The Dictionary Of Steel, Part 2: I to P

Thursday September 28th, 2017 | Francesco Grillo | Expertise

Why does stainless steel rust easily? Why stainless steel is so hard? What is austenitic stainless steel? Martensitic stainless steel? Can Stainless steel be used in water after special treatment?

Steel is present in our daily lives, but we lack skills to understand the different material, type, manufacturing process, ect.. In order for us to have a deeper understanding of stainless steel,  this article brings together technical terms and their definition. Now, you can become experts in stainless steel in 10 minutes!


Please notice that you might be interested in the other parts of the dictionary:

  • Part 1 (A to H)

  • Part 3 (Q to Z)  


A guide to the language of steel: I to P (Part 2)


Ingot Steel (Ingots): The primary solid product gained after the solidification of liquid steel

Integrated steelmaker: A producer that converts iron ore into semi-finished or finished steel products. Traditionally, this process required coke ovens, blast furnaces, steelmaking furnaces and rolling mills. A growing number of integrated mills use the direct reduction process to produce sponge iron without coke ovens and blast furnaces.

Iron: Metal that extracted from iron ore.

Iron making: The process of the reduction of iron ore.

Iron ore: The primary raw material in the manufacture of steel.


Ladle metallurgy: The process whereby conditions (temperature, pressure and chemistry) are controlled within the ladle of the steelmaking furnace to improve productivity in preceding and subsequent steps, as well as the quality of the final product.

Limestone: Used by the steel industry to remove impurities from the iron made in blast furnaces. Limestone containing magnesium, called dolomite, is also sometimes used in the purifying process.

Line pipe: Used for transportation of gas, oil or water generally in a pipeline or utility distribution system.

Liquid Steel: The immediate hot molten steel product from steel melting factory

Long products: Long products are used in all industrial sectors, particularly in the construction and engineering industries.

Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR): LITFR is the number of injuries which has resulted in an employee or contractor being away from work at least one day after the day it occurred, per million hours worked.


Martensite: The steel that has high hardness, but can be brittle. When carbon/chromiumare cooled rapidly from their austenitising temperature during heat treatment, it will be formed.

Mechanical tubing: Welded or seamless tubing produced in a large number of shapes to closer tolerances than other pipe.

Mini mill: A small non-integrated or semi-integrated steel plant, generally based on electric arc furnace steelmaking. Mini mills produce rods, bars, small structural shapes and flat rolled products.


Non- alloy steel is divided into 3 categories namely:

  1. Low carbon steel or Mild steel (max. 0.3% carbon)
  2. Medium carbon steel (0.3 – 0.6% carbon)
  3. High carbon steel (>0.6% carbon).

Normalizing: A form of sub-critical temperature annealing process used where some of the structural breakdown during previous cold working is to be retained.


Oil country tubular goods (OCTG): Pipe used in wells in oil and gas industries, consisting of casing, tubing and drill pipe. Casing is the structural retainer for the walls; tubing is used within casing oil wells to convey oil to ground level; drill pipe is used to transmit power to a rotary drilling tool below ground level.

Open-hearth process: A process for making steel from molten iron and scrap. The open-hearth process has been replaced by the basic oxygen process in most modern facilities.


Passive: Surface condition contributing to the steel corrosion resistant. For instance, passive film.

Passivation: Surface oxidising treatments, usually done by applying nitric acid.

Pellets: An enriched form of iron ore shaped into small balls.

Pencil Ingots: Small ingots produced in mini-steel plants. (in kg)

Permeability: A magnetic property of materials related to their ability to be attracted by a permanent magnet or influenced by a magnetic field.

pH: A scale that showed the hydrogen ion concentration of solutions. The pH value of acids is between 1 and 6, alkalis is between 8 and 14 and water (neutral) is 7.

Pickle (pickling): Chemical (commonly acid) treatments done to remove the thin layer of surface metal.

Pig Iron: The product that results from smelting iron ore with a high-carbon fuel such as coke

Plate: A flat rolled product from slabs or ingots of greater thickness than sheet or strip.

Precipitation Hardening: A strengthening mechanism done by heat treatment, but can only be done on specially formulated steels, such as 1.4542 (17/4PH) and 1.4594 (FV 520B).


List of References:

Credit to British Stainless Steel Association

American Iron and Steel Institute

Callister, W., Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering, 2nd ed. (New York: Wiley & Sons, 2004), pp. 252.

Carter, C. and Norton, M., Ceramic Materials: Science and Engineering (Berlin: Springer, 2007)

Shettleworth, S., Cognition, Evolution and Behavior, 2nd. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Eagleson, M.,  Concise Encyclopedia Chemistry  Revised (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1994), p. 834.

Ferdinand, B. and Johnston, R., Mechanics of Materials, 2nd. (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.: 1992), p. 51.

Reed-Hill, R. and Abbaschian, R., Physical Metallurgy Principles, 3rd  (Boston: PWS-Kent Publishing: 1991)

Rodney, P.,  Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries (New York: Wiley & Sons, 2004), p. 380.

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Written by:


Francesco Grillo

Co-founder & CEO @SteelAvailable




Lucia Chan

Business Developer @Steel Available