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6 08, 2020

Steel and Recycling: Fun Facts!

2020-08-06T19:53:22+00:00 August 6th, 2020|News Blog|

Here at National Material Company, we thought we’d pause, reflect, and share some good news and fun, interesting facts about the steel industry.

In 2016, Azo CleanTech reported that steel is the most recycled material in North America. The metal comes not only from cans but also from construction scraps, automobiles, and appliances, and it can be turned right back into steel that can be used in the same applications.

Recycling is at the core of the steel industry’s commitment to sustainability. According to steel.org, the North American steel-making furnaces “consume nearly 70 million tons of domestic steel scrap in the production of new steel.” By using steel scrap to make new steel, the North American steel industry conserves energy, emissions, raw materials, and natural resources. This commitment drives the reduction of steel’s environmental footprint, while producing advanced, highly-recycled steel products that meet an advancing society’s needs.

Here are some fun facts about steel and recycling:

  • Steel products can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength.
  • Recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power about 18 million households for a year.
  • More than 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year in North America.
  • For every ton of steel recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.
  • Almost 69 percent of all steel is recycled in North America each year – more than paper, aluminum, plastic, & glass combined. North America’s average steel recycling rate has been in excess of 60 percent since 1970.
  • More than 95 percent of the water used for making steel in North America is recycled.
  • One scrapped car produces more than four steel utility poles.
  • 95 percent of the steel taken from commercial construction demolition sites was recycled and made into new steel products in 2002.
  • 100 percent of a steel roof can be recycled. Asphalt roofs – zero percent. (Steel roofs provide your family with excellent protection against wind, water, snow, ice, and fire and are even hail-resistant. Asphalt roofs actually weigh twice as much as steel roofs. Steel roofs can last over 50 years, while traditional roofs last only 17 years!
  • Steel food cans are the most recycled food package. 24,000 community recycling programs in North America collect steel cans. Canned food is as nutritious as its fresh and frozen counterparts upon preparation! Canned goods do not contain preservatives!!
  • All 99 pounds of steel in the average major appliance can be recycled to make
    new steel products.

Also, according to Utah Recycles, there are many more encouraging examples of how the steel industry’s commitment to recycling is helping to save the planet. Steel only takes up to 100 years to fully decompose in a landfill, whereas it takes plastic 1000 years to break down (aluminum can take 200 years, tin can take decades)! Recycling steel takes 25% less energy and creates only 25% of the water and air pollution required to produce steel from raw materials. About 70% of all metal is […]

15 07, 2020

Steel Breakdown: Types, Classifications, and Numbering Systems

2020-07-15T20:37:01+00:00 July 15th, 2020|News Blog|

Metal processing machinery with orange sparks flying off in a spiral-like motion

In this blog, we will take an in-depth look at some of the most common categories of steel, what makes them different, and what to consider when deciding which type of steel is right for you.

Four Types of Steel

According to the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI), steel can be categorized into four basic groups based on the chemical compositions:
1. Carbon steel
2. Alloy steel
3. Stainless steel
4. Tool steel

All steel is composed of iron and carbon. It is the amount of carbon, and the additional alloys, that determine the properties of each grade. There are many different grades of steel that encompass varied properties. These properties can be physical, chemical, and environmental. Let’s take a closer look!

Carbon steels contain trace amounts of alloying elements and account for 90% of total steel production. Carbon steels can be further categorized into three groups depending on their carbon content:

● Low carbon steels/mild steels contain up to 0.3% carbon
● Medium carbon steels contain 0.3-0.6% carbon
● High carbon steels contain more than 0.6% carbon

Alloy steels contain alloying elements (e.g. manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium, and aluminum) in varying proportions in order to manipulate the steel’s properties, such as its hardenability, corrosion resistance, strength, formability, weldability, or ductility. Applications for alloy steels include pipelines, auto parts, transformers, power generators, and electric motors.

Stainless steels generally contain between 10-20% chromium as the main alloying element and are valued for high corrosion resistance. With over 11% chromium, stainless steel is about 200 times more resistant to corrosion than mild steel. These steels can be divided into three groups based on their crystalline structure:

Austenitic: Austenitic steels are non-magnetic and non-heat-treatable, and generally contain 18% chromium, 8% nickel, and less than 0.8% carbon. Austenitic steels form the largest portion of the global stainless steel market and are often used in food processing equipment, kitchen utensils, and piping.
Ferritic: Ferritic steels contain trace amounts of nickel, 12-17% chromium, less than 0.1% carbon, along with other alloying elements, such as molybdenum, aluminum, or titanium. These magnetic steels cannot be hardened by heat treatment but can be strengthened by cold working.

Martensitic: Martensitic steels contain 11-17% chromium, less than 0.4% nickel, and up to 1.2% carbon. These magnetic and heat-treatable steels are used in knives and cutting tools, as well as dental and surgical equipment.

Tool steels contain tungsten, molybdenum, cobalt, and vanadium in varying quantities to increase heat resistance and durability, making them ideal for cutting and drilling equipment.
Steel products can also be divided by their shapes and related applications:

Long/tubular products: These include bars and rods, rails, wires, angles, pipes, and shapes and sections. These products are commonly used in the automotive and construction sectors.

Flat products: These include plates, sheets, coils, and strips. These materials are mainly used in automotive parts, appliances, packaging, shipbuilding, and construction.
Other products include valves, fittings, and flanges and are mainly used as piping materials.


Types of steel can […]

15 06, 2020

How to Choose Your Toll Processor

2020-07-15T20:49:18+00:00 June 15th, 2020|News Blog, NMC Media|

3D rendering of various modes of transporation delivering steel coils.

Toll Processing and Cost Efficiency


Toll processing can be defined as performing a service on a customer’s product for a fee. In other words, the steel mill, end-user, or trading partner will make or purchase the material and ship the product to a processing facility. The processor will then work the material according to the customer specifications, then deliver the processed material to the destination directed by the customer.

The concept of outsourcing business support is a trend that is gaining in popularity. Company owners are making the decision to utilize toll processors primarily because it’s cost efficient. A materials processing service provider can move a project from the development stage all the way to full scale production. Also, a growing business might lack the facilities, manpower, storage space, or time required to process the necessary materials for their products, leading to shortfalls in efficiency and delivery. Additionally, toll processing service centers have experience and have made significant investments in equipment that can help take a project from concept to completion seamlessly.


Toll Processors as Consultants and Other Benefits of Toll Processing


As mentioned above, most companies choose to use a toll processor for cost efficiency. However, there are many additional benefits of having your steel products processed by a toll processing company. For example, toll processing companies can be very good consultants. Typically a “toller“ has processed a wide variety of materials under many conditions. This experience has curated a wealth of knowledge concerning the many twists and turns associated with processing various materials. Toll processors can offer the contracting company important information, including anticipating potential challenges that might be encountered when processing specific types of material. This information can prove very valuable in helping you to decide the best method in reaching your goals for a given size distribution, moisture content, or quality control procedure.

Other benefits of toll processing:

  • Faster time to completion.
  • Opportunity to expand your network by working with experienced professionals.
  • No capital investment or depreciation.
  • No detailed engineering requirements.
  • No floor space required.
  • No maintenance requirement.
  • No spare parts requirement.
  • No additional personnel required.
  • No new permits required for dust house discharge.
  • Quick turnaround times/no extended lead time for delivery or installation.
  • No advanced engineering skills necessary.
  • No additional permits.
  • No equipment-related maintenance expenses.
  • Freedom to adjust production levels at any time.

steel coils.

National Material Company: The Right Toll Processor for You

When looking for a company to contract with, consider a few key factors. Your chosen toll processor will become the link between you, your customers, and your product – a choice to not be taken lightly. Select a company that will not only make your manufacturing processes easier, but also a company that can reduce risk, add to your bottom line, and put you ahead of the competition. Your toll processor should have supply chain management experience, and have a quality assurance program and control procedures in place.

National Material Company (NMC) […]

7 02, 2020

Galvanizing vs. Galvannealing 101

2020-02-11T00:38:14+00:00 February 7th, 2020|News Blog|

Infographic highlighting differences and applications between Galvanizing vs. Galvannealing described in the article’s written content, with an additional “call out” that reads, “Did you know NMC provides G235 coating thickness, excellent for infrastructure and agricultural projects?”

Galvanized and galvannealed steel are popular and useful steels because of their flexibility, durability, and ability to be applicable to a variety of projects. Both steels can be a good match for many industries. See our infographic for their primary differences and applications.

For more information, visit our Galvanized Steel page. National Material Company continues to further increase our stake on the domestic and international steel industry by providing only the highest quality products to ensure the success of your next project.

About National Material L.P. – National Material L.P. (“NMLP”) and its affiliates have a long history of quality and service dating back to 1964. Since its founding, the company has grown to over 30 business units and is now one of the largest privately held suppliers of metal related products in North America. NMLP currently consists of the Steel Group, Stainless and Alloys Group, Raw Material Trading Group, Aluminum Group, and Related Operations.

If you believe your company can benefit from our services, please visit us at nationalmaterial.com or email us at nmcsales@nmlp.com to discuss how we can be of service.

30 07, 2019

NMC’s Steel Processing Capabilities

2019-09-12T20:08:50+00:00 July 30th, 2019|News Blog, NMC Media|

As the leader in steel processing capabilities, supply chain management, and inventory control, NMC is the perfect choice for any customer in search of the best experience possible. A dedicated work force, state-of-the-art slitters, cut-to-length lines and warehouse storage capabilities make NMC the premiere steel manufacturing company in North America. Locations throughout The United States and Mexico offer a logistic advantage resulting in a more efficient service to conserve our customer’s most valuable resource: cost.

NMC’s Steel Processing Capabilities Infographic