One question that you will hear often is where to find a steel supplier. Scrap steel is available at scrap yards and recycling facilities but when you have a large project, you will need to find a source for new steel for consistency. While scrap yards are good sources for steel they might not be able to satisfy the requirements for large scale production. In North America, there are steel suppliers where you can get new mild steel and structural steel for a construction project.
How to find a steel supplier
The internet has made it quite easy to find a steel supplier in as much as some of them have their own websites. You can purchase a truckload of steel in lengths that need cutting. For example, you can order steel bars in lengths of 20 feet (6.1 meters) or cold finished steel in lengths of 12 feet (3.7 meters). If you do not have cutting equipment, you can ask the steel supplier to have the order cut according to lengths that you require for a fee. It is important to be specific with your requirements by knowing understanding the different grades of steel. Steel is categorized into four basic groups based on their chemical compositions. Make sure to make it known to the steel supplier whether you need carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel or tool steel in bars, rods, tubes, pipes, plates, sheets or structural steel. The steel supplier will ask you several questions on a variety of factors.
-Do you require steel that has been quenched, annealed or tempered?
-Do you require steel of commercial quality, drawing quality or pressure vessel quality?
-Where do you plan to use steel? Will it be used for an electric furnace or a continuous cast?
-What microstructure do you want; ferritic, pearlitic or martensitic?
-Do you require cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel or cold finished steel?
From your replies, the steel supplier will know whether you are actually an authentic customers and not a prank caller. Steel suppliers can provide you price quotes even if you order in small quantities just don’t make yourself a nuisance by repeatedly asking for quotes without making a single purchase.
There are businesses that handle large amounts of steel but do not expect them to sell even a small quantity. These businesses include machining shops, fabrications shops, welding shops and some blacksmiths. They are in the steel business but they do not sell unless it is a steel finished product. Besides that, there is a high possibility of being considered a competitor. Junk yards can be a good source for small quantities of steel and other metal products which would be good enough for a small project. However, do not expect to buy steel bars and plates from junk yards because what they usually have in their inventory are odd lengths of structural steel beams and angles. You are welcome though to scrounge around their yard and check out tons of scrap steel products.