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Actual Weight – The customer buys by the actual (scale) weight of the steel.

Alloy Steel – Steel containing substantial quantities of elements other than carbon and the commonly-accepted limited amounts of manganese, sulfur, silicon, and phosphorus. Addition of such alloying elements is usually for the purpose of increased hardness, strength or chemical resistance. The metals most commonly used for forming alloy steels are: nickel, chromium, silicon, manganese tungsten, molybdenum and vanadium, Low Alloy steels are usually considered to be those containing a total of less than 5% of such added constituents.

Aluminized Steel – A carbon steel coated, through the hot-dip process, with an aluminum-silicon alloy. The aluminum coating provides resistance to high temperatures (Type 1) and excellent corrosion resistance (Type 2) along with a bright appearance.

Aluminum Killed Steel – Steel deoxidized with aluminum in order to reduce the oxygen content to a minimum so that no reaction occurs between carbon and oxygen during solidification.

American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) – A non-profit association of North American producers, suppliers to and users of steel. Its mission is to promote steel as the material of choice and to enhance the competitiveness of its members and the North American Steel Industry.

Anneal – To heat a metal to a temperature slightly below its melting point, then cool it gradually so as to soften it thoroughly.

ASTM – American Standard of Testing and Materials. A non-profit organization that provides a forum for producers, users, ultimate consumers, and those having a general interest (representatives of government and academia) to meet on common ground and write standards for materials, products, systems and services.

Follow this link to see what products we supply and learn more about each material’s respective ASTM specifications 


Bake Hardenable Steel – A low-carbon sheet steel used for automotive body panel applications. Because of the steels special processing, it has good stamping and strength characteristics and improved dent resistance.

Bar – Long steel products that are rolled from billets. Merchant bar and reinforcing bar (rebar) are two common categories of bars, where merchants include rounds, flats, angles, squares, and channels that are used by fabricators to manufacture a wide variety of products such as furniture, stair railings, and farm equipment.

MVSS offers a more cost effective approach to merchant bar, where we can produce material in whatever customer width, length, and quantity YOU need. 


Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) – Basic oxygen steelmaking is a method of steelmaking utilized by integrated mills in which carbon-rich molten pig iron is made into steel. Blowing oxygen through molten pig iron lowers the carbon content of the alloy and changes it into low-carbon steel.

Blanking – An early step in preparing flat-rolled steel for use by an end user. A blank is a section of sheet where both the length and width have been processed based on customers’ needs to allow for maximum product yield during manufacturing.

MVSS offers several different blanking operations(Multi Blanking, Precision Blanking, and Shearing) for our customers to reduce their labor and scrap costs. Our capabilities allow us to provide blanks as small as 1” wide by 1” long!

Blast Furnace 1) A furnace in which solid fuel (limestone, coke, iron ore) is combined with high-pressure, hot air blast (120,000 psi) to smelt ore in a continuous process (They are never stopped. They can be slowed down or idled). A Blast Furnace in the iron and steel industry is used to produce liquid iron.

Bonderizing – The coating of steel with a film composed largely of zinc phosphate in order to develop a better bonding surface for paint or lacquer.

Boron (chemical symbol B) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Bruise – A mark transferred to the strip surface from a defective process roll. Similar to dent or punch mark.

Buckle – A series of waves which are ordinarily transverse to the direction of rolling, which vary in severity and frequency. This imperfection is called center buckle when it is in the center of the sheet, or side buckle when it is located near, but not off center. Also known as full center or oil can.

Burr – Roughness left by a cutting operation such as slitting, shearing, blanking, etc.

MVSS has equipment built to run material with minimal burr or we can even remove it using a secondary process if necessary. Click the link to see how we “de-burr” material or call our sales team and ask how our levelers and tool maintenance programs keep burr to a minimum.

Butt Weld – Smooth, non-over lapping weld made to join ends together.

MVSS uses a similar weld in our Oscillated Coil process.



Caliper – A device used to measure the distance between two opposite sides.

Camber Tolerances – Camber is the deviation from edge straightness. Maximum allowable tolerance of this deviation of a side edge from a straight line are defined in ASTM Standards as .25” in 8 ft (widths 1.5” and greater) and .50” in 8f. (widths less than 1.5”).

When it comes to slitting we take the effects of camber on our customers seriously. From proper setup, to our state-of-the-art slitting and leveling equipment, we don’t just talk about doing a good job……we do it. Although it is impossible to provide a 100% camber free slit product, we get close with just .03% of all shipments being rejected for camber. Visit our services page to learn more about our slitters or contact us to find out how we can help you.

Carbon (Chemical symbol C) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Center Buckle – A condition in the steel where a wave or buckle are located in the center of the strip

When running master coils, we do more than just process steel at MVSS. Our slitter and cut to length lines all have built in levelers to help correct any shape issues the incoming steel may have.


Chemical Treatment – A passivating treatment applied to metallic coated products to retard formation of corrosion products (storage stain/rust).

Class 1 Surface Quality A class of cold rolled steel processed to meet requirements for controlled surface texture, flatness, and temper requirements. Produced for exposed applications.

Coating Weight – Thickness of coating applied to base metal, can be measured in grams/meter or ounces per square foot.

Coil – A length of steel wound into roll-form.

Fun Fact: At MVSS we run coils over 3 miles in length if you unwrap the coil from end to end!


Coil Set – A curvature of the strip in the lengthwise sense, parallel to the direction in which the strip was rolled or uncoiled.

Coke – Carbonizing coal made in oven by driving off volatile elements. It is a hard porous substance that is principally pure carbon. In blast furnaces, coke helps generate the 3000 F. temperatures and reducing gases needs to smelt iron ore.
see Blast Furnace

Cold Rolled Sheet – A product manufactured from hot rolled descaled (pickled) coils by cold reducing to the desired thickness, generally followed by annealing and temper rolling. If the sheet is not annealed after cold reduction it is known as full hard. (See Full Hard Cold Rolled).

Columbium (Chemical symbol Cb) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis. Often also known as Nb or Niobium

Commercial Steel (CS) A designation of a grade of steel suitable for moderate forming processes. Material of this quality is ductile enough to be bent flat on itself in any direction in a standard bending process. The term is commonly used to designate mild steel. Formerly called Commercial Quality (CQ) by ASTM.

Commercial Quality (CQ) See Commercial Steel

Copper (Chemical symbol Cu) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis

Corrosion – Gradual chemical or electrochemical attack on a metal by atmosphere, moisture or other agents. AKA rust or white rust

Cross Breaks – Creases which appear as parallel lines transverse to the direction of rolling.

Crossbow – A curvature across the width of the strip at a 90-degree angle to the direction in which the strip has been rolled or uncoiled.

Cut Edge – The normal edge that results from the shearing, slitting or trimming of a mill edge.

Cut-to-Length – Process to uncoil sections of flat-rolled steel and cut them into a desired length. Product that is cut to length is normally shipped flat-stacked.

At MVSS we have more than a few ways to cut steel to length to fit your needs.



Deburring – A method whereby the raw slit edge of metal is removed by rolling thru dies or filling.

MVSS operates 3 different lines that have the capability to add a de-burred, round, or square edge to your slit coil.


Deep Drawing – The fabrication process of flat rolled steel to make drawn parts. The part is mechanically formed through or in a die. The blank diameter is reduced; the blank contracts circumferentially as it is drawn radially inward.

Deep Drawing Steel (DDS)This grade of material intended for fabricating identified parts where very severe drawing or forming in excess of capabilities of drawing steel may be involved. Carbon is restricted but not needed to be ultra-low. Formerly called Drawing Quality Aluminum Killed (DQAK) by ASTM.

Drawing Steel (DS) – A quality designation of carbon steel which is more ductile than commercial quality and is suitable for producing drawn parts or other parts needing severe deformation. Formerly called Drawing Quality (DQ) by ASTM

Drawing Quality Aluminum Killed (DQAK) See Deep Drawing Steel

Drop or Narrow Cuts – Left over steel that is 3” or larger that can be used to slit into smaller coils.

Ductility – Ability of steel to undergo permanent changes in shape without fracture at room temperature.


Electric-arc furnace – (EAF or EF) An economical method of steelmaking that is energized by an electric arc flowing between two bottom electrodes. Furnace charges consist of purchased scrap.

Electro Galvanized – steel that has been bonded with a layer of zinc to protect against corrosion. The process involves electroplating where a current of electricity is transmitted through a saline/zinc solution by a zinc anode and steel conductor.

Elongation – Increase in length which occurs before a metal is fractured, when subjected to stress. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the original length and is a measure of the ductility of the metal.

Extra Deep Drawing Steel (EDDS) – This material is intended for fabricating identified parts where extremely severe drawing or forming in excess o f the capabilities of DS or DDS may be involved. This is currently the highest formability ASTM steel specification. This specification mandates the use of stabilized (IF) ultra-low carbon.


F.O.B. – Prices denote the so-called free-on-board payment, for material that a consumer or agent will give when he picks it up at a dealer’s dock.

Ferrous – Metals that consist primarily of iron.

Ferrous Scrap – Iron-containing used steel which is re-melted and recast into new steel by both fully integrated mill and mini-mills (25% and 80% mix respectively).

Flaking – A condition in coated sheet where portions of the coating become loosened due to inadequate adhesion

Flat Rolled Steel – Steel produced on rolling mills utilizing relatively smooth, cylindrical rolls. Examples of flat rolled steel are hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and coated sheets and coils, etc.

Full Hard Cold Rolled – Hot rolled pickled steel that is cold reduced to a specified thickness and subject to no further processing (not annealed or temper rolled). This product is intended for flat work where deformation is very minimal. Produced to a Rockwell hardness of 84 and higher on the B scale.


Gage – Any one of a large variety of devices for measuring or checking the dimensions of objects.

Galfan – A galvanized product coated with 95% free zinc, 5% aluminum and traces of mish metal in the coating.

Galvalume – a metal roofing product consisting of steel coil coated with a metal alloy consisting of 45% zinc and 55% aluminum. The combination of zinc and aluminum in Galvalume enhances both the positive and negative effects of aluminum. Galvalume has barrier corrosion resistance and heat resistance similar to aluminized material. Consequently, Galvalume will resist rust, the elements, and fire while providing a sturdy and protective covering.

Galvanize – processed with a layer of zinc after being immersed in a molten zinc bath. Galvanized steel is widely used in applications where corrosion resistance is needed without the cost of stainless steel. Like all other corrosion protection systems, galvanizing protects steel by acting as a barrier between steel and the atmosphere.

Galvanized Steel – “Steel coated with a thin layer of zinc to provide corrosion resistance in underbody auto parts, garbage cans, storage tanks, or fencing wire. Sheet steel normally must be cold-rolled prior to the galvanizing stage. HOT-DIPPED. Steel is run through a molten zinc coating bath, followed by an air stream “”wipe”” that controls the thickness of the zinc finish.

Galvannealed – combined process of galvanizing and annealing steel to produce specialized sheets of steel. Galvanneal does not flake off its galvanized coating when formed, stamped, and bent. Galvanneal sheets offer good paintability, weldability, corrosion resistance, and formability. It is extensively used in the automotive, signage, electric equipment, and other industries requiring a metal with good paintability and long reliable service life.

Gauge – The thickness of sheet steel.

Gauge Tolerance – A range by which a product’s gauge can deviate from those ordered and still meet the order’s requirements. A minimum to maximum thickness allowed for specific specification.

View our Gauge Chart here

Grade – The term grade designates divisions within different types based on carbon content or mechanical properties; range from Extra Deep Drawing Steel to Ultra High Strength.


Hand Shears – A piece of equipment used in cutting steel plate.

At MVSS we have 3 Hand Shears to support any size order. Visit our Shear page to learn more or to see them in action.


Heat – The total amount of metal produced which can be represented by one analysis sample and one set of mechanical tests. Heat Number given to each batch of steel for traceability.

High Strength Low Alloy – (HSLA) A specific group of steel in which higher strength is coupled with improved formability, are obtained by moderate amounts of one or more alloying elements such as columbium, vanadium, titanium, used alone or in combination.

Hot-Rolled Steel (Hot Band) – A coil of steel rolled on a hot-strip mill (hot-rolled steel). It can be sold in this form to customers or further processed into other finished products.

Hot Roll, P&O – metal surface treatment used to remove impurities, such as stains, inorganic contaminants, rust or scale from ferrous metals, copper, precious metals and aluminum alloys. A solution called pickle liquor, which contains strong acids, is used to remove the surface impurities. During the pickling process the material is often oiled to add a protective barrier once the surface scale has been eliminated.

Hot-dip coating – A metallic coating obtained by dipping the substrate into molten metal.

Half Hard Temper – In low carbon cold-rolled strip steel, produced by cold rolling to a hardness next to but somewhat softer than full hard temper. Typical Rockwell requirement is 70-85 on the B scale.


ID – Inside diameter (of a coil).

Integrated Mills – The principal raw materials for an integrated mill are iron ore, limestone, scrap, and coal (or coke). These materials are charged in batches in a blast furnace where the raw materials are converted to liquid iron (also called pig iron). The material is then moved to a basic oxygen furnace (BOF) for final chemistry refinement. Material is poured into a thick slab and is cooled for future rolling. Slabs must be reheated in ovens to be rolled down to a final thickness.

Iron (chemical symbol Fe) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Iron Ore – 1 of 3 raw materials in steel making in integrated mills.


Knives – Circular metal discs that rotate on the slitter to sidetrim a coil to customer’s spec. The distance between them determines the width of the coil.

At MVSS we take great pride in our tooling and equipment. Unlike many service centers we rotate and sharpen our tooling in house to make sure we are giving our customers the best slit product on the market, every time.


Lead-Time – The time to produce a customer’s order from order placement to shipment.

Leveling Line – A process to flatten any shape deficiencies (wavy edges and buckles) in the sheet, prior to final shipment.

At MVSS we have leveling lines on both our slitters and cut-to-length lines. Whether we are running sheets or slitting steel at 1,000 feet per minute, you can be sure we are committed to keeping your steel flat.

Low Carbon Steels – Contain from 0.10 to 0.30% carbon and less than 0.60% manganese.

Lamination – An abnormal structure resulting in a separation or weakness aligned generally parallel to the worked surface of the metal.

LTL – Less than truck load. Loads less than 40,000 lbs or 20 tons.

MVSS specializes in less than truck load deliveries, with frequent orders of under 4 tons.


Manganese (Chemical symbol Mn) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Master Coil – A wide roll of coiled steel from a steel mill which will be slit into multiple narrower coils. 

Matte Finish – Standard finish of Cold Rolled Steel.

Mechanical Properties – Also known as physical properties which include reporting of things such as TYEs

MVSS is one of the few service centers that has a full service in-house material testing lab.

– The science and technology of metals, a broad field that includes but is not limited to the study of internal structures and properties of metals and the effects on them of various processing methods.

Micrometer – A device used to measure thickness.

Mild Steel – Steel containing a small percentage of carbon, strong and tough but not readily tempered.

Mill Edge – A natural edge processed on hot band products that has not been side trimmed.

Mini-Mills – Obtains most of its iron from scrap steel recycled from used automobiles and equipment or by-products of manufacturing. Material is melted in an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Material is continuously cast from the ladle into a slab form and while still heated is rolled to a final sheet product.

Molybdenum (Chemical symbol Mo) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Mult – A “mult” is the term used to describe the slitting of a coil into multiple smaller strips.


Nickel (Chemical symbol Ni) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Niobium (Chemcial symbol Nb) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Nitrogen (Chemical symbol N) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.


OD – Outer Diameter of a coil

Oiled – A product to which oil has been applied to retard rusting.

Oscillated Wound – A method of even winding metal strip on to a reel or mandrel wherein the strands are uniformly over-lapped. Sometimes termed stagger wound or vibrated wound. The opposite of ribbon wound.

Visit our Tishkin page for more information on our Oscillated capabilities 



Phosphorus (Chemical symbol P) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis

Pickling – Removing surface oxides from metals by chemical or electrochemical reaction.

Pig Iron – The name for the melted iron produced in a blast furnace.

(PIW) – Designates pounds per inches wide of a coil. Determined by taking the coil weight and dividing by the width (Example 5,400 lbs. coil at 45” wide = 120 PIW). View our PIW Chart here. 

Pre-Paint – To paint a product in coil form and then manufacture it into a final part.

psi – Pounds per square inch.

Pup Coil – A coil that has a small PIW, OD is generally under 36 inches.


Quality – Refers to the suitability and integrity of the steel for the purpose or purposes for which it is intended.

Our quality policy “Quality is when the customer comes back and the steel doesn’t”

Quarter Hard (No. 3 Temper)
– In low carbon cold-rolled strip steel, produced by cold rolling to hardness next to but somewhat softer than full hard temper. Typical Rockwell requirement is 60-75 on the B scale.


Rockwell – (Hardness Tester) A device used to determine the surface hardness of the steel


SAE – Abbreviation for Society of Automotive Engineers. This organization has specified common and alloy steels and copper base alloys in accordance with a numerical index system allowing approximation of the composition of the metal. The last two digits always indicate the carbon content, usually within 0.05%.

Scale – The oxidized surface of steel produced during hot working, as in rolling, and exposure to air or steam at elevated temperature.

Scrap (Ferrous) – See “Ferrous Scrap”

Secondary Coils – Coils not sold as prime (also known as excess material).

Shear – A type of cutting operation in which the metal object is cut by means of a moving blade and fixed edge or by a pair of moving blades that may be either flat or curved.
Visit our Shear Page for more information


Sheets – See “Steel Sheets”

Silicon (Chemical symbol Si) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.

Slit Edge – The edge of a coil or sheet after being fed through highly tempered knives located on the slitter head. The edge of the slit coils has tighter tolerances than normal mill-run edges.

Slitting – Cutting a sheet of steel into narrower strips to match customer needs. Because steel mills have limited flexibility as to the widths of the sheet that they produce, service centers normally will cut the sheet for the customer.
At MVSS we have more than a few ways to slit steel to fit your needs


Spangle – Finish achieved when zinc is allowed to “freeze” naturally on the sheet – galvanize.

Steel – Generally hard, strong, durable, malleable alloy of iron and carbon.

Steel Sheet – A rolled product that is rectangular in cross section with thickness less than 0.250 inch but not less than 0.006 inch and with slit, sheared or sawed edges.

Sulfur (Chemical symbol S) – Chemistry commonly found in a low carbon steel heat analysis.


Temper – A condition produced in a metal or alloy by mechanical or thermal treatment and having characteristics structure and mechanical properties. A given alloy may be in the fully softened or annealed temper, or it may be cold worked to the hard temper, or further to spring temper. Intermediate tempers produced by cold working (rolling or drawing) are called “quarter hard”, “half-hard” and “three quarters hard”, and are determined by the amount of cold reduction and the resulting tensile properties.

Tensile Strength – The maximum stress in uniaxial tension testing which a material will withstand prior to fracture. The ultimate tensile strength is calculated from the maximum load applied during the test divided by the original cross-sectional area.

Truckload – quantities of steel that amount to as much as 44,000 pounds each, which is the standard weight limit on U.S. highways.


Unexposed – Indicates that the material is to be used for an unexposed part for which surface finish is not of primary importance.


Vacuum Degassing – An advanced steel refining facility that removes oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen under low pressures (in a vacuum) to produce ultra-low-carbon steel for demanding electrical and automotive applications. Normally performed in the ladle, the removal of dissolved gases results in cleaner, higher-quality, more pure steel


White Rust – A coating metal oxide, such as zinc oxide, which develops when the oxygen in the atmosphere mixes with the coating material (such as galvanized coating).


X-Ray Gauge Unit – Equipment used to measure thickness of steel. The unit is positioned across the width of the strip on the entry end of the line.


Yield of a coil – Yield of coil is the expected ship weight of a single coil or bundle of a particular type of steel.

Yield Strength – The stress at which a material exhibits a specified limiting deviation from the proportionality of stress to strain. The deviation is expressed in terms of strain. Also known as proof stress.


Zinc (Chemical symbol Zn) – Zinc is used to coat steel to improve corrosion resistance. There is a direct correlation between the amount of zinc (coating weight) and the rate at which the atmosphere will break down the zinc.


Under Construction – Definitions added regularly!