A producer of intermediate products that does not also produce
primary metal. For example, a rebar (see Reinforcing Bar)
fabricator purchases rebar and processes the material to the
specifications of a particular construction project.
An accounting rule established in 1990 that requires companies
to change their accounting for the cost of their retirees'
future nonpension benefits (life insurance and health services).
What were once "pay as you go" or "cash basis" expense items
were changed to an accrual basis. Such costs are now recognized
during the employees' working years.
When the steel companies shifted to the new accounting rule,
most companies charged the "catch-up" to equity in large one-time
write-downs as they established the new liabilities on their
An accounting rule for deferred taxes that requires companies
to explain within their financial statements the difference
between the tax expense found on the income statement and
the check actually sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
(This rule superseded FAS 96 and APB 11.)
Some steel companies carry net operating losses (NOLs) on
their balance sheets as assets that can be used to offset
future taxes. Under the rules of FAS 109, however, a valuation
allowance may be recorded to reduce these NOLs unless there
is a high probability that they will be used.
A process to directly reduce iron ore to metallic iron pellets
that can be fed into an electric arc furnace with an equal
amount of scrap. This process is designed to bypass the coke
oven-blast furnace route to produce hot metal from iron ore.
It is also one of several methods that mini-mills might use
to reduce their dependence on high-quality scrap inputs (see
Direct Reduced Iron and Hot Briquetted Iron).
Any raw material.
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. Two of the most common grades are type 430 (general-purpose
grade for many applications, including decorative ones) and
type 409 (low-cost grade well suited to withstanding high
A metal product commonly used as a raw material feed in steelmaking,
usually containing iron and other metals, to aid various stages
of the steelmaking process such as deoxidation, desulfurization,
and adding strength. Examples: ferrochrome, ferromanganese,
An alloy of iron and chromium with up to 72% chromium. Ferrochrome
is commonly used as a raw material in the making of stainless
Metals that consist primarily of iron.
(See Alloy Steel )
The process reduces iron ore fines with gas in a descending
series of fluidized bed reactors. The reduced iron is hot
The surface appearance of steel after final treatment.
The portion of the steelmaking complex that processes semi-finished
steel (slabs or billets) into forms that can be used by others.
Finishing operations can include rolling mills, pickle lines,
tandem mills, annealing facilities, and temper mills.
Category of steel that includes Sheet, Strip, and Tin Plate,
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.
FREIGHT ON BOARD PRICING. Phrase
that explains whether the transportation costs of the steel
are included. "FOB Mill" is the price of steel at the mill,
not including shipping.
FREIGHT EQUALIZATION. A common
industry practice when a mill sells steel outside its geographic
area; it will assume any extra shipping costs (relative to
the competition) to quote the customer an equivalent price
to get the business.