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Glossary of ferrous scrap and steel industry terms. (2003 Ferrous Scrap Supplement).


Automobile Shredder--A hammermill-style shredder large enough to shred whole cars into fist-sized chunks in less than a minute

Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR)--The material left over after an automobile has been shredded and the ferrous metal and other marketable materials have been separated. Also known as fluff


Balers--Machines that compress scrap for shipment as condensed, sheared and tied cubes

Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF)---The updated replacement of the traditional open-hearth furnace, the BOF refines molten iron mixed with steel scrap in a process that can take place in less than one hour. Unlike electric arc furnaces, which can melt up to 100 percent ferrous scrap, melts within BOFs can usually contain no more than about 25 percent scrap


Capacity--Steel mills are often ranked by two capacity types. Engineered capacity is the volume of steel a mill could produce if optimal conditions were met year-round. True capacity is usually a lower figure that takes into account standard maintenance procedures and seasonal factors that affect operating conditions

Charge--The material contained in a given steel furnace melt, such as a mixture of scrap metal and pig iron in an electric arc furnace. The act of loading and heating the material in the furnace is also known as charging

Consolidation--The act of forming a publicly traded company with the purpose of acquiring existing firms engaged in identical or related businesses to create a national or global corporation with significant market share


Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)--A scrap substitute material created by a process that uses natural gas to produce a substance that contains as much as 97 percent pure iron. The resulting material is desirable for its low tramp element content, but requires an affordable supply of natural gas to be produced economically


Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)--A steelmaking furnace in which ferrous scrap can make up to 100 percent of the material melted. The heat in the furnace is created by electricity that travels (or arcs) from graphite electrodes to the material to be melted. The term "mini-mill" is used synonymously with steel mills that have EAFs


Feedstock--Any material used at the front end of an industrial process. For a scrap processor operating a ferrous shredder, automobile hulks might be considered feedstock. At a mini-mill, ferrous scrap or scrap substitutes would be the feedstock material


Hammermill--A high-speed rotor equipped with large hammers for pulverizing material and metallic objects into smaller sizes

Home Scrap--Excess steel that is generated at a mill and often routed back to the furnace

Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI)--A form of direct-reduced iron (DRI) formed into the shape of bricks, chunks or ingots


Iron Carbide--A scrap substitute that uses natural gas in its manufacturing process to create a material that is roughly 90 percent iron and 6 percent carbon


Least Cost Suitable Charge (LCSC)--An electric arc furnace formula to determine what to use in any given melt based on current prices and suitable chemical composition


Magnetic Separation--A system to remove ferrous metals from other materials using magnets to attract the ferrous items

Melting Yield--The amount of steel produced as a percentage of feedstock entering the furnace at a steel mill

Mini-mills--A sub-category of steel mills often defined by the presence of electric arc furnaces. Many financial analysts also categorize mini-mills as using non-union labor and being operated by smaller, newer companies


No. 1 Heavy Melt--Ferrous scrap grade consisting of iron and steel items 1/4-inch or more in thickness measuring no more than 60 inches by 18 inches, to fit in a standard charging box

No. 2 Scrap--Ferrous scrap grade consisting of iron and steel items less than 1/4-inch thick, but more than 1/8-inch thick, and measuring no more than 60 inches by 18 inches, to fit in a standard charging box


Pig Iron--A cast iron material produced in a blast furnace

Prompt Industrial Scrap--Excess steel or other material generated at large manufacturing facilities. Prompt scrap may take the form of trimming left over a stamping process or turnings or borings left over from a machining process. It is often auctioned to scrap buyers or contracted for processing by the manufacturing company


Quality Certification--Engaging in a formal process with a national or international standards organization to verify that certain procedures are in place companywide. After undergoing an audit, a company can be certified or registered as having reached and maintained the standards. The International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland, and its ISO-9000 and successor programs are the most widely known quality certification programs


Scrap Substitutes--High-iron content materials used as replacements for ferrous scrap in electric arc furnaces. Much of the scrap substitutes made are manufactured by steel mini-mill companies seeking to ensure a supply for their furnaces. (Also see "Direct Reduced Iron," "Iron Carbide," and "Pig Iron")

Shear--A machine that cuts metal scrap (after it has been condensed) to produce uniform shapes ready to be tied, shipped and melted

Shredded Scrap--The pieces of ferrous scrap produced by shredders, often from shredded vehicles and appliances. The fist-sized chunks are transportable and saleable as a commodity

Spectrometer--An instrument that measures wavelengths of light spectra to determine the chemical composition of an item. They are often used to check for the existence of tramp elements in ferrous scrap

Steel Product Types

* Bars--Steel shaped into rolled, long, thin units. Merchant bar is used by manufacturers to make such things as furniture and railings. Reinforcing bar (rebar) is surrounded by concrete as a reinforcement in the construction of roads, bridges and buildings.

* Coils--Sheet steel that is wound for shipping and/or further processing

* Plate--Sheet steel that is from one quarter inch to 12 inches thick and more than 8 inches wide

* Rod--Round, thin steel that is wound for shipment

* Sheet--Thin steel that is rolled flat and usually coiled for shipping

* Slab--Thick steel that in one standardized form is 10 inches thick and from 30 inches to 85 inches wide

* Special Bar Quality (SBQ)--Forms of bar steel with narrow metallurgic specifications often made to fill customized orders

* Structural--Thick, large steel units used by the construction industry

* Wire--The thinnest gauges of steel rod


Toll Processing--One company performing a value-added service to improve material belonging to another company. Within the scrap industry, this can be the processing of prompt scrap from a nearby industrial facility. Within the steel industry, this can be the slitting, rolling or coating of steel produced at a nearby mill

Tonnage Types

* Gross Ton--Weighing 2,240 pounds, this tonnage measurement is often used to measure ferrous scrap and raw commodities such as iron ore

* Metric Ton--At 2,205 pounds (or 1,000 kilograms), this unit of measure is standard in most of the world outside of the U.S.

* Short Ton--2,000 pounds, the most standard ton measurement used within the U.S.

Tramp Elements--Elements considered undesirable in most steel furnace melts but often found mixed with ferrous scrap. Copper, nickel, chromium, tin and molybdenum are among those often considered in this category. When these elements are present in steel after the melt process, they are also known as residuals

Turnings--Small bits of scrap created as a result of lathing or other machining operations at industrial facilities; they are often high in petroleum content


Vertical Integration--A corporate strategy of moving a company into related fields, usually in the direction of materials supply. This often takes place through acquisition


White Goods--A term for large household appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers that are part of the ferrous scrap stream
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Publication:Recycling Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:From a to zinc: a long-time research site in Indiana is now ready to de-zinc shipments of galvanized scrap steel. (2003 Ferrous Scrap Supplement).
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