When steel comes in plate form, it's amazingly versatile. Strong, weldable, and reliable, it's a favorite for applications ranging from building construction to military armor. At Eagle National Steel, we have a huge selection of steel plate for sale. But, to choose the right kind for your project, it's important to know a little bit about it first. Below, you'll find more about steel plate.
Steel plate is formed either by hot rolling or cold rolling. As the names indicate, these processes are similar. Though hot rolling is done at a higher temperature, they both involve steel being flattened much like dough is flattened by a rolling pin. Hot-rolled steel tends to be easier to work with, but it carries slight distortions that might make it less suitable when extreme precision is needed. However, it's strong, durable, and lacks internal stresses. Cold-rolled steel tends to be more expensive than hot-rolled steel, and it's harder to work with. However, it's also smoother, and its measurements are more precise.
Steel plate and steel sheet are similar, but plate is thicker. In general, anything that's 1/4" thick or more falls under the category of steel plate, while thinner steel will be categorized as sheet (or foil, if it's thin enough).
Below, you'll see three popular categorizations of steel plate. We use ASTM standards to refer to the different steel designations. These are incredibly helpful and are used across multiple industries.
Most steel plate is considered structural steel. In this category, there's a huge variety of steel types. A36 is an incredibly popular variety of carbon steel plate. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to weld, bolt, or rivet. A514 steel is a high-strength, low-alloy structural steel that has been quenched and tempered for improved strength while maintaining weldability. In addition to buildings, it's also frequently used in heavy machinery. Many other varieties of steel plate fall under the structural steel category, including different A131 steel designed for ships, A709 steel designed for bridges, and more.
The exceptional strength and corrosion-resistance of steel plate makes it suitable for boilers, gas tanks, and other storage containers that hold compressed gas or fluid. These plates are often alloyed (mixed with a small amount of something else) with metals like nickel, molybdenum, and manganese. Like structural steel plate, pressure vessel steel plate is available in a variety of hardness, strength, and weldability levels.
Diamond plate steel is a versatile type of steel plate that you've probably seen in a number of settings, from outdoor steps to truck beds. It can even be used decoratively! The diamond pattern on this plate steel (which is generally hot-rolled) provides it with anti-slip properties, making it useful for just about anywhere that reduced traction is a hazard.