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Steel Glossary U - Z


Unfair Trade Suit

A type of lawsuit filed by U.S. companies against their foreign counterparts in response to imports at prices being lower than those in the prices in the U.S. market. Sanctions can be imposed by the ITC and the Commerce Department on foreign producers involved in dumping and government subsidization, if domestic manufacturers can prove material injury.



Vacuum Degassing

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


Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization (VOD)


Process for further refinement of stainless steel through reduction of carbon content.


The amount of carbon in stainless steel must be lower than that in carbon steel or lower alloy steel (i.e., steel with alloying element content below 5%). While electric arc furnaces (EAF) are the conventional means of melting and refining stainless steel, VOD is an economical supplement, as operating time is reduced and temperatures are lower than in EAF steelmaking. Additionally, using VOD for refining stainless steel increases the availability of the EAF for melting purposes.


Molten, unrefined steel is transferred from the EAF into a separate vessel, where it is heated and stirred by an electrical current while oxygen enters from the top of the vessel. Substantial quantities of undesirable gases escape from the steel and are drawn off by a vacuum pump. Alloys and other additives are then mixed in to refine the molten steel further.



Walking Beam Furnace 1

A hot strip mill reheat furnace where the slab is repeatedly lifted and set down at a more forward point in the furnace; this is in contrast to a batch reheat furnace or a pusher-type reheat furnace.


Welding 3

Joining of two or more pieces of metal.


Wheelabrating, Shotblasting, and Bead Blasting 3

Involves pressure blasting metal grid into carbon steel products to remove rust and scale from the surface.


Wire 5

A long product that is from 0.030 inch (0.76 mm) to ¼ inch (6.35 mm) in diameter, in round, square, octagonal, or hexagonal cross-sections.


Yield 2

The ratio of the amount of product compared with the amount of material input to a process or group of processes.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Steel…But Were Afraid to Ask

Michelle Applebaum Research provides this collection of terms and concepts used in our research, company and industry reports, and other steel publications as an invaluable tool for those in the steel industry.

Reproduction of all or part of this glossary is specifically prohibited without the written consent of the author.