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The Kallanish Glossary aims to be a useful resource for complex industry specific terminology. We are constantly adding to our glossary, so if you have a suggestion or amendment please do get in touch.

Electropolishing is an electrochemical removal process used on stainless steel fittings that selectively removes a thin layer of metal, including surface flaws and imbedded impurities, in order to smooth, brighten and clean the interior surface of the metal. Electropolishing is a required surface treatment process for all ultra high-purity components used in the gas distribution systems of semiconductor manufacturers worldwide and many sterile water distribution systems of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Energy Optimising Furnace

The energy optimising furnace (EOF) burns coal, enhanced by oxygen injection, to generate the thermal energy needed to preheat and then melt a mixture of scrap and pig iron, or other steelmaking raw materials, in an enclosed hearth. It is a vertical process with the hearth at the base, and chambers above in which scrap etc is preheated by off-gases before descending into the melting zone and steel is tapped off at the bottom of the vessel. The EOF is recognised as a way of producing good quality steel with relatively low investment and operating costs.


Extrusion is the method of producing lengths of steel to a particular shape by forcing the metal through a die cut to the cross-sectional shape required. The method is used to produce a wide range of shapes, from rounds, squares, “L” shapes, “T” shapes and tube, through to complex sections that can be difficult to make by any other method. The method is also widely used for non-ferrous metals, particularly aluminium, as well as plastics.


Ferritic is the second-largest class of stainless steel, constituting approximately 25% of stainless production. Ferritic stainless steels are plain chromium steels with no significant nickel content; the lack of nickel results in lower corrosion resistance than the austenitics (chromium-nickel stainless steels). Ferritics are best suited for general and high-temperature corrosion applications rather than services requiring high strength. They are used in automotive trim and exhaust systems, interior architectural trim, and hot water tanks.

Ferro Alloys

A metal product commonly used as a raw material feed in steelmaking, to aid various stages of the steelmaking process such as deoxidation, desulfurization, and adding strength. 


Ferrous is the term used to indicate the presence of iron in a metal and will also be used to distinguish iron and steel from non-ferrous metals.


An iron cleaning agent. Limestone and lime react with impurities within the metallic pool to form a slag that floats to the top of the relatively heavier (and now more pure) liquid iron.


This is a way of producing individual metal parts by mechanical impact. It is suitable for working a wide range of steels, and can be done with the metal cold, warm or hot. The metal changes shape while in a solid rather than molten state making it quite different to a casting process. Forgings are used principally where strength and in-service integrity are key requirements. They are stronger than cast or machined parts because the mechanical deformation allows the grain structure of the metal to closely follow the part’s finished shape. There are a number of forms of forging which involve containing the metal workpiece to a greater or lesser degree. The starting material may be steel bar, billet or ingot, and this is often sourced externally from steelmakers.

Free-Cutting Steel

Free-cutting steel is used for making engineering components and is most commonly supplied to the machinist as hot rolled, cold drawn, turned or precision ground bar. It has certain properties during mechanical machining operations like drilling, turning and milling. 

Full Hard

A full hard steel refers to a cold rolled sheet steel that has not been softened by annealing


Galvanizing is the word given to the process of applying a thin layer of zinc or zinc-aluminium alloy to steel thus providing corrosion resistance. The two principal coating methods are continuous galvanizing and batch (or general) galvanizing. Continuous galvanizing is used to coat flat-rolled steel (mostly cold reduced, but some hot rolled), and also wire and tube. Zinc is applied either by hot-dip coating (the steel passes through a pot of molten zinc) or electrolytic coating (deposition takes place in a series of electrolytic cells). Hot dip is the most common method as it is cheaper. 


Galvanneal refers to a sheet steel product that is annealed after hot dip galvanizing with zinc. The coated steel product is given exceptional corrosion resistance due to the external zinc-iron alloy coating.


The gauge of sheet steel is what determines its thickness. So, for example, a better quality steel will have a consistent gauge to prevent deformation or weak spots. 


The metal content of an ore measured in grams per tonne or as a percentage.

Grey Iron

Basic form of cast iron that is relatively easy and inexpensive to produce. Grey iron is suitable for making a wide range of castings including valve, pump, rail and auto applications.

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