more than eight inches. This large cast steel shape is broken down in the mill to produce the familiar I-beams, H-beams and sheet piling. Blooms are also part of the high-quality bar manufacturing process


A cavity which was produced during the solidification of metal by evolved gas, which in failing to escape is held in pockets.

Blue Annealing

Heating hot-rolled ferrous sheet in an open furnace to a temperature within the transformation range and then cooling in air, in order to soften the metal. The formation of a bluish oxide on the surface is incidental.

Blue Brittleness

Reduced ductility occurring as a result of strain aging, when certain ferrous alloys are worked between 300 and 700°F. This phenomenon may be observed at the working temperature or subsequently at lower temperatures.

BOF (Basic Oxygen Furnace)

This term describes the process and the vessel that is used in the process by which hot metal, received from the induction or blast furnace, is refined to meet chemical specifications by blowing oxygen from a top lance against the “hot metal” bath surface. This reduces the carbon level to an acceptable level and raw materials are added to achieve a desired chemical specification.

Box Anneal

Annealing steel is a sealed container under conditions that minimize oxidation (scale).


A diamond penetrator, conical in shape, used with a Rockwell hardness tester for hard metals.

Braze Welding

A family of welding procedures where metals are joined by filler metal that has a melting temperature below the solidus of the parent metal, but above 840°F (450 C).

Break Test (for tempered steel)

A method of testing hardened and tempered high-carbon spring steel strip wherein the specimen is held and bent across the grain in a vice-like calibrated testing machine. Pressure is applied until the metal fractures, at which point a reading is taken and compared with a standard chart of brake limitations for various thickness ranges.


See Coil Breaks.

Bright Annealed Finish

Bright cold-rolled, highly reflective finish retained by final annealing in a controlled-atmosphere furnace.

Bright Annealing

Process of annealing usually carried out in a controlled furnace atmosphere so that surface oxidation is reduced to a minimum and the surface remains relatively bright. Atmospheres employed at Ulbrich are dry pure hydrogen gas or dry dissociated ammonia gas. Vacuum atmospheres are also very effective, but are not available in the Ulbrich facilities (commercial heat treaters often have vacuum furnaces).

Brinell Hardness Test

A test for determining the hardness of a material by forcing a hard steel or carbide ball with a specified load into a surface. The result is expressed as the Brinell hardness number, which is the value obtained by dividing the applied load in kilograms by the surface area of the resulting impression in square millimeters.


Multiple shaving, accomplished by pushing a tool with stepped cutting edges along the piece, particularly through holes.

Brushed Finish

Finish generally produced by polishing; most common are no. 3 finish (approx. 100 grit) and a finer no. 4 finish (approx. 120 to 150 grit). Brushed finish appearance can also be simulated by final gauge rolling with ground rolls; reproducibility from lot to lot and even from beginning of rolling to end of rolling has proven to be difficult to attain to date at Ulbrich.


An out-of-flat condition on cold-rolled coils often called oil-canning; the cause can be varied. Buckles can cause more severe shape problems during slitting not to mention excessive camber.


Producing a bulge, bend, bow, kink, or other wavy condition by compressively stressing a beam, column, plate, bar or sheet.


A substance added to aqueous solutions to maintain a constant hydrogen-ion concentration, even in the presence of acids or alkalis.


Excessive elecrodeposition that occurs on high-current-density areas, such as corners or edges.


(1) Permanently damaging a metal or alloy by heating to cause either incipient melting or intergranular oxidation. (2) In grinding, getting the work hot enough to cause discoloration or to change the microstructure by tempering or hardening.


Smoothing surfaces through friction between the material and material such as hardened metal media.


A rough or sharp edge left on the material after cutting or slitting.

Butt Welding

Joing two edges or ends by placing one against the other and welding them.

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