Metal & Steel

Metal & steel, whilst are phrases that are often used interchangeably, actually possess notable distinctions. Whilst steel visually resembles & feels like a metal, there are differences between the two.

The phrases are even used reciprocally in professional capacities, as steel is typically used to construct metal buildings & metal buildings, as they are referred, are often made of steel.


A chemical element of various ductile, opaque & lustrous substances. Common metals include copper, nickel & silver.


An iron alloy with a range of carbon content (between 0.5 & 1.5%). Therefore, steel is not a pure metal element but a variation upon one. In addition to iron it also possesses non-metal within its chemical make-up.

Impurities need be removed from iron ore before carbon is added – these include sulphur, silica & phosphorous. It is due to this process that steel is considerably sturdier than iron ore.

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What Is…?

Sheet Steel

Billson’s sheet steel is a flat, thin metal that is constructed using specific industrial
processes. Sheet steel is one of the most popular types of metal used in day-to-day construction.

A number of the specialist processes used in the crafting of sheet metals are listed below.


An equation is used in bending sheet steel is;


This ensures that the metal is not pushed to its breaking point. K is an amount that takes into account a number of individualistic factors, including friction. T is the tensile strength of the steel, L & T its length & thickness. The W is the open-width variable.


A process involving cutting that punches numerous, tightly knit holes into a flat piece of steel.

Laser Cutting

While steel can be cut manually, the advances in technology have also allowed it to be trimmed using computer controlled lasers. The quality of the edge of the steel is very high, typically mirror smooth.


The steel is placed between a punch press & a die. The punch barely fits into the die – it pushes into it with the force to break the steel. This is a particularly efficient steel fabricating process.


This process is a composite of a number of others being utilised together, including embossing, bending, flanging & punching. Stomping allows complicated & simplistic shapes metals to be produced at a high turnover rate.

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What Is…?

Steel Concrete Reinforcement

Reinforced Concrete is a material that joins the materials low tensile strength with a material possessing a higher tensile strength. The reinforcement, in this case, is steel. This steel is incorporated into the concrete before it sets.

The most effective reinforced steel concrete possesses:

  • High tensile strain toleration
  • High Strength
  • Good bond between materials
  • Thermal compatibility
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Steel – 10 (more) facts

Steel is increasingly used, year on year, in a wide variety of constructs, products & designs. Despite the steels commonality, however, there are a range of lesser-known facts about the material that are of the utmost interest.

Below, we present 10 more points of interest about Billson’s prime material; steel.

  • For each tonne of steel that is recycled, 120 pounds of limestone, 1,400 pounds of coal & 2,500 pounds of iron ore are conserved
  • 95 % of the water used in making steel (in North America) is recycled
  • The 1st steel constructed car was released in 1918
  • Roofs built from steel are fire proof, last longer than 50 years & are 100% recyclable
  • 40 trees are required to construct a wood house. 4 recycled steel cars, however, provide enough material to construct a 2000 sq. ft house
  • Steel is more dent-resistant than it was 10 years ago
  • Steel framed properties don’t twist, rot &/or split
  • 75% of all major appliances are comprised of steel
  • 600 steel tins are recycled every second
  • Steel roofs weigh less than asphalt roofs
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WW2 – Corby Steel

Corby steel workers played a pivotal role during the 2nd World War. When Europe was invaded by the Axis Powers, the steel workers of Corby helped to develop the under the ocean pipeline (also known as PLUTO).


These Pipe-Lines Under The Ocean, which some would say played an integral role in the allied forces’ eventual victory, allowed for the transportation of oil between England & France. This allowed vehicles to remain refuelled & in preparation for battle, particularly after D Day.

The steel workers in Corby provided the basic steel pipe, which was subsequently modified by professionals elsewhere in the country.

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