Unlike the cold rolling sector where sales are usually directly from
the producer to the user, hot rolled strip is produced largely as a
downstream activity by the steelmakers. Therefore the distribution of hot rolled
strip which invariably requires further processing is often distributed by
service centres, in particular ex wide rolled material. The service centre may
be owned by the steelmaker or be independent.
Hot rolled strip is traditionally split in to
two categories, narrow strip and wide strip.
Narrow Strip mill
numbers have declined in recent years due to the inherently higher costs of
production. They differ from the wide strip mills in a number of ways. Firstly
they offer greater flexibility in terms of the variety of grades they offer, the
range of sizes they produce and the types of finishes available. Along with the
capability to offer smaller quantities and specialist tolerances they are well
placed to deal directly with end users. If material is required with a natural
mill edge (Rather than slit) the narrow mills are the only source. Furthermore a number of high carbon and
alloy grades are only available from narrow strip mills.
flexibility means they are able in most cases to deal directly with end users,
and therefore normally they do not distribute through service centres.
Strip mills produce the largest percentage of flat rolled products.
Normally the mill will have little downstream processing which means that most
requires further processing such as slitting, blanking etc. before it is in a
useable form. Most of their product therefore goes on to service centres for
For the majority of hot strip requirements
the service centres will be the most likely source of material. They will
normally be able to offer most standard grades of deep drawing qualities, high
strength low alloy and general purpose strip for press working, blanking and fabrication
PRODUCERS OF HOT ROLLED
NARROW STEEL STRIP