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Steel flats, commercially also known as flat steel, flat bar or metal bar are long solid steel sections. Steel flats are extremely versatile in application and hence very popular throughout different industries. This popularity is further reinforced by that fact that flats are universally available in large quantities. They can be produced at great speed and comparatively low price. Kloeckner offers standard hot rolled flats as well as cold rolled, stainless, half round or flats with convex edges. Simply select from a variety of different alloys and define a custom length to tailor flats to your specific industry requirements.
How are Flats manufactured?
The manufacturing of flats typically starts with the hot rolling of steel. During the hot rolling process blooms, billets and ingots (also known as primary steel products) are molten in a billet heating furnace. Once heated at ambient temperature, the materials are shaped with the aid of multiple sets of rollers. These not only elongate the section but also reduce the thickness thereby shaping the product a flat bar. The application of high temperature (approximately 1200C) leads to the formation of mill scale. Mill scale on the product surface creates a rough finish and is therefore sometimes removed with the aid of pickling, oiling or shot blasting. If mill scale is not removed however it can act as a light protector against corrosion. Rapid cooling to 900C limits any control to produce flats with precise tolerances. Inconsistencies in measurements mean hot rolled sections are often utilised in heavier industries where precision is less important.
If precise tolerances are deemed important cooling rate (which affect material characteristics) should be monitored carefully. To grant suitability for specific applications, it might be advisable to choose a cold rolled or stainless flat instead.
Which industries utilise Flat Steel in their manufacture?
The application of flats varies greatly with the material and manufacturing process chosen. Hot rolled flat for example tend to be utilised in heavier industries due to their imprecise measurements. Such industries include construction, agriculture and engineering as well as transport or storage. Popular applications range from structural support in walkways and buildings but hot rolled flats are also commonly found in bridge construction.
Finer, more polished appearances of stainless or cold rolled flats lend themselves to indoor applications for example interior design in furniture, framing or as braces and shafts.
What are the benefits of Flat Metal?
The popularity of steel bars can in part be accredited to the fact that they are easily manipulated without the need for high performance machinery or tools. This also significantly reduces the costs for machining. Flats are incredibly versatile which is reinforced by the simplicity to connected flats to other steel & metal products. Other benefits encompass the universal availability of steel flats in large quantities. Manufacturing metal bar is quick, easy and low cost. Most steel flat bars have a low carbon content which enhances material performance and strength. Flats furthermore showcase a maximum yield and high carrying capacity. Like other steel and metal products flats are fully recyclable and hence a sustainable material choice.
Flats in the Kloeckner Online Shop
Round and flat bars only make up a small fraction of products which we carry in the Kloeckner online shop. Our assortment also encompasses various mild steel, bright steel and galvanized steel sheets products with varying surface treatments or in bespoke lengths – to suit any application purpose. Discover our full range online!
Steel flat bars sizes for example range from 3000mm – 7000mm in length, to a width of up to 500mm and a maximum thickness of 50mm.