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Our HS categories help to simplify the variety of standards and trade names from a purchasing perspective.

For most structural steel, engineering standards exist. Steel mills generally certify to one standard, even though the steel may be mechanically equivalent to other standards. We sometimes see this with ASTM A514, CSA G40.21 100QT and EN 10025 S690Q. Certain steels, such as microalloys, may also be mechanically equivalent but not included in a standard. For this reason, we group these products based on their common mechanical properties and fabrication practices, using the yield strength as a guide. The “100” in HS 100 refers to the 100,000 psi minimum yield strength that HS 100 steels possess (up to 2-½”). HS 130 and HS 44W/50W work the same way. If the design concern is yield strength, then specifying one standard or another may actually limit your options.

For abrasion-resistant steels, there are no engineering standards. Only trade names exist. We group these products based on their common mechanical properties and fabrication practices. Using the nominal Brinell hardness as a guide, the “400” in HS 400 refers to 400 BHN nominal hardness. HS 450, HS 500, HS 550 and HS 600 work the same way. If your design concern is wear life, then specifying one trade name or another may unduly limit your options. At the same time, specifying a generic commodity grade may open the door to lower quality steel. The HS designation avoids this dilemma.

The “HS” designation also provides a base level of quality control. Thousands of tons of experience has taught us that not all high strength and quenched and tempered steels are equal. The marriage of steel making technology and heat-treating art often produces inconsistencies in flatness, formability, weldability, machinability, hardness, and impact values. For some producers this marriage produces better results than for others. In selecting only the best results from a wide range of producers, we established our own set of quality standards for our inventory. The “HS” categories reflect our own buying requirements in terms of minimum flatness, hardness, surface condition and reliability.

You can ask us for an HS category, an engineering specification, or a specific trade name. In either case, we will provide the optimum results from a top tier producer.