How to Weld Steel

Welding is an important step in the construction process. It is the method of fusing two metal pieces together to form a whole piece using a heat source. Take note that this is not just perfect for creating metallic materials needed for constructing a home. You can also use welding as a means to fuse a metal part to another broken area of a home, vehicle, hardware or even a device. Construction experts, repair specialists, car mechanics, and even hobbyists often use this method.

Note, however, that the means of welding metal may vary based on the type of material used. Thus, you may need to change the steps needed for welding iron if you want to focus on other materials like aluminum or stainless steel. To get started, simply follow the steps below.


Wear The Right Gear First

You need to wear the right clothes and equipment first before you proceed with welding. The process can be dangerous to certain parts of your body due to the amount of heat being used. Wear a long-sleeve shirt in order to protect your lower arms from any sparks that may fly as you weld. Be sure to protect your hands with gloves. Also, use safety goggles to protect your eyes from the flash of the welding machine. You might want to consider wearing ear protectors as an option, too.


Identify The Right Joints

There are different methods you can use to fuse your metals. There’s the T-shape, where a piece of metal stands on top of the same metal that’s laid on the ground in order to form the letter T. You can also go for the corner method, where you just need to attach the metals to their respective edges. You can also pick the lap joint, wherein you can just overlap a certain area of a metal to another metal. The edge joint is where the edges of a metal are welded to wholly stack the two metals together. Lastly, the butt joint is where you need to weld two metals side-by-side to form a welding line at the middle, hence the name.

When performing this step, you have to take note of the metal’s thickness to find out how much will be welded. You also need to choose the right welding power needed based on the metal’s quality, and for you to find out if the joints can be welded fully. There is also a need to evaluate if the joint you will make will fit your task.


Picking A Filler Metal

The base metal should match the material used for welding another base metal. If they differ, you will need to use a filler metal in order to complete the process. Take note that welding two different metals together may cause cracking or breakage on the two metals you’re using. So be sure to check the compatibility of the two metals first before fusing them.



First of all, secure the two metals using a C-clamp or any fixtures in order to hold them tight as you prepare the materials for welding. Next, pick the right type of welding procedures depending on how you will use the welded metals. You can go for shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, keyhole gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and the flux cored arc welding.

The type of welding process will depend on the goal that you wish to achieve, meaning that you have to learn to do them all. You also need to choose an inert shielding gas, such as helium, or a combination depending on the metal or the task at hand. Typically, the shielded metal arc welding method doesn’t need to use a shielding gas at most times. Clean the base metal to get rid of any oxides by gently brushing it using a steel brush. You should also use oils to further polish the base metal.


The Welding Process

To start welding, heat up the area to room temperature. High carbon content steel must be preheated immediately, especially on metals with thicker volumes. If you’re using a type of austenitic material, there is no need to do this. After preheating, apply the welding torch on its designated area. Then, apply a post-heat using your heater once again as the metal is going to rapidly cool down, and may cause breakage or cracking due to the lack of heat upon welding the metals. This is very important to do when fusing thick metals together. Lastly, remove any grindings, slag or potential debris by using a chipping hammer.

These are the recommended steps that you need to take if you wish to properly weld your stainless steel materials. Be sure to learn what the different welding methods are, as instructed above, and follow all preparations mentioned. Any kind of repairman or specialist in construction considers welding as one of the basic tasks. Even hobbyists are placing efforts to learn this method as they need it for their craft. That’s why this guide will surely give you an insight upon the basics of welding itself.


How To Prevent Steel from Rusting

Steel is one of the most durable and reliable metals in the world. Due to this, it is used for a variety of purposes, such as residential/commercial construction, auto manufacturing, and infrastructural development. While steel can be very durable and last for a long time, it does require some maintenance.

One of the more serious issues that can affect steel is rust. This occurs when a steel pipe or other steel material begins to corrode. The corrosion process refers to when steel comes into contact with water or oxygen for an extended period of time. Since it is a naturally occurring process, it can be hard to completely control. Fortunately, there are measures you can take that will aid in preventing rust from damaging your steel materials.


Clean the Steel Regularly

While certain paints, primers, and other coatings can do a good job of preventing rust from occurring, you will still need to conduct regular maintenance. One of the most basic types of maintenance for steel is to simply clean it on a regular basis. If steel begins to look dirty, it could be the first indication that rust will begin to form. Because of this, you should use steel cleaners to make sure that they are clean of all debris when possible. There are a variety of industrial steel cleaners today that will do a good job of protecting the steel. You can also use a variety of more natural solutions, such as a mixture of water, salt, and lime. White vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda paste are also viable options.


Consider Galvanized Piping

Galvanized steel pipes are coated in zinc to protect against rust formation. These are primarily used to transport water and can last decades. They’re more affordable than copper piping but still more durable than plastic, making them a top choice for large construction projects and outdoor uses where large amounts of water will be carried. The only problem with galvanized piping is that their diameter gets smaller over time, as sediment reacts to the zinc barrier and can begin to accumulate, restricting water flow. If this causes a clog, hammer out the sediment and other minerals from the outside of the pipe and flush the pipes out.


Remove Evidence of Rust

Since rust is a naturally occurring element, it can be hard to completely prevent at all times. However, if you do begin to see signs of rust, it is important that you react right away. When you notice a small section of rust growing on a piece of steel, you should go to your local hardware store. Purchase a steel brush to scrape off evidence of the rust. You can also use WD-40 to break down the bonds between the metal and the rust, making the removal process easier. Doing this will help to prevent the rusting area to corrode any further. After removing all of the rust, you should reapply a new primer and paint to prevent any rust from coming back. There is no perfect piping, but it  is crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge for prevention and maintenance.


Mid-2018 Global Steel Outlook

Overall global steel output is headed in a positive direction, despite recent controversy surrounding steel tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration. Over the last year, raw-steel production has steadily increased. This is after nearly two years of below-average demand. The World Steel Association predicts that steel demand for manufacturing and construction purposes will continue to increase throughout the rest of 2018 and 2019. This often correlates with overall global economic prosperity. Typically, positive economic performance leads to innovation and new construction, hence the rising steel demand.

Data suggests that May 2018 saw the largest jump of the year. In that month, global output increased by 6.6% compared to May of 2017. From April to May alone, global steel production jumped by 4.7 percent. While China and the European Union are responsible for the largest portion of these jumps, other countries are sure to see significant boosts as well.

India: A Steel Behemoth

Just recently, Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton announced that it predicts Indian steel demand will double by 2025. Allegedly, the government’s goal is to produce 300 million tonnes of steel by 2030. If current production were to truly double by 2025, that means it would reach 170 metric tonnes.

Some economists are suggesting that India’s 2030 goal may be a bit of a reach. However, they still say it’s no doubt that the construction and infrastructural industries have a demand.

The recent trade war that has been spurred on by the Trump Administration’s tariffs has global economies scrambling for new strategies and steel consumers. There has been an inevitable period of rockiness in light of these recent events. Nonetheless, Huw McKay, BHP Billiton Vice President of Analysis and Economics, says there is enough global steel demand to absorb the newly produced steel.

EU Responds to Steel Tariffs 

Since the U.S. has imposed levies on imported steel and aluminum, the EU must prepare for a steel/aluminum import surge into the bloc from other countries. Consequently, they are searching for solutions to curb some of these imports. On Thursday, the EU voted to back measures preventing an overwhelming influx of steel and aluminum. As a result, they have put a quota in place. They will still welcome steel imports, with some exceptions. To prevent a flood of steel imports into the EU market, the EU will place tariffs on imports exceeding the determined quota.

Excessive steel imports into the EU market could damage the EU steel industry’s own prosperity. The EU has also imposed its own levies on numerous U.S. imports, including jeans, bourbon, and motor bikes. Canada is also imposing “retaliatory tariffs” in response to the new U.S. policy.

While the impacts of the U.S. steel tariffs on the domestic market are still being assessed, certain industries (such as the automotive industry) will likely be impacted. In some steel-oriented towns across the country, the tariffs have brought relief. Many view it as a way to boost the American steel industry and encourage domestic steel production. As time continues on, consumers and steel experts are hopeful that growth in the steel industry will too.


Benefits of Steel Bollards

While everyone has come across steel bollards, very few know of their dynamic features and uses. Bollards are steel, and sometimes aluminum, pillars used to line entries to stores and sidewalks. In fact, steel bollards are categorized under street furniture and contain the potential for well-designed and artistic blockades. Only a few people take note of bollards as they walk down the street. However, there is more to them than meets the eye. Here are a few reasons to install these blockades.


Steel bollards are useful in enhancing the security of pedestrians. While auto accidents can occur any time, bollards often act as a barrier that prevent a car from entering a pedestrian-only zone. They can be seen in places like pedestrian malls, college campuses, or civic centers. Without being an eye sore or an obstructive barrier like a fence, they are an effective and minimalistic way of keeping automobiles out of unwanted areas.

Land Marking

You can hire an urban architect or planner to help design an aesthetically pleasing blockade outside your business premises. You may even use steel bollards to increase the awareness of your business as most of them are used as landmarks. In fact, storefronts with a unique blockade often become a landmark for meet-ups. That helps drive more traffic to a store. Besides being guards, companies can also use steel bollards as guides. These blockades help protect property as well as direct traffic to a specific location.


You can use blockades as an anti-ram barrier for stores prone to burglary. Steel bollards create a perimeter wall that prevents drivers who intend to trespass from getting close to your storefront. It also helps prevent drivers who lose control from hitting your property. Furthermore, these blockades ensure escape cars don’t drive off while simultaneously securing the perimeter.

Add Aesthetics

Store owners may use decorative steel bollards as part of an architectural design. Moreover, business owners may also use these blockades to dress up a drab storefront or create uniformity. Steel bollards will forever be a game changer when it comes to adding fixtures to storefronts and sidewalks. You want decorative steel bollards that can add aesthetic enhancement to a storefront or security perimeter.

Create Visual Containment

Another function of steel bollards is the creation of visual containment. In fact, bollards installed along the sidewalks may obstruct pedestrians and help them keep off the curb. Steel bollards don’t lessen room on the street; instead, they create a larger visual boundary than the height of the curb. In fact, the appeal of the curb is one that delivers the first impression of a company. You may choose steel bollards to enhance the environment as well as offer security to your business premises. Steel bollards are available in custom designs to meet the needs of large sites that would want to develop a unique appearance.

Street bollards will play an integral role in the future of urban development projects. In fact, there are other purposes for steel bollards. They can be used to house lighting fixtures, security cameras, and serve as bicycle parking posts. These blockades are loved by entrepreneurs and architects alike for their design, functionality, and simplistic possibilities. In fact, the benefits that pedestrians and business owners get from street bollards outweigh the cost of design and installation by far.

How To Maintain Stainless Steel Appliances

Many homeowners, as well as home decorators and designers, love the look of stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Although many design and decorating trends tend to come and go, stainless steel appliances seem to be here to stay, according to interior designer Elizabeth Pash.

Fortunately, this metal remains one of the easier types of material to clean. This is important, especially if the place your kids happen to love to touch the most is the front of your stainless steel fridge or if your stainless steel faucet is showing signs of hard water stains. So, how can you keep the stainless steel in home looking new and shiny?

Vinegar Solution

Believe it or not, the concoction you put on your favorite salad isn’t that much different than the solution we’ll propose here. That’s right. We’re talking about the vinegar and oil treatment.

First, you’ll clean the stainless steel object in question with a liberal supply of vinegar. Then, you’ll treat it with the oil to finish the job.

Here’s what you need:

  • White vinegar in a spray bottle (You can find a cheap bottle at the dollar store.)
  • Paper towels
  • Mineral oil or olive oil
  • A soft cloth with microfibers (Cloths used to clean cars will work.)

Once you have all the cleaning supplies you need, take a look at the stainless steel. If you look closely, you’ll see that it has a grain. Once you start wiping, you’ll want to wipe in the direction of the grain.

Next, spray the appliance with the vinegar, making sure that you apply a good amount of it. Once you’ve wet it down with the vinegar, then start wiping it with the paper towels. The purpose of this first step is to get rid of the grime and debris that is stuck to the stainless steel.

After that, pour a bit of the oil onto your soft cloth and wipe the stainless steel down with it, again going in the direction of the grain. This step should remove fingerprints and other marks from the appliance.

Dish Soap and Baking Soda

Consumer Reports recommends a slightly different approach to cleaning your stainless steel.

You’ll need:

  • Soft cloths
  • Mild dish soap
  • Glass cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • A sponge

Initially, you need to mix some warm water with the mildest dish soap you have. Wipe the appliance down with the soapy water and the soft cloth. Once you’ve done that, rinse out the cloth and give the appliance the once-over again. Dry it with a soft cloth to finish.

Sometimes, even after this treatment, you’ll still see fingerprints. Spray the appliance with the glass cleaner and wipe it down to remove those.

Finally, a paste made from warm water and a bit of baking soda will remove thick grease and baked-on food particles. Rub a bit of the mixture onto the sponge and then rub the grimy spots down. Rinse with water and wipe dry with a soft towel when you’re done.

Final Recommendations

It’s important to treat your appliances with a wax finish after you clean them so that they remain fingerprint-free for longer. An article on The Independent recommends Zep Stainless Steel Polish, though there are other brands. Just be sure that the brand you choose is made for stainless steel.

Lightly spray the appliance with the wax, being careful to not get too much of the spray onto the appliance. Give it a few minutes to set, then wipe it down with a soft microfiber cloth. Again, make sure that you wipe with the grain of the steel.

This treatment helps you keep smudges, fingerprints, and other “sins” at bay between treatments.

Lastly, you’ll want to be careful about using harsh chemicals and abrasives on your stainless steel. These products ruin the surface of your appliances.

Steel Production Booms in Great Lakes Region

Steel production in the Great Lakes region has risen sharply. Last week’s steel production reached 657,000 tons up from the previous week’s 657,000 tons, a 1.97 percent increase.

Domestic steel mills produced 1.779 million tons of steel, a 1.42 percent rise, while the capacity utilization rate in US steel mills is at 75.6 percent so far for the year; last year at this time it was at 73.7 percent. While these numbers are encouraging, a 90 percent steelmaking capacity utilization rate is considered financially healthy according to some analysts, especially for large mills.

Meanwhile, US national steel output rose 25,000 tons last week, up 1.7 percent for the year. The Southern district saw a rise in production from 652,000 tons to 667,000 tons. However, steel production in the greater Midwest declined from 163,000 to 148,000 tons.

History of Steel Production in the Great Lakes Region

Iron and steel mills have long ranked among the largest economic enterprises in the Great Lakes region. After the Civil War, the steel industry grew rapidly, contributing to America’s ascendancy as a world economic power.

Steel, iron that has had its impurities removed to make it more durable and stronger, is more useful than iron, but until 1856, it was difficult and expensive to manufacture. Meanwhile, the growth of railroads in the 1800s created a huge market for steel.

Beginning in 1863, the Bessemer process, named after its inventor Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898), changed all that by introducing an inexpensive way to produce steel. Prior to its invention, steel was made by a cementation process which took days.

Brought to the United States by Alexander Lyman Holley, the Bessemer process blew air through molten iron to remove carbon. Now it was possible to convert molten pig iron into steel in just minutes. This led to the rise of large integrated steel mills, where all steps of the steel making process could be carried out in one location.

From 1880-1900, steel production in the US increased from 1.25 million tons to more than 10 million tons. By 1910, production had risen to over 24 million tons, making the US the largest steel producing country in the world. Large integrated coalmines were built throughout the Midwest, in Chicago, Gary, Cleveland, and Buffalo.

By the 1920s, the US produced 40 percent of the world’s iron and steel. Steel production fell during the Great Depression, but rose again during and after World War II, peaking in the 1940s and 1950s.

More recently, there has been a shift from large integrated steel mills to small mini-mills and specialty mills where new steel products are made by melting steel scraps.

Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes region accounts for 60 percent of steel production in North America, due to the area’s rich natural resources. Iron ore deposits around Lake Superior, composed of banded iron formations (BIFs), are found in rocks in the shallow waters around the lake. These Lake Superior-type BIFs, formed between 2.7 and 1.8 billion years ago, have enormous continuity.

Other resources needed for steel production, such as coal and limestone, could be found in the region as well. The Great Lakes provided access to waterways essential for transporting raw materials to the iron and steel works and for delivering finished products.

The presence of all of these resources contributed to the growth of steel manufacturing in the Great Lakes region, making it into an ideal location for steel production.