Steel camping supplies

Steel in Camping Equipment: What is it Used For

Summer is officially here and that means it is time to get out and explore the world around us. Many people take advantage of the warmer weather by going camping. Did you know that steel is found on a lot of your must-have camping equipment? Let’s take a look at some steel camping equipment!

Campfire Grill or Portable BBQ Grill

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One of the more obvious places to find steel on your camping equipment is on your campfire grills and BBQ grills. Powder-coated steel and aluminized steel are the most common types of steel used for grills. These types of steel can withstand the heat from the fire and are very durable to help the grill last a long time.

Enamelware/Outdoor Dinnerware

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In case you prefer not to use disposable products, most outdoor dinnerware is also made out of steel. This is because steel is durable, easy to clean, safe to heat, and long lasting. Enamelware is metal that has been coated in a porcelain lining. It is also idea for camping because it is lightweight and budget friendly. It shouldn’t be too hard to find, either. Enamelware is incredibly trendy at the moment.

Coffee Pot

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If you’re anything like me, a hot beverage in the morning is a necessity. Especially when camping. Nothing completes a perfect morning of cool mountain air, watching the sunrise than a hot cup of Joe. So, you’ll need a metal coffee pot to place on the fire. Most camping coffee pots are made of stainless steel and may or may not come with an enameled layer.

Marshmallow Roasters

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One of the best parts of camping is starting a fire and roasting marshmallows. And, it today’s world you no longer have to search the woods for the perfect roasting stick that will possibly catch on fire halfway through your s’more making. Roasting sticks can be found at just about any big box store, grocery store, and many convenience stores. They are made from stainless steel with a wood, plastic, or rubber handle for safety.

These are just some of the places you can find steel in your camping equipment. If you look around, it is probably used in some way from your tent to your cooler. Now get out and enjoy the great outdoors!

To learn more about the types of steel Metalwest offers, contact your local sales representative.

weathering steel

Weathering Steel: What is it?

Weathering steel, commonly referred to as A606 steel, has recently gained popularity in the architectural world for its distinctive orange-brown oxide (or rust) finish. This layer of rust aids in the resistance to corrosive elements. When weathering steel is produced, it is not rusted. It gradually develops the rust-like appearance as it is exposed to the elements over time.

But, how does it develop the layer of rust and how does that actually aid in corrosion resistance? Let’s find out!

How Weathering Steel Works

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Unlike most corrosion resistant steels that resist rust, weathering steel does rust. However, it only rusts on the outer layer and will not penetrate into the steel once the initial layer has formed. With weathering steel, the layer of rust acts as a barrier to protect the steel from corrosion, whereas with other metals the rust is porous and breaks off allowing another layer to form. The specific alloying elements in the steel produce a stable layer of rust that adheres to the base metal and isn’t as porous as typical rust.

Benefits of Weathering Steel

Weathering steel has many benefits, which make it ideal for architecture.

  • Resists further rusting and staining
  • A high strength low alloy steel (HSLA)
  • Heat and corrosion resistant
  • Ease of formability
  • Low maintenance
  • Long-term performance
  • Environmentally friendly and can be recycled

What is Weathering Steel Used For?

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Because it is corrosion resistant, weathering style is frequently used for exposed structures. These can include bridges, building siding and roofing panels, truck and bus frames, as well as metal sculptures. It was initially used in the 1930s for ore wagons to help them resist corrosion. With its unique finish, it also eliminates the need for repainting or recoating of the steel.

There are elements that weathering steel can’t withstand, however. It shouldn’t be used for applications that will be exposed to chlorine. Chlorine will cause the rusted surface to corrode and can lead to premature failure of the material.

At Metalwest we stock A606 Type 4 in coil and sheet. For more information on product availability, contact your local sales representative as it may very between branches

Hot Rolled Steel

Hot Rolled Steel: What it is Used For

I know you are very interested in learning about what hot rolled steel is used for. But guess what Buzz readers, it is actually used for some interesting applications.

Like we discussed in the Hot Rolled Steel: How it is Made post, hot rolled steel is the most basic form of steel a mill produces. Due to its lackluster surface finish it is typically used in applications in which the finish isn’t critical to the project.

While the word “lackluster” is something most people would use to describe this dull, boring type of steel, it is actually one of the more interesting in appearance (besides galvanized which we will get to later). Hot rolled dry sheets and coil are a darker grey than most other steel types and have a silvery blue, almost purple strip along both sides. The color of the strip makes the steel’s surface appear as if it is still hot to the touch. However, this is a result of the hot rolling process and the left-over mill scale.

Alchemical Sentinels by Thierry Ehrmann- hot rolled steel sculpture

Alchemical Sentinels by
Thierry Ehrmann via Flickr 12/7/11.

Art Sculptures

Because of the unique finish, hot rolled dry is one of the most commonly used steel types for art sculptures (besides stainless steel). The variations of color along the steel sheets provide for character throughout the sculpture.

The down side to hot roll dry is that because it does not have a finish it is prone to rusting. However, you may notice a sculpture in a hotel lobby, airport, or office building that appears to have a rusted finish. The sculpture was likely built from hot rolled dry and allowed to rust before adding a protective finish (or it could have just been sandblasted to look like rust, either way it is likely still hot rolled).

Truck Frames and Automotivehot rolled steel dump truck

Okay, so maybe you aren’t an art enthusiast. Hot rolled is also used for truck frames and automobile seat frames. For this application the metal typically goes through the processes of pickle and oiling (P&O) before it is used to help prevent rusting and allow for painting.

Hot Rolled Pickle and Oiling Process

The P&O process is a mill scale cleansing that removes the black oxide scale. After the P&O process, an enhanced surface finish is applied and the material is now known as hot rolled P&O.

Hot rolled P&O has a smoother, more even finish. It no longer has prominent, colorful strips along the sides and is slightly less dark in color.

hot rolled steel argriculture equipment with SkipAgriculture Equipment

So you’re not into art or automotive, well then maybe you’re a farmer. Hot rolled steel is used widely in agriculture equipment because of its high strength level and formability. The formability of hot rolled P&O can be simple bends to complex draws depending on the steel grade. Harvesters, tractors, and other farm machinery all require the strength that hot rolled offers. Next time you are harvesting your grains, remember you are probably riding on a big green hot rolled machine (red in this case).

None of these areas interest you? Well, lucky for you there are other uses for hot rolled and hot rolled P&O, including water heaters, railcar components and railroad equipment, guard rails, doors, shelving and many more.