Strip steel is a type of bulk steel material used to make small steel components. It consists of very narrow rolls of steel, which generally measure 24 inches (60.96 cm) or less in width. The thickness of strip steel varies, but typically ranges between 0.157 and 0.197 inches (4 to 5 mm). Manufacturers purchase this material in large coils, and use it to make metal trim pieces and other small accessories. Strip steel serves as an alternative to larger sheets or plates in applications involving relatively small products or components.
To create strip steel, manufacturers start by melting iron ore and combining it with other metals to create the desired alloy. Once the metal is formed, it goes through a rolling process. During cold rolling, the steel is fed through a pair of rollers, which thins the steel out and also flattens out bumps on the surface.
Next, the steel is subject to pickling. During metal pickling, the steel is placed in an acidic solution, which is designed to clean the steel and remove any impurities or imperfections. This process results in a higher quality steel product, and helps to improve the performance properties of the metal. Next, the larger steel rolls must be cut down into the narrow coils commonly associated with strip steel. To accomplish this, steel makers subject the metal to a process called roll slitting, which slices the steel into smaller coils.
Buyers can choose from several types of strip steel to meet the needs of different applications. Hot-rolled materials are the most affordable, but also feature the lowest quality and the roughest surface texture. Cold-rolled steel tends to be less rough, and may be equipped with a smooth, shiny surface. High carbon steel is made from an alloy containing a large amount of carbon, which gives the steel a stronger and more durable construction. Finally, hardened strip steel is subject to a tempering process to give it maximum strength and the highest level of quality.
Manufacturers rely on strip steel to create a variety of products. This material is frequently used to make automotive components, as well as parts for home appliances. Strip steel is also used to make knives and scissors, and can be used to form certain types of tools and hardware. Generally, strip steel is cut and stamped to form the desired shape and finish, but it may also be subject to other methods of fabrication and manufacturing.