Steel is a commonly used raw material. Many applications require its use with examples such as construction, building motor vehicles, making home appliances and more. However, the plate type needed for each of these applications is different. Regardless of the project or industry, if you are new to using plate steel, you might make a mistake and spend money on the wrong type. The resulting losses may devastate you. Listed below are some key considerations that may help prevent that from happening.
The Dimensions of the Steel Plates
Most steel plates will come in a rectangular or square shape. The length and width may differ, and these measurements determine the suitability of the steel to specific projects. Some industrial applications will require that you cut the plates into suitable shapes and sizes such as in motor vehicle building and manufacturing. This will also need you to have specific equipment for this purpose. For construction and infrastructure, the case may be different since using the plates in their original sizes is possible.
If you don’t own the equipment to cut plate steel, then you might want to consider ordering custom sizes. Some manufacturers will cater to that albeit at a higher cost than their other products. Another critical element is the thickness. Usually, the thickness and strength of the steel are achieved by a multi-step process as follows:
- Rolling the metal into sheets.
- Layering multiple metal sheets on top of each other and compressing to the desired This also forges the metal layers into a single slab.
- Cooling the finished product.
The minimum thickness for plate steel, also referred to as structural steel is about 6 mm. Any less than that and it becomes foil or leaf metal rather than a steel plate.
Thicker plates are often stronger than their thinner counterparts. For projects such as bridges and architecture, it is imperative that the plates be as thick as possible for extra support. Also of note is that the length, width, and thickness will impact the overall weight of the plates.
Component Materials of the Plate Steel
The elements included in rolling the steel affect the product’s properties such as strength, resistance to weather and others. An illustrative example is when carbon is added up to 2.1% of the weight of the metal then it becomes carbon steel. This particular type of steel is reputably unyielding. There are also a few other types of alloy steel that come about due to a combination of various elements.
If the goal is to build a bridge, then you might need to use high strength steels that are resistant to corrosion by weather elements. This way the longevity of the bridge and safety of all who use it is assured. If however, you are manufacturing boilers, the steel needs to withstand the constant high temperature and pressure exerted.
The Number of Steel Plates That You Need
You may be a DIYer looking to build something small in your garage. Alternatively, you may be a manufacturer looking to manufacture and sell motor vehicles. The motor vehicle manufacturer will likely require steel plates in high quantities while the converse is true for the DIYer. Therefore, it only makes sense that the manufacturer buys the plate steel in bulk. This invokes economies of scale and a reduction in the overall cost of buying and shipping.
The Plate Steel Supplier
The location of the supplier is crucial in estimating the final cost of the plates. Since you will probably cater to the shipping fees the closer the supplier is to you the better. However just because a supplier is close to you does not mean that they have the steel plates you’re looking for. Consider looking through their product lists and enquiring about their custom plates. If what you are seeking is unavailable move on to another source.
Other critical points include their certifications as these may be indicators of the quality of their products. ISO 9001 is a standard on quality management and may be an excellent place to start. Last may be the social proof section. How many parties have previously used their products? What percentage of that customer base were satisfied with the steel plates they received? It might even be necessary to contact these previous customers and hear about their experience firsthand.
If there is a high satisfaction rate, chances are you will be satisfied too.
For the best outcome both economically and structurally you will need high-quality steel plates tailored to the job at hand. Having a checklist against the above considerations should make purchasing them easier. Try it out, and notify us on how well it works for you.