Sunday, December 29, 2013

Overview of the Steelmaking Process

If you have ever wondered about how steel is made, there are a few things you should know about the process. Before steel was invented (and prior to the days of being able to simply visit the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel to get whatever you need), iron was used to fashion several different items, including weapons, housewares, gates, and more. In the mid-1800s Henry Bessemer invented the Bessemer process, which added oxygen to the process and created steel. Today steel is still made using the Bessemer process, but it can also be done with the Siemens open hearth, electric arc, high frequency, or even the crucible process.

Bessemer Process

One of the oldest, and still very reliable, processes for making steel is the Bessemer process, which was perfected and brought into mainstream use in the mid- to late-1800s. This method uses an egg-shaped converter with several ton capacity to blow air through iron from the mouth of the converter and create steel. The acid Bessemer process (versus the basic process) was, for the most part, replaced by the acid open-hearth process, which was then replaced again by the electric arc process. There is a short window of only about 25 minutes when the steel is in the furnace, which makes it more difficult to get it just right.

Open Hearth Process
The Siemens open hearth process, which also has an acid and basic variety, uses oil or natural gas to supply the heat for melting and working the charge. Raw materials, including cold or molten pig iron, scrap, and lime are in the furnace for anywhere from 6 to 14 hours, which makes it easier to control the outcome than in the Bessemer process.

Electric Arc Method
This method begins with heat generated from electric arcs struck between carbon electrodes and a metal bath. Steel scrap is melted to remove phosphorus and sulphur, and deoxidize it in the furnace. What remains is a purified steel, which is very high quality as long as there is very little gas absorption and the proper temperature is maintained. This processes is often used today to create highly alloyed steels, such as stainless steel or heat-resisting steel. For some special alloys, the electric arc method is combined with vacuum degassing, which removes hydrogen, atmospheric and volatile impurities for an exceptional quality steel.

Crucible and High Frequency
The crucible method was developed centuries ago, and refers to the process of making steel using a crucible, refining steel that has been consolidated and melting it to become more uniform. It has been replaced in most cases by the high frequency method, where heat is generated in the metal by eddy currents from a magnetic field. When the frequency increases, eddy currents travel closer to the surface of the charge and develop heat to carry the current. The high frequency method is advantageous for eliminating contamination, so high quality steels such as magnet, die, tool steel, and ball bearing steel can be made economically.

Next Steps

Once the steel is made, the next step is to create whatever end-user product you intend to get from the steel. Here are some examples of the different types of steel that are made, and you can find these end-user products at Wasatch Steel:

  • Hot or cold strip steel – used for cars and consumer goods
  • Coils – used for ship building and welded pipes
  • Hot rolled bars – often used for rebar
  • Rods – for wire, nuts, and bolts
  • Tube rounds – for use in making pipes
  • Structural steel – for use in construction and similar applications
  • Rails – for use building railroads 
When you need steel, you can find all the different types of end-user steel products at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel.

Benefits of Using Powder Coating for Steel

Many people choose to work with steel over other metals because it offers several advantages that not all metals can provide. It is an extremely durable and strong metal, and also very lightweight so it is a cost-effective option. Finally, it’s extremely customizable and even recyclable, so you can get exactly the steel you want from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel while still being earth-friendly. Powder coating is one finish that you can use for steel that allows you to customize the color of your steel and protect it, and there are several benefits to using this process.

What is Powder Coating?
The process of powder coating uses a dry powdered paint compound that fuses together to create a paint finish on your steel from Wasatch Steel that is durable and long-lasting. During the process, electrostatically charged powder particles are sprayed at a low velocity from a paint gun, and the electrostatic charge keeps the paint particles on the surface; these specialized pigments, resins, and fillers then fuse together during a high-temperature curing process (which can be 350 degrees or more).

Benefits of Powder Coating
Durability. One of the main benefits of using a powder coating on steel is corrosion resistance. Over time, when steel is exposed to the elements, it can corrode over time. It is a strong and durable metal, but in order to preserve it and keep it strong for many years, you want to prevent water from damaging the steel. It is also resistant to cracking and peeling, which makes it ideal for many different applications.

Environmentally Friendly. Another reason that many people prefer to use powder coating over other options for protecting steel is that it is an environmentally-friendly process. There are no chemicals or other solvents used during the process, which is different from using wet paint systems on steel. Powder coating processes use electrostatic charges to hold the paint on instead of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), so you don’t have emissions problems.

Versatility. There are hundreds of different paint colors and textures that you can use with powder coating, and it can be used for almost any kind of steel that you can get at Wasatch Steel, as long as it can hold an electrostatic charge and tolerate the high level of heat used in the curing process. Everything from mild steel to galvanized and electroplated steel, as well as stainless steel and most steel alloys can be powder coated.

Keys to Good Powder Coating

In order to get the best powder coating, there are a few things to consider:
  • First, do you have experienced technicians to help finish the project with high quality and in a timely manner?
  • Second, are you using high quality paint so you get a good finish every time?
  • Third, will your project require disassembly in order to do the powder coating? If so, you need to make sure you can complete the tear down service, or you work with someone who can disassemble it in a timely manner.
Once you have these questions answered, you can get your steel from the steel supermarket powder coated so it looks great and is protected for the future.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Benefits of Using Steel to Reinforce Buildings

When you are in charge of building construction, there are several different things that you think about during the construction phase—not only do you want to create buildings that are sustainable and affordable, you also want buildings that are durable and can stand the test of time. When it comes to construction materials, using steel reinforced concrete is the best way to achieve both. Here are some of the benefits of this building material.

Durability and Longevity
Any structural building needs to be both aesthetically pleasing and durable, and steel reinforced concrete, made with raw materials from Wasatch Steel, can be both. Because steel has extremely high tensile strength and can withstand many of the forces of time, it eliminates the need to build new structures in future years.

Today’s building codes require that any structure is able to withstand whatever natural disasters might come, which include floods, earthquakes, and (although rare) even tornadoes in the state of Utah. If you use another material, or just decide to use concrete alone without any additional reinforcement, the building will likely not meet building codes and will not provide the safety that its occupants want.

Resisting Fire
In addition to natural disasters, steel reinforced concrete is a great way to increase the ability of a building to withstand damage from fire. Steel and concrete can get extremely hot before melting, making them ideal for buildings that need to meet even stringent fire codes without requiring any additional fireproofing applications, which can add to the cost of your building project.

Good for the Environment
Steel reinforced concrete is a very efficient building material to use, since concrete has the ability to absorb more heat throughout the day and release it during the evening hours. The result is a reduction in heating costs for your building. In addition, since steel is one of the lightest metals available, getting it to and from your worksite is even good for the environment. It costs less to get the materials from Wasatch Steel to your building site, which means you can feel good about helping to save the environment and you can also help keep your project’s budget on track with steel reinforced concrete.

With improvements in the steel production and concrete manufacturing, many green building programs, particularly the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program, recognizes it as a good way to achieve environmentally-friendly building designs.

Minimal Maintenance
Its durability also means that steel requires very little maintenance in the long term. Your building will withstand the elements of everyday wear and tear without needing additional fixes or harsh chemicals for patching problems.

Building Aesthetics
Steel reinforced concrete also offers builders the opportunity to create beautiful designs without compromising in any area of maintenance, sustainability, durability, and energy efficiency. The strength of steel allows for buildings to have more open space for interior layouts and gives building owners the options to modify and expand the existing space, creating more or fewer offices to generate revenue and accommodate different tenants.

Materials from Wasatch Steel allow builders the opportunity to create the perfect space no matter what the building demands.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Using Steel for Your Holiday Décor

Part of the fun of the holiday season is decorating the house for the season to come. If you are getting tired of the more traditional decorations that you can find at every craft store and department store in town, perhaps it’s time to look for a little more unique décor by shopping at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel. Here are some ways you can use steel for distinctive and beautiful holiday decorating.

Steel Christmas Trees
You can make just about anything into a Christmas tree these days, and if you want to create some beautiful trees to put around your house, think about doing it with steel. Whether you pick up a sheet of steel to create a flat tree cut-out, use the same steel sheet to create a steel cone that you can decorate with paint, glitter, sequins, or another artistic design.

You can even cut shapes into the steel and put candles or lights inside for a pre-lit Christmas tree you can put on the mantel, on a side table in your entry or living room, or use as a great centerpiece for your holiday table. Put several trees of varying sizes and shapes together to create a visually interesting winter landscape.

Santa’s Reindeer
If you are the artistic type, or you are good in metalworking, you can find several smaller pieces at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel to build your own reindeer. Get creative and build them from non-traditional metal pieces, such as round or square metal tubing, giving them an abstract look that sets them apart from the usual reindeer that you see in every store. You can combine them with trees to make a beautiful Christmas scene on your mantel or table.

Steel Ornaments
If you’re struggling to figure out what to get for that person who is hard to shop for, visit Wasatch Steel to find some of the odds and ends to make into a beautiful Christmas ornament. You can create just about anything you can imagine with the huge selection of steel and iron available from their store.

Candle Holders
There is nothing that captures the warmth and magic of the holiday season quite like candlelight, but if you’re tired of seeing the same old candleholders year after year, think about making some of your own this year. You could use steel spindles that are traditionally designed for staircase railings to make heavy-duty candleholders, or take a sheet of metal and wrap it in a circle, cut out some holiday-themed designs, and make votive holders.

Window Decorations
Another idea for this year’s holiday décor is to create some visually interesting window displays. Start with some basic steel and ribbon, and build a hanging window frame with an ornament in the middle. Steel is perfect because it can be painted any color that you want to match all your holiday decorations.

There are endless ways you can use steel to spruce up your holiday look this year. If you find that you want something that is out of the ordinary to make your home ready for the season, stop by Wasatch Steel to see what treasures you can find.

Essential Tools for Working with Steel

When it comes to working with steel, there are a lot of things that you need to make it happen—not the least of which is the right type of steel, which you can find in a huge selection at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel—but if you don’t have the right tools, you won’t be able to create what you want out of the steel you do have. Here are some of the most common tools that you might need for your next steel working adventures.

One of the advantages of shopping at Wasatch Steel is that you can often find some of the basic tools you will need right at our warehouse in the front office. We have a big selection of tools that you can check out, so you get a one-stop-shop for both your steel and your tools.

Fabrication Tools
For many different metalworking applications, you may need a lathe and lathe accessories, which gives you the option to do several different tasks with your metal while it rotates symmetrically on an axis, including cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, facing, turning, and more.

Other fabrication tools to consider include pipe and bar fabrication, beginning with pipe threaders, pipe and bar benders, pipe bender accessories, and tube notchers. These can help when you need to do extensive work with pipes or tubes. If you are working with sheet metal, the tools you might need include English wheels, planishing hammers, combination benders, manual bending brakes, metal shears, and slip rollers.

Fabrication accessories to consider include a bench rotary machine, fastener kit, body hammer and dolly kit, and bearing splitter set.

Cutting & Pressing Tools
If you have steel that you need to cut, you’ll want to have the right tools to create the shapes that you desire. That might include cutting the steel with a band saw, which comes in both a portable and stationary variety. You can also find presses, such as a drill press to create the perfect holes in your steel, or if you are looking for a way to press in bearing and shafts, an arbor press might be a good option. If you are serious about the metalworking you plan to do, you can also invest in a larger hydraulic press or pneumatic press for shearing, punching, bending, forming, drawing, extruding, and assembly work that you do.

Blacksmith Tools
There are also a wide variety of blacksmith tools that could come in handy during your next job, both for small and large projects. Some of today’s blacksmith tools have come a long way since the days of the original smiths, while others are still similar to the original tools to do the work by hand. They include gas forces, a blacksmith pein, tongs, punches, swages, mandrels, scrolling wrenches, metal finishes and sealers, and of course, protective gear to keep your hands, eyes, and body safe while you work with hot metal.

Smoothing & Finishing Tools
Once you have the steel cut the way you want it, the next step is to smooth it out so you can create the perfect look. That might include deburring and polishing tools that can smooth out the work that you do with the drill press and punching tools. You may also need sanding discs and belts, belt grinders, abrasive wheels, or sandpaper, sanding hand pads and sponges if you intend to do it by hand.

Finding the right tools is the key to ensuring that your metalworking is done well. You can find some of the tools, and all the metal you need for your next project at Wasatch Steel.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

5 Steel Accents that Can Improve Your Home

There are a lot of different things that people do to improve the look of their home, but it doesn’t always require a whole remodeling project just to get a new style. There are several ways that you can use steel to update the look of your home quickly and easily, and it doesn’t require a major contractor’s license to get it done. Start at Wasatch Steel to find all the materials you need for steel home accents.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Accents
One place that stainless steel has become tremendously popular is in the kitchen. There are a couple of different ways you can implement steel in your kitchen’s look, both for classic styles and contemporary designs. If you want to go for a modern look, you can use exposed steel such as steel I-beams or ductwork. You can also use steel to build a range hood or install counter accents that match your stainless steel appliances, or install a backsplash with pre-cut steel tiles or individual metal pieces for a truly unique look.

Steel Stair Railings
Another simple way to bring steel to your home is with a new staircase railing. You can get both traditional iron or stainless steel for a more industrial look, depending on whether you prefer to have a classic or modern feel in your home. Wasatch Steel finds the best in new, used, and excess prime steel, and offers a variety of different shapes and sizes for stair railings that you won’t find anywhere else, including basic shapes, floral, nature-shaped spindles, and more.

Steel Lighting
Lighting can have a big impact on every room, and using steel to create unique and beautiful lighting can highlight the best features of your home. If you don’t want to have the same look as all your neighbors, find interesting and artistic pieces of steel at Wasatch Steel to build your own lamps and ceiling lighting for your dining, kitchen, entryways, and bedrooms.

Stainless Steel Shelves
Get creative with your storage by building stainless steel shelving. You can create something industrial, or more traditional depending on the type of steel you use for your shelves. Brand new stainless steel shelving can give your home a modern feel, while iron can have a more classic feel to it. You can build the shelves into your walls, or create a metal shelf that can be moved around to different places for the perfect storage solution. Plus steel can easily be painted to match your room, so you can get a beautiful style for any area of your home.

Steel Artwork
You don’t have to be an artist to create metal artwork for your home décor. Finding unique pieces of metal at Wasatch Steel and putting them together for a beautiful piece of art is something that can set your home apart. If you are an artist, Wasatch Steel has some of the most unique pieces of metal that you will find anywhere, in a variety of grades, materials, and colors, to enhance every piece of artwork that you create.

Come to Wasatch Steel for the biggest selection of options to accent your home.

Buying from a Steel Wholesaler Versus a Steel Mill

If you have ever worked with steel, you are probably familiar with the different ways that you can purchase steel—either from a wholesaler, or directly from a steel mill. There are some key differences between purchasing from the two, and it’s important to understand the benefits of each so you can get the steel you need for your next project.

The Need for Steel
Our world today relies on steel as a primary metal for building much of the things that we use every day, from the roads we travel on to the appliances in our homes. It has long been used in commercial construction, and today is increasingly popular for residential construction as well. Millions of companies use steel in their manufacturing processes, and many do-it-yourself enthusiasts enjoy the durability and strength of steel.

Buying from a Steel Mill
There are a few major competitors in the steel market, primarily large steel mills that include Reliance Steel & Aluminum, Ryerson, and Schnitzer Steel Industries in the U.S., China Minmetals, Salzgitter in Germany, and Sojitz in Japan. Buying directly from a steel mill can benefit some companies, especially those that use a high volume of steel in their everyday operations. However, a steel mill will generally only ship in truckloads, which can be 20 to 24 tons, and can require lead order times up to two months or more, plus you will be limited to a very small range of sizes.

Buying from Wasatch Steel
If your business or personal steel needs don’t reach the threshold of ordering 24 tons of steel at a time, or you need something more specialized, the best way to get steel is from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel. Almost half of all the steel sold in the U.S. is sold through distributors like Wasatch Steel.

One of the main reasons to purchase from Wasatch Steel is the variety of products available. Depending on your application, you may need steel sheets, rods, plates, bars, tubes, or beams. You may require these items in different sizes, thicknesses, and grades in order to get just the right materials for every project.

Another reason to buy from Wasatch Steel is the level of customer service available. With all of our steel selection available in easy-to-find lengths, widths, and thicknesses, shopping for steel is as easy as shopping for groceries at your local supermarket. Plus we have friendly and knowledgeable employees who can help you get exactly what you’re looking for, even if you’re not quite sure what you need when you arrive. If we don’t have what you need, we can even cut steel to your exact specifications, often while you wait, so you get convenient and fast service and leave with everything you need for your next project.

Finally, Wasatch Steel offers you the ability to buy steel at an affordable price. We search all over the U.S. for the best deals on new, used, and excess prime steel so you can find the perfect pieces, whether they are standard sizes, or odds and ends, for your steel creations. Come find out why buying from Wasatch Steel is better.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Update Your Kitchen with Steel

Remodeling your kitchen is a great way to spruce up your home and make it look new again, but sometimes a full remodel is not really in your budget. When that happens, there are still ways you can spruce up your living space with smaller and simpler do-it-yourself projects that can really bring your kitchen to life. Here are a few ways you can update your kitchen’s look with items from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel.

Getting the Perfect Look
One of the keys to using stainless steel, or any kind of steel in your kitchen is to make sure you get the right look. Steel is not exactly the warmest or most charming decorative accent, so it’s important that you figure out exactly the look you’re going for in advance. If you want to create a modern or contemporary feel, going with steel on its own or in combination with other metals can definitely accomplish this. If you want to preserve some warmth and charm, combine steel kitchen accents with natural woods and earth tones to keep it from becoming too out of balance.

Steel Backsplashes
Creating a backsplash doesn’t mean you have to lay your own tile. Many people today are experimenting with other materials, such as steel, which can instantly transform your dull kitchen walls into an array of light and reflection. You can go with standardized backsplash tiles, or find something unique at the steel supermarket and create your own special backsplash design.

Steel Countertops
Many restaurants use stainless steel for their cooking surfaces, and for good reason. The metal is extremely durable, strong, and can withstand just about anything you do in the kitchen. In addition to being strong, stainless steel is also great for a sanitary environment, because it’s easy to keep clean. If you’re thinking about stainless steel countertops, talk to the friendly professionals at Wasatch Steel to find out more about what types of steel plates are available, and how you can get them cut to the specific size you want.

Exposed Steel
Another unique way to use steel in your kitchen if you don’t want to go with full steel countertops, is to create steel edging. You can find steel plates at a place like Wasatch Steel, have them cut to your specifications, and then install them below the cabinets as a kick guard, or on the edges of the counters to form a cool accent. These subtle details can really make your kitchen look newer with relatively little work.

Steel Lighting

A final way that you can add flair to your kitchen is with cool stainless steel lighting fixtures. You can purchase them, or go to the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel and see if you can find some unique pieces to build your own lighting that will be one-of-a-kind.

There are endless possibilities for making your kitchen look new without shelling out the cash to get a full kitchen remodel job done. These simple additions can bring new life to your old space with just a little bit of work and creativity.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Steel Art: Making a Masterpiece

As an artist, you are always looking for ways that you can creatively express yourself through your work. There are many different materials that you can use to create your artwork, but none are as unique and versatile as working with steel from Wasatch Steel. Whether you have been trying to find a new material that you can use, or you have worked with steel and other metals on previous projects, here are some reasons to consider this metal, and ways you can use it to make your masterpiece.

A Unique Material
One of the great benefits of working with steel is its unique and versatile properties. It combines strength and durability with beauty, and gives you the ability to create several different types of artwork. You can use it to accent other art pieces, create entire sculptures with it, or even make beautiful wall décor, lighting, and other similar art pieces to accent your home or business.

Various Looks and Finishes
Another reason that steel from Wasatch Steel makes such a great material for your next art project is the wide array of different finishes and looks that you can find. It is a material that comes in all different shades, with several options for beautiful finishes and patinas. Steel is one metal that is really easy to paint, whether you want to go with an acrylic resin applied as a primer, color coat, and clear coat, or you want to use powder coating and finish by baking the color in. Either option gives you a hard, durable, weather-resistant coat that will stand up to any conditions, both inside and outside. In addition, these painting options don’t require regular maintenance to keep it looking good over time. You can also go with more natural finishes or patinas, such as Cor-Ten steel, or choose excess prime steel that has been exposed to some weather or oxidation and may already have its own unique finish.

Customizable for Every Project
Steel is not only strong and durable, it is also very customizable for whatever your project needs. You can buy it in several different forms at Wasatch Steel, which is your one-stop-shop for a whole variety of steel that can be customized for your specific project, with everything available and easy to find, like a steel supermarket. You can get sheet metal, pipes, tubing, angle iron, steel I-beams, diamond plate, and more, plus a wide variety of excess prime and used steel pieces that you won’t find anywhere else, and can give your next piece of artwork a very unique and personal touch.

All Shapes and Sizes
When you are an artist, you don’t want your creativity to be held back by not having the right materials to make your artwork into a reality. Whether you are creating metal sculptures, metal gates or entrances, specialized spindles for your railing, wall art, furniture, home accents such as lights and furniture fixtures, monuments, memorials, logos, or abstract art, you need to be able to find steel in all shapes and sizes. At Wasatch Steel, you can get all the materials you need from flat steel pieces to knick-knacks, and help your vision come to life.

Tips for Getting the Right Steel Pipe

Steel pipe is a critical components of many of the things that we use today, making it possible to transport fluids and other goods from public utilities and private companies to our homes and businesses. Getting the right pipe for the job is important—the wrong pipe size or the wrong material can have a detrimental impact. Wasatch Steel has a wide variety of pipe sizes and options so you can get the correct steel pipe for every project that you have.

Efficient Operation
Fluid transport is made possible by an intricate network of pipes, and the most efficient transport requires the right size steel pipe. Pipes come in a variety of diameters, with different wall thicknesses to suit several project types. If you have pipes that are too small, the high fluid velocity created can cause damage to suction lines through cavitation, it can result is too much heat, friction losses and turbulence in pressure lines, and it can cause the moving parts in your pipe system to wear out prematurely, damaging the seals and hoses, which results in higher maintenance costs. On the flip side, if you have pipes that are too large, your system costs will increase due to inefficient flow.

Choosing the Right Material
There are several different options that you have for pipe material. Generally you can choose from metal pipe, non-metal (plastic), or nonmetallic-lined metallic pipe. When your project requires a pipe that is durable and long-lasting, metal is often the correct option. Metal pipes are advantageous because they can withstand much higher pressure, and significant changes in external temperatures don’t impact the pipes. Finally, steel and other metals are sturdier than plastic, so when you lay pipe with metal it means you have the opportunity to put space hangers farther apart, so both your labor costs and your installation costs will go down.

Selecting the Perfect Steel
When you determine that steel is the best option for your project, the next step is to figure out what kind of steel you should use. Wasatch Steel has a huge selection of options for steel pipe, giving you a steel supermarket where you can shop and compare all the options. Here are some of the factors that can impact your choice:
  • Corrosive environment, including humidity, chemicals, acidity in the surrounding area, and presence of water or salt water.
  • Temperature, since high temperatures can accelerate corrosion and require a higher-grade steel, while low temperatures will require a tougher steel.
  • Steel strength required, so you can choose more durable steel if necessary. 
  • Whether welding is needed, so you can opt for a more weldable steel such as austenitic steels. Ferritic, duplex, martensitic, and PH grades are harder to weld.
  • Non-magnetic properties, if any are preferred or required.
  • Formability, if you need to be able to make detailed or intricate shapes.
  • Surface finish, for applications that require aesthetic appeal.
  • Availability of the material you need.
  • Cost of the material you want to use, and your available budget.

Determining Size and Thickness
The final component of getting the right steel pipe from Wasatch Steel is figuring out the size and diameter you need, including the wall thickness. You can figure out the size you need based on projected flow velocities, measured in ft/sec or m/sec. The benefit of shopping for your pipe at the steel supermarket is the wide selection of high quality steel available at Wasatch Steel. You can find several different sizes, thicknesses, and any lengths to suit your needs.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

6 Ways Steel Builds Our Economy

Steel has become one of the most important materials for building things in our economy, providing what we need to create items both large and small. Since the process to make steel was first discovered in the mid-1800s, it has been refined to create metal that has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios, and can be utilized in an array of versatile ways. People shop at Wasatch Steel for all types of projects, using steel in some of these six ways to build our economy.

Steel Buildings
Construction companies for both commercial and residential property have been building with steel to create everything from the tallest skyscrapers to the homes in your neighborhood. Since steel has both a high tensile strength (a measure of how much force material can withstand before breaking) and a high yield strength (a measure of how much force a material can withstand before it suffers permanent deformation), it is great for creating large, open spaces like the ones commercial building owners want. It also offers a superior level of fire resistance, which makes it ideal for both commercial and residential buildings.

Steel Transportation
The roads, bridges, and railroads that make up our transportation infrastructure are also largely built using steel. Steel forms the backbone for the support structures built underneath major transportation arteries, such as bridges, freeways, and highways. In addition, most vehicles that we use for transportation are made of steel—including ships, cars and trucks, trains, and airplanes. Plus innovations in steel are making mass transit easier, more efficient, and more environmentally-friendly, reducing friction, improving load capacity and passenger comfort, and reducing noise levels and vibration for trains.

Steel Energy
Efforts to improve renewable energy also benefit from the use of steel. From wind turbines to solar panels, steel is making energy from the sun, wind, and water more affordable and within reach than ever.

Steel Manufacturing
If you are in the manufacturing industry, chances are you use steel on a regular basis. You probably have machines and vehicles that are made of steel, and you may even use it to create your products. At Wasatch Steel, we understand that manufacturers are always looking for reliable, strong materials, which is why we have a huge selection of the best steel available for you to choose from.

Steel Design
Artists are always finding creative ways to express their talents, and steel and metalworking provides yet another opportunity to make something beautiful. With an array of shapes, styles, and finishes available, steel makes a great accent in artwork, or can provide the basis for your designs. At Wasatch Steel, artists often find the perfect pieces they need to create a masterpiece.

Steel Connections
Steel is also a critical material in the manufacturing of pipes that connect our world, transporting things from utility companies to our homes and businesses, and bringing raw materials like oil and natural gas from drilling sites around the U.S. into our communities. The strength of steel makes it ideal for building pipes that will last and can withstand pressure, while the lightweight nature of steel makes it an economical choice to reduce carbon emissions during manufacture and transport to the site. With proper coatings, steel pipes can withstand erosion and last for decades to come with very little maintenance and environmental impact.

Steel holds up structures, takes people and goods from place to place, and creating things that we use in our daily lives. It plays a major role in everything we do, and you can find the steel you need for every project at Wasatch Steel.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Why Steel is Ideal for Construction

Steel is a major component of construction in the U.S. and around the world today. The steel market has steadily increased over the past century as more and more uses are discovered for the strong, lightweight, versatile, and durable metal. It is used in a variety of construction applications, ranging from residential and business buildings to industrial complexes, stadiums, landmarks, and more. If you’re considering new construction, take some time to determine whether steel would work for you.

Steel is one of the most cost-effective metals available for construction today. Part of the reason it is so inexpensive is that the process to make steel has been refined over hundreds of years, since the Bessemer process was invented in the mid-1800s, and today steel mills can quickly and efficiently create steel using iron, one of the most abundant metals on earth. In addition, steel is very lightweight, which means shipping it from the mills to your job site requires less fuel, and saves you money.

At places like Wasatch Steel, where you can find an array of steel products in their steel supermarket, you can also look at different types of steel—including new steel, excess prime steel, and used steel.

Durable and Flexible
Steel is an extremely durable material, having both a high yield strength (the force it can withstand before deforming) and high tensile strength (the weight it can bear before breaking). This durability also makes it ideal for construction projects, because it means the space can be flexible and adaptable. When you use steel for building columns, floor joists, and other support roles, it can bear a high load, which means you can have more open, airy space in the building.

Steel is also a very eco-friendly material, because it can be recycled almost indefinitely without losing any of its characteristics for strength and quality. More than half of all new steel produced today worldwide is recycled from previous steel, and the process to recycle and reuse steel produces little to no waste.

In addition to being earth-friendly, it is also a sustainable material because it offers many economic and social benefits too. Steel construction is a relatively dry process, with little dust, and is pretty quiet compared with other materials, so there is less impact on surrounding buildings or homes. Steel can also help create a safe working environment when it’s used to create support structures, scaffolding, and other materials for worksites.

One final reason to build with steel on any construction project is the safety factor. Unlike wood structures, steel has exceptional fire resistance capabilities, and after many decades of studying steel structures’ behavior during a fire, engineers can now build very safe homes and commercial buildings that are more fire resistant.

At Wasatch Steel, you can find a wide array of steel components for your construction project, including columns, beams, pipes, and more. Come see the selection available at the steel supermarket.

4 Trends in Steel Décor for Your Home & Business

Steel has become one of the most commonly used metals in the world today, and one of the reasons it is so popular is because it is a very versatile metal. Steel has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios, making it perfect for a variety of heavy duty jobs, but it can also make a great decorative piece around a home or business building. If you have been looking for the perfect way to add flair to your home or your office, consider these decorating tips to help bring a room to life.

1. Create Steel Accents

There are literally hundreds of ways you can use steel to accent different areas of your home, from more traditional accent pieces to more modern or abstract. Here are some of the ways you can incorporate it into your style.
  • Build a new stair railing that includes a special design with spindles and balusters from Wasatch Steel. You can find a range of architectural styles, including simple geometric shapes, plain metal, floral accents, ornate and intricate designs, and more. You can also mix steel spindles with wood handrails and balusters to give the staircase some added depth. 
  • Replace the handles on your interior and exterior doors with a new color of steel hardware from the steel supermarket. It’s amazing what a difference this small detail can make. 
  • Add hardware to your cabinets, or replace existing hardware. Again, this simple addition, even if it’s just a basic design, can really accent your cabinets.
2. Add Metal Lighting
If you want to bring a room to life, one of the best ways is to improve the lighting. A beautiful metal chandelier or ornate hanging light fixture made with materials from Wasatch Steel can make large areas seem a little more cozy, while simple, basic metal lighting accents in smaller rooms can give it a clean, comfortable look without being overcrowded. Look at wall sconces, hanging light fixtures, spotlights, and more when you shop for steel home décor.

3. Create Unique Accent Areas in Each Room
Not very many people think about different ways they can accent an entire room with metal. Rather than having four walls and a ceiling that are all covered in drywall and paint, think about adding metal panels to the ceiling instead. In large rooms with high ceilings, metal roofing can create a feeling of grandeur, while in smaller spaces it can make the room seem cozier by reflecting the light. If your home is more modern, a steel ceiling can create a great “industrial” appearance. Or create a backsplash in the kitchen with steel from Wasatch Steel. You can also use metal to create picture frames, or decorative art pieces that you can hang on the walls to add a new dimension to the room.

4. Metal Signage
Another great way to incorporate metal in your home or business is to create metal signage. On your home, that could be a shiny steel house number, or a sign that has your family name on it. You may also want to cover large walls around your entryway with metal wall art. For your business, getting a steel sign is a great way to draw customers in. Metal can give your business a rustic feel, a modern feel, or a sophisticated and classy feel depending on the color and style of the sign.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spindle Shopping: How to Get the Rails You Want

Figuring out the right designs for your stairway is a very important part of any building project. While you can go with just a traditional steel stair railing, there are literally hundreds of different options that you can choose that will set your stairs apart from other railings that you have seen. When it comes to your stairs, fences, and other railing, getting the perfect look is often a matter of getting the perfect balance of style and function.

The Stairs Make the Room
Your stairs are such an important architectural part of your home. Whether you are looking for a new stair railing for indoor stairs that are part of your entryway, or you need a railing to go on stairs outside the home, the look you choose will say a lot about your style. It’s important to know what kinds of railings are available and explore all the options so you can pick the perfect look that complements your home style, and doesn't take away from it.

Other Railing Applications
In addition to stair railings, there are many other ways you can use spindles around your home. You might want to put a fence around your entire property, or have something that lines your front porch and entryway. You may have a railing that encircles a back porch, which can add a lot of visual detail and interest to your home and backyard, and improve your home's appeal when you decide to sell.

Spindle Choices
No matter what kind of railing you are building, you need to have the perfect steel spindles to complete the look. The great thing about railing options is that there is something for every style. If you have a more modern home, you can choose geometric shapes and basic styles that will allow the simplicity of the style to stand out. If you prefer a more classic look, there are a myriad of decorative options you can choose. You can find swirly styles, or go for something that has ornamental nature accents on it, such as leaves and flowers. You can also choose something besides just a straight up and down spindle, by going with a potbelly look. Wasatch Steel also has unique options that include more abstract designs, using hammers to create special patterns or twisting the spindles for a different appearance.

Finding the Right Size
The next step after deciding whether you’re looking for classic or modern, abstract or artistic, is to figure out what size you need. The length and width of the spindles will be determine by what you want the finished product to be like. You can also find balusters that are made of steel to complete a stair railing, or get pieces to put together a fence that will protect your home and your yard.

The last piece of the puzzle when buying steel spindles from Wasatch Steel is to find the right tools to make your project a success. Wasatch Steel is a one-stop-shop to get you everything you need to create the perfect fence or railing for your home.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

4 Questions to Ask When Buying Steel

There is a reason that steel is so often used in our modern world—it is one of the best materials to combine strength and durability with a light weight and economical cost. Today it is used in everything from constructing skyscrapers and homes, to building roads and bridges, in the medical field and food service, home décor, and even in consumer goods and vehicles. If you are thinking about purchasing steel for a project that you are working on, it’s important to know the four things to consider before you make a purchase.

Figure Out the Application
There are so many different kinds of steel out there today that you first need to figure out why you are purchasing it. Obviously the type of product you need from Wasatch Steel is going to depend on how you want to use it. If you are looking for a good surface for a medical application, you will need different steel than if you are planning to build a pipeline. Part of deciding the kind of steel that you need is determining whether you need to have brand new steel, or if you can save some money by using excess prime or used steel.

Determine Strength
Steel is a material with one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios in the world, but it’s important that you first know what exactly you need in terms of the total strength for your project. If you are building a skyscraper, you will need steel that has a higher capability to resist tension than if you are planning to use the steel for decorative purposes. The strength of any steel is often dependent on what other materials are in it, such as nickel, aluminum, chromium, and carbon.

There are three measures to look at:
  • Ultimate tensile strength, which is the maximum amount of stress that the steel will be able to withstand before it breaks.
  • Yield strength, which is the maximum load that each unit area of the steel will endure before it becomes deformed.
  • Elongation, or how much the material can stretch before it fractures (usually measured as a percentage of the original length). 
Material Hardness
If you are using steel in a situation where you want it to retain its original look, hardness can be an important measure to consider. Hardness is how well the steel can resist indentations and scratches, and while the harder materials at Wasatch Steel will tend to be more durable, they may also cost more because they are more difficult to manufacture.

Calculate Costs
Whenever you are shopping, whether it is for steel at the steel supermarket, or for food at the regular supermarket, you are always concerned about the price. Wasatch Steel offers one of the biggest selections in the state, and often has the best prices available. We purchase lots of different types of steel, including brand new, used, and excess prime. Choosing from these options can save you time and money.

Shopping and Using Steel I-beams

Steel beams are a very important part of building when you are planning to use steel as the base of a structure. There are a lot of different options that you have when you are ready to buy steel beams at Wasatch Steel, and knowing how to shop for them and use them properly in your next construction project can keep your project moving.

Shopping for an I-beam

An I-beam can go by many different names:
  • I-beam because it looks like a capital “I” from one angle
  • H-beam because it also looks like a capital “H” when it is on its side
  • W-beam, which stands for “wide flange”
  • Universal Beam because of its universal application for construction
  • Rolled Steel Joint
  • Double-T, again because it resembles two capital “T” letters put together 
The breakdown of the I-beam includes the two horizontal elements, which form the top and bottom of the “I”, and are referred to commonly as flanges. The vertical part that spans between the two flanges is called the web. When you are shopping to purchase an I-beam, you are looking at three different dimensions: the width of the flanges, plus the depth (length) and thickness of the web. Steel I-beams at Wasatch Steel can be made from rolling (hot rolling, cold rolling, or extrusion), or they can be made from welding the flanges and the web. It’s important to know which you are getting when you are ready to purchase, so you get the one that is better suited for your application.

Using Steel I-Beams
The benefit of a steel beam is that the design can protect against both shear forces and bending. The web of the beam is what can protect against the shear forces, while the flanges are efficient at protecting against bending.

Because of the way they are built, steel I-beams are especially effective at spanning distances, for example when you are constructing a large building, creating a road, walkway, or other transportation application, or building platforms that need to be structurally sound. They are often used a reinforcement for concrete, and when used together these two materials make a very strong combination.

To find the right size of I-beams, you need to know several different things about the project, such as how you plan to use it, what size you need, and what kind of reinforcement is appropriate. There are tables that can provide you with information about available sizes to help you get the right beams, but there is more than just the size. You also need to know:
  • Deflection (minimizing deformation)
  • Vibration (preventing vibrations in sensitive construction projects)
  • Yield stress and lateral torsional buckling (preventing bending failure from either of these issues)
  • Local yield (for concentrated loads)
  • Shear failure
To find the I-beams that you need, visit Wasatch Steel and check out the selection at the steel supermarket. If you don’t see what you need, you can even get custom sizes for your specific project. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The History of Steel

Steel has become one of the most important materials in our modern society, building everything from homes and skyscrapers to machinery, cars, and roads. It is also used in many healthcare supplies, and in places like restaurants and factories for sterile food preparation surface. There are a number of steel products available now from steel mills and at places like Wasatch Steel. With all of these modern applications, it is sometimes easy to forget where it came from and how it has become such an amazing and versatile material. Here is a brief history of steel, and some steel basics on how we use it today.

It Started with Iron
The use of one of the core ingredients in steel—iron—began several centuries ago, with the earliest known use about 2000 B.C. For centuries, iron was used to implement weapons and build fortresses because it was stronger and more durable than bronze, which was the previously preferred metal, and it can be fashioned into a sharper edge. It is also one of the most abundant natural elements on the earth, account for more than five percent of the Earth’s crust.

For centuries, blacksmiths would take iron ore and through a process of smelting, extract the iron and fashion it into something useful. The end product was wrought iron, meaning iron that someone had hammered and worked on.

The Industrial Revolution
The process was refined over several centuries, and the creation of things like a blast furnace made iron production easier and more efficient. All iron contains carbon, and a carbon content between 0.2 and 1.5 percent is the ideal range to get strong, durable, flexible steel that is not as brittle as cast iron. Although many knew about the superiority of steel over other iron, it required a long and tedious process to create the metal, and thus steel production was very limited.

In the mid-1800s a British metallurgist Sir Henry Bessemer developed what became known as the Bessemer process, which blew compressed air through molten metal, emptying the iron of carbon and silicon in a matter of minutes and maintaining the high level of heat that kept the iron malleable. The process was refined over the next few years to ensure the right levels of carbon, phosphorus, and other elements to create strong, durable steel. Industries like the railroad provided instant demand for the new product, and the list of products that have been made better or more affordable because of cheap steel is growing.

Steel In Our Modern World
Today the presence of steel is everywhere, from public transportation and railroads, to pipelines, oil refineries, power plants, increasingly taller and safer skyscrapers, transportation, vehicles, buses, appliances, tools, military vehicles, farm equipment, basic utensils, surgical instruments, and much, much more.

It is often preferred over other metals because it is widely available, affordable, and recyclable, making it an eco-friendly choice. In addition, it has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios, so it’s a tremendous value for the money.

No matter what you are planning to build today using steel, you can find what you need from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel. Find out why it has become the preferred building material of both large and small contractors, as well as do-it-yourself enthusiasts everywhere. Check out all of the new, used, and excess prime selections when you need to buy steel.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Perforated Steel: What is it, and How is it Used?

There are many different ways that you can use metal in your daily life, whether you work on construction, or you are just looking for unique ways to add beautiful décor to your home and yard. One common type of metal you can find at Wasatch Steel that is often used in a variety of applications is perforated metal. If you’re not sure what it is, and how it differs from other metals like expanded metal, here is an overview of this sheet metal manufacturing process, and some ways you might want to use it in your life.

What is Perforated Metal?
Perforated metal is a sheet metal that undergoes a manufacturing process of stamping to add holes or other perforations to the surface, in a variety of shapes and sizes, to use in your home, business, or building application. It is a functional steel, and comes in a wide variety of different elements, including lightweight applications for decorations around the house or yard, to heavy-duty applications you can use as load-bearing structures. Since it’s made of steel, this decorative metal offers the same combination of strength, durability, and beauty that other steel provides no matter how you are planning to use it.

Defining Perforated Metal Types
When discussing or buying perforated metal at Wasatch Steel, there are a few different terms you should be aware of so you can get the exact sheet and pattern you prefer.
  • Staggered pattern, which offer holes that are diagonal or nested in their orientation, so they offer an offset pattern that gives you the maximum amount of open area in the metal sheet. 
  • Straight pattern, which has holes aligned in straight rows and columns for a very symmetrical look. 
  • Unfinished ends, which has a pattern that is not extended all the way to the edge of the sheet. It can give the ends of your metal sheet a bit of a rough look.
  • Finished ends, which takes the pattern to the edge of the sheet in the same form as the rest of the metal so it appears constant and complete.
  • Margins are the areas on the top, bottom, and sides that will not have perforations. These margins help preserve the strength and structural integrity of the sheet. 
  • Safe side margins allow you to perforate right to the edge of the sheet, while leaving a small amount of metal on the end so the perforation doesn’t go over the edge.
  • Perforated tools are the interchangeable die cuts that give you the size and shape of holes that you expect for different patterns. 
  • Hole size describes the shape and diameter of the holes you want in your metal sheet. 
Uses for Perforated Metal
There are a wide variety of ways that you can use perforated metal, whether it’s more functional or it is a more decorative use. Construction and other building or facilities projects may use it for HVAC systems, noise control, security ceilings, sunscreens on the outside of windows, building facades, in-fill panels, ceilings, stair treads and risers. If you like it as a decorative piece, you can use it for interior design, furnishings, screens, and fencing. There are also some applications for the chemical and energy industries, mechanical and manufacturing plants, and food production and brewing, for things such as beehives, grain dryers, wine vats, farming, hammer mill screens, silos, threshing machines screens, malting floors, hop screens, vegetable and fruit presses, and more.

These metal sheets offer several benefits, including light weight, containment, heat dissipation, anti-skid, and the best acoustic performance. Whether you’re planning to use it as something functional or simply beautiful, perforated metal gives you a lot of options.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Choosing Steel Angle for Use in Construction

Steel angle is a very common material that many builders use in a variety of different construction projects. At Wasatch Steel, we offer many options for getting just the right steel angle, also called angle bar, to get your next building project done right.

The Basics on Steel Angles

Steel angle, or angle bar, gets its name from its shape. They come with two steel segments that form an "L" shape with a 90 degree perpendicular angle. Angle bar comes in two different configurations—the first is equal length on both sides. The second has one leg of the “L” that is longer than the other, for an unequal angle. Whether they have equal or unequal leg lengths, the thickness of the angle is always the same for both sides.

What Steel Angles are Used For
Steel angles, or angle bar, is often used for support when building objects, buildings, or rooms that require support at the corners. Because of its unique “L” shape, it makes an ideal support system for two adjoining walls in any type of corner. Many construction professionals know that angle bar, like the ones you can find at Wasatch Steel, are a great way to easily boost the support system within a structure.

Most of the time when angle beams are used, they are welded to the structure, or attached with drilled fastening methods. By reinforcing the edges or a surface, the structure is better able to support a much heavier load than it would be able to hold without the support. They can also be used on the exterior of a building as a way to reinforce edges and reduce weathering or erosion, which can lead to significant damage over time. Quite simply, angle beams can protect any corner or surface that needs to hold its shape over time.

Another common use for angle bar is for support of all-steel structures, such as radio towers, broadcasting equipment, construction scaffolding, and more. Their ability to resist weathering, and their high tensile strength, contribute to a stronger structure.

How to Shop for Steel Angle

When shopping for angle bar at Utah’s steel supermarket, Wasatch Steel, there are a couple of measurements you want to be familiar with. Angle beams are identified by the length of each of the legs, and by the thickness of the angle, with the longer leg always identified first. For example, a unequal angle bar might have the dimension of 6 inches x 4 inches x ½ inch. That means the longer leg measures 6 inches, the shorter 4 inches, and they both have a thickness of ½ inch. Whenever you measure leg lengths, be sure to measure along the back side, where it is longest.

Both equal-angle and unequal-angle beams are available in a wide variety of thicknesses and sizes from Wasatch Steel, starting around 1 inch x 1 inch and going up to 10 inches or more on each leg. Come find out why more people buy angle bar from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel than anywhere else.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Common Uses for Expanded Metal

Expanded metal is a material that many people have seen throughout their daily lives, but may not be aware of how beneficial it can be for several different building and construction applications. At Wasatch Steel, we have a wide selection of expanded steel that you can choose from to meet pretty much any need you might have. Here is a brief overview of expanded metal, how it’s made, its uses, and its benefits.

Making Expanded Metal
When you see expanded metal, you might be under the impression that it started out as a large piece of sheet metal, then a machine poked holes in it to get the mesh look. While it is true that it starts out as sheet metal, there is no process to poke holes in it (partly because it would be tedious, and partly because it would waste a lot of precious steel in the process).

To begin the process, a small sheet of metal is inserted into the expanding machine (since it’s going to be stretched, a small sheet of solid steel can make a large sheet of expanded steel). Inside the machine there is a knife pattern that cuts into the metal sheet. There are several different knife patterns available, generally in vary diamond or square shapes, and you may be able to get a custom knife pattern if you need something different.

The knife cuts into the steel and then the machine stretches the metal either vertically, horizontally, or both, to create a diamond mesh pattern. The machine ensures consistency so you get uniform metal cuts throughout the entire sheet. Shearing and stretching a small metal sheet into a large expanded metal sheet also saves a lot of steel and leaves very little waste, making it an environmentally-friendly and wallet-friendly process.

Advantages of Expanded Metal
There are hundreds of expanded metal uses in our daily lives, and many advantages to this type of metal:
  • The process creates very little waste and eliminates scrap metal.
  • Expanded metal allows air, fluid, or light to flow through so you can protect an area from intrusion without closing it off entirely. 
  • Air, water, fluid, and dirt can easily pass through to maintain a safe non-slip surface.
  • It comes in a wide variety of different steel and other metals to meet whatever specific needs you might have, whether it’s grating on the outside of an air conditioning unit, or a more durable metal that will be used for walkways. 
  • Because it’s made of steel, it has an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio, it is durable, and can withstand just about anything. 
  • The process to create expanded metal uses a single sheet of steel from the beginning, so the finished product is seamless and won’t unravel.
  • There are many different options for getting it cut to the shape and size that you need, especially when you buy from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel

Common Applications

Some of the most common places where you will see expanded metal include:
  • Air or fluid filters
  • Battery cells
  • Ventilation systems
  • Satellite and radar antennas
  • Outdoor cooking or grills
  • Speaker covers
  • Securing walls, fences, ceilings, and floors
  • Covering appliances, such as an air conditioning unit
  • Reinforcing concrete
  • Basement window well covers
  • Stairs and walkways, especially in industrial settings
  • Benches
  • Heavy-duty shelving

There are so many uses for expanded steel, whether it’s for a small project around your house, a decorative accent piece in your yard, or a huge construction site, stop by the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel to check out the enormous selection of different expanded metal available.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Beautiful Designs for Steel Stair Railings

The railings you have in your home and on your deck can be a great way to express your style, especially with all the options that are available today to create something unique with something from Wasatch Steel. Here are some ideas to help you create a great design for your deck railing or interior railing.

Designer Spindles
The spindles on your railing are one of the best ways to create something truly unique when you are ready to build a railing. There are several different things that you can do with your spindles today, whether you prefer to go with a more conservative or traditional design, or you like the look of something more modern. At Wasatch Steel, you can even get spindles that are made specifically to match your personal style, so if you have a favorite design or a look that you really want, you can get it created just for you.

You can also get spindles in several different shapes and sizes. Many people today are choosing to go with a look that departs from the old railing style of having small circular spindles that are functional and only there to hold up the handrail, to something that is a fashion statement for your home or you deck in and of itself. You can get wide or thin spindles, in square, rectangle, cylinder, or oval shapes so you get the perfect look.

Railing Accents
There are also a lot of options that will allow you to customize the railings with the right accents to highlight your style. Some of the most common accents that you see are geometric shapes, such as squares and lines, to more classic looks, like floral accents, leaves, curled edges, fleur de lis, and other similar styles. In addition, you can get railing accents that are designed to resemble other nature scenes like leaves, suns, and more.

The benefit of shopping for your railing accents at Wasatch Steel is that you can get just about anything you want on spindles, even if you’re looking to do something really unique, such as a railing that resemble tree branches or something artistic.

Blending Your Railing
Another thing that many homeowners today have started doing is a blended look with their steel railings. No longer do you have to just use wood for railings or just use steel, you can blend them together for a very unique look. You can use steel spindles with wood balusters anchoring the railing, and a wood handrail to top off the look.

Any Size
Another way you can customize the look of your railing is by choosing the size of spindles and balusters that you get. At Wasatch Steel, our experts can help you find the perfect size, up to about 4 inches wide, and you can even paint the steel so you can get colors beyond just traditional gray or black metal.

When you’re ready to create your own railing to get the exact look that you want, start your search at Wasatch Steel.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tips for Getting a Great Price on Your Steel

Steel plays a big role in many different industries, and in several different parts of our daily lives. If you are planning to build something, chances are you could use steel to build it. Steel provides a great option for every building project because it offers lightweight durability, and is often one of the most affordable options you can find with such a high strength-to-weight ratio. There are several different options for purchasing steel, with options from brand new to used. Here are some tips to help you shop for the right steel and get a great price.

Brand New Steel
New steel is produced in steel mills, but buying direct from the mill is often not an option for most consumers. In order to get it from the mill, you usually have to commit to large purchase quantities (sometimes several thousand tons a year), which may not be feasible for smaller companies, or someone who just needs some steel for a project around the house. There are times when new steel is required, especially in cases where the look or sterility of the metal is important, such as food production or medicine. A place like Wasatch Steel often has surplus inventory from the steel mills, including mill overruns and obsolete inventory that is available at a lower price, so you can still get brand new steel but without the huge purchase commitment.

Excess Prime Steel
Another option, when the look of the steel is not as important, is to purchase excess prime steel. Wasatch Steel can often find shipments of excess prime that may have some signs of oxidation after being exposed to the elements, so it may not look as good as brand new steel. The benefit of this kind of steel is that you can often get like-new steel in terms of the quality at a much lower price.

Secondary Steel
If you are looking for a great deal at the steel supermarket, you can also find recycled steel or secondary steel. This kind of steel is often available with very low pricing, and Wasatch Steel offers a very wide selection so you can find just about any kind that you might need. With so much secondary steel available at the steel yard, you can get the items you need immediately and take it with you so you don’t have to wait for a shipment. Plus Wasatch Steel has several decades of industry experience purchasing steel from several different suppliers nationwide, so they know how to choose only the highest quality secondary steel to offer to customers.

Buying in Bulk
You can also buy in bulk to get better prices, and have the experts at Wasatch Steel cut it to your exact specifications so your steel arrives ready to use and you can cut down waste.

No-Hassle Shopping
Another way to save money when you’re buying steel is to go somewhere that you can buy everything you need in one stop. If you have to go all around town to find several different pieces for your project, you can spend a lot of extra time, and more money on gas. By finding everything in one place at the steel supermarket, you can save a lot of both. You can even find all the tools and accessories you need at Wasatch Steel, so you get everything with one stop.

Buying & Working With Steel Pipe

Pipe is a critical component of our modern world, and it is everywhere that you look. There are many different structural uses and applications, from sign posts and columns to a conduit for liquid or other similar materials. In fact, there are so many different types of steel pipe available that it can be difficult to know which one to choose when shopping at Wasatch Steel.

Different Types of Structural Pipe

One of the most common uses for pipe is for building things, often referred to as structural pipe. Steel pipe that meets a certain chemical composition requirement can be used for structural building purposes. There are several different types of pipes available for use in building, including:
  • Seamless Steel Pipe – a durable product that is often preferred for bollards, dock piling, and pipe piling. 
  • ERW Steel Pipe – also called “high quality line pipe”, it is used by companies that need long-term durability and performance, such as the oil industry and utility companies. 
  • Spiral Steel Pipe – a common material for road casing, piling, and trenches, because it is both economical and durable.
  • DSAW Carbon Steel Pipe – is specially welded on the OD and ID, and available in many different grades so it provides a great material for road boring and culverts. 
  • Fence Pipe – used for many different kinds of fences, such as parks, parking lots, and other areas that require high strength and durability.
  • Culvert Pipe – used to channel water in areas where you want to prevent flooding, such as drainage systems, around driveways, an in sewer systems.
Most Common Uses for Steel Pipe

A pipe is cylindrical in shape and hollow in the middle, so people often think of pipe as something that transports liquid or similar materials, but it can be used for several different applications. You can get pipes that have thicker or thinner walls, and that come in a variety of different diameters and lengths. The type of pipe you get will depend on what you plan to use it for. Some of the most common uses for steel pipes include:
  • Columns
  • Sign posts
  • Support systems in building structures
  • Pilings
  • Bollards
  • Billboard support
  • Road bore casings
  • Dock piles
  • Fences
  • Sewer systems
  • Liquid transport
Buying Steel Pipe
Wasatch Steel, the steel supermarket has a wide selection of steel pipes for every different application. Whether you are working on a small do-it-yourself project at home, or you are working on a large construction project at work, you can find the exact pipe you need. When shopping for steel pipe, Wasatch Steel can cut it to your exact specifications for any length you need. Plus you can choose from a wide selection of brand new, excess prime, and recycled or secondary steel.

The helpful staff at Wasatch Steel can show you all the different types of steel pipe that are available, and help you figure out which kinds would work best for your application. The steel supermarket has several different thicknesses and diameters, and in a range of grades to suit your exact project specifications. Come find out how beneficial it is to have a broad selection of steel pipe.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

10 Ways to Decorate with Steel Around Your Home

There are dozens of different types of steel available today, and while it is one of the most-used materials for all types of building projects, it is also a great material that you can use to decorate around your home. If you’re looking for a few creative ways to use this material, here are 10 ideas for creative steel use around your house. You can find all the steel you need at the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel.

1. Stainless Steel Appliances
Although it may not be the most creative way to decorate with steel, stainless steel appliances can bring a clean, modern look to any kitchen. They are available in several different finishes and brands to bring out the most from your kitchen.

2. Exposed Steel Beams
The “loft” look is popular in many big cities, and while you may not be ready to commit your entire home to this look, you can build in exposed steel beams to provide support to your home and provide a unique accent piece on the walls. You can also paint steel beams to match any accent color in your home.

3. Cabinet Hardware
The cabinets in your home provide an opportunity to express your style, and you can add a lot of flair with the hardware. You can find sleek styles at Wasatch Steel, or more ornate styles depending on the décor in your home. If you have a favorite design, you can even have the experts at the steel supermarket create custom steel decorations for you.

4. Stair Railings
Your stairs don’t have to be generic, and getting beautiful steel spindles and balusters can make your staircase into an eye-catching design element. Whether you opt for a more modern, traditional, or artistic look, you can find the right decorative steel spindles at Wasatch Steel.

5. Wall Décor
There are hundreds of ways you can use steel for wall décor, whether it’s a unique artistic piece, an abstract design, or even grating over your windows. You can even create your own wall décor with unique pieces of steel at Wasatch Steel.

6. Mirrors
With a great mirror in the center, steel can give you a beautiful outside design around the mirror and help the glass stand out on your wall.

7. Steel Lighting
Whether you want to get wall lighting, having something that hangs from the ceiling, or find a unique lamp, there are dozens of unique lighting options with steel. The durable material can help ensure your lighting holds up in the long run, and you can use either the more traditional metal color of steel, or paint it to match your other accents.

8. Home Accents
The possibilities of steel accents are almost unlimited, with options for steel vases, bowls, candles, clocks, and even figurines or statues. You can add flowers to vases or bowls, or accessorize with colorful candles to add color.

9. Window Hardware
Your drapes can add a lot of life to your windows, and using the right window hardware ensures that your drapes and your window hardware will draw people’s eyes.

10. Garden and Patio
Outside your home there are also several opportunities to decorate with steel. You can use steel to create landscape edging, have steel benches or other furniture outdoors, and add steel planters with flowers to create color and depth on your patio.

Steel provides you with endless possibilities to decorate around your home, and gives you the option to create any look you want from modern to traditional. It’s strength and beauty can add just the right look to any home, and you can find all the right steel pieces at Wasatch Steel.

9 Industries That Rely on Steel

Steel has become one of the most integral parts of our daily lives, and it affects so many different industries and businesses today. Whether you are a small business or a do-it-yourself weekend warrior looking for steel from a place like Wasatch Steel, or use steel for your large company, the steel supermarket has what you need. There are many different industries today that rely heavily on the production and use of steel for operations, and here are nine of them.

Commercial construction today has a critical need for steel, because it combines a unique mix of strength and light weight. In fact, the availability of ultra high strength steel (UHSS) reduces the need for more load-bearing beams, which means there is more available space in every building. Plus the removal of support pillars means you can get more windows, translating to better ventilation, more light, and better energy efficiency.

Residential homes today are often built with steel as part of their support structure, which means that homes are safer and more energy efficient. Steel won’t burn like wood in case of a fire, and the steel helps to create better lighting and temperature control throughout by creating a high efficiency interior that can keep cool air out in the winter and warm air out in the summer. Steel and proper insulation also helps prevent corrosion with an airtight seal to keep moisture outside.

Almost every mode of transportation today uses steel, from trains and ships to personal transport with bikes and cars. The range of properties that steel provides, with one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any material. In the train industry, steel has revolutionized the form of transportation, with lightweight materials to allow high-speed travel, tracks and technology made of steel to reduce friction and minimize noise. The strength of steel leads to better shipping capabilities on the ocean, while the weight of steel helps improve gas mileage for passenger vehicles.

Whether it’s agricultural tools or storage for the crops, steel has long played a big role in this industry. Although agricultural jobs represent only a small portion of the total population, billions of people worldwide rely the ability to purchase low-cost food that comes from this business.

With many businesses, individuals, and countries today looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, recycling is an important industry. Steel is not only integral in recycling other materials, it is also one of the greenest metals available, because it is almost universally recyclable.

Finding “green” energy sources is important for the planet, and steel provides the material you need for hydro, wind, and solar renewable energy sources. Steel is used to build wind turbines, solar panels, and hydro plates to harness the power of the tide.

Most vehicles today are constructed with advanced high strength steels that combines good body structures with light weight for maximum fuel efficiency and protection in case of an accident. With the focus on improving MPG for all vehicles over the next couple of decades, steel will play in important role.

Today’s global market means goods are transported around the world in order to get to their consumers. Packaging must not only be able to get the goods to the right place, but must protect the items for effective distribution. Steel solutions offer strength and versatility to get your items to the places they need to be.

Steel is one of the most important materials that we have today, and you can find all the steel you need at Wasatch Steel.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Steel Revolution: How Steel Has Changed Our Lives

The steel industry in America, and throughout the world, has become one of the most important industries that we have, supporting several different aspects of our lives. In the 1800s and 1900s the industry helped America grow into a world economic power. Today it is hard to imagine a world without steel from suppliers like Wasatch Steel, because it has such an impact on everything that we do.

The Rise of Steel
Iron, the metal that makes up the base of steel, has been around for many centuries as a material for transportation, tools, and weapons. In the mid-1800s a British metallurgist Henry Bessemer discovered a process (now called the “Bessemer process”) that uses high-pressure air and heat to convert the iron to steel, removing impurities in the process. Through the next few decades, the process of making steel was refined until it became an easy and inexpensive metal to manufacture. In addition, the strength and light weight of steel make it ideal for several different applications. In America, the abundance of iron ore to turn into steel, and coal to heat the steel furnaces, helped this industry grow, and by the early 1900s America was the top producer of steel worldwide.

Steel in Our Lives Today

American steel production peaked in 1969, when 141 million tons were produced, but the trend of lower labor costs overseas and inexpensive transportation options to bring the steel back to America has pushed production outside of the U.S. However, the need for steel today is higher than it has ever been.

Today, steel is a regular part of many different industries, including:
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Food Service
  • Energy
  • Construction
  • Packaging
  • Automotive 
  • Consumer goods
  • Technology
Its strength and durability, along with its relatively inexpensive price, are the most common reasons that people choose steel over other metal options.

Where to Get Steel
One of the most difficult things about buying steel is knowing where to find it. Unless you are a contractor working on multi-million dollar projects on a regular basis, you probably don’t use enough steel to purchase directly from steel mills, where the minimum order might be several thousand tons a year.

Today many people find everyday uses for steel, whether it is to decorate your home with wall décor and accent pieces, or as the spindles in a beautifully ornate railing for your stairs or deck. It can be used in landscaping, or as a functional base for your workplace as flooring, grating, and more. Steel is also the most common building material, used for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, and for things like roads and bridges.

When you’re looking for the most variety and selection, whether you have a large-scale construction project or just a small-scale do-it-yourself project, the best place to get steel is from a place like Wasatch Steel. This steel supermarket is the place where you can find steel of all shapes and sizes. Wasatch Steel also offers options for purchasing brand new, used, and excess prime steel. The term "excess prime" refers to new steel that has been exposed to the elements and has some oxidation on the surface—the benefit of purchasing this type of steel is that you can get a like-new product at a significantly discounted price.

When you need great selection and great prices, buying steel from the steel supermarket at Wasatch Steel is the best place to go.