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What is Steel Plate?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Steel plate is a material often used to create metal products. Manufactured to different thicknesses and widths, steel plate is cut and welded together to create a final product. There are different types of plate, such as stainless and high-carbon steel plate. Some types of plate steel are used in the construction of buildings while others are used in the creation of everyday items, such as wood furnaces, and not so everyday items, such as ship hulls. Steel plate is often referred to as flat steel.

As high-temperature steel is rolled into sheets, the steel gains strength. Layer upon layer of steel is compressed and forged into a single piece of steel until the proper, final dimensions are achieved. As the flat steel sheet cools, it hardens into a usable piece of steel. The type of steel that is created is dependent upon which ingredients are used to create the molten steel.

A common grade of plate is structural steel. This type of steel is used in the creation of building girders and reinforcing plates. Often used to anchor steel beams, a flat plate of steel is attached to a concrete foundation with anchor bolts. The steel beam is welded or bolted to the plate to create a rigid foundation to build upon. The load of the building is spread out across the width of the plate.

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Most structural-grade plate is low-carbon steel. This allows the plate to be drilled and formed as needed to fit construction requirements. The most common grade of structural steel plate is A36 grade steel. This type of plate steel is used in manufacturing heavy equipment, such as earth mover booms and bulldozer chassis. There are several other specialized grades of plate steel, including marine, armor plate and bullet-proof grades.

It is important to match the correct type of flat steel with the job. It would not be wise to use a low-carbon structural grade plate when manufacturing a ship. Marine grade plate is designed to resist rust and corrosion, whereas the low-carbon structural plate is not. Accordingly, it would not be the best choice to use any grade of plate other than ballistic or armor plate when constructing an assault tank.

The steel manufacturers are able to create the proper blend of materials to make a steel plate suitable for bridge building or skyscraper construction. Each use and application is job specific, with climate and temperature playing a role in the composition of the steel. Corrosion resistance, tensile strength and abrasion resistance are all features of a quality plate steel.

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