The largest steel production facility in Australia is BlueScope’s steelworks at Port Kembla, New South Wales. With an annual production capacity of approximately three million tonnes of crude steel, it manufactures slab, hot-rolled coil and plate products.
BlueScope's Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) detail environmental impacts across a range of categories and include EPDs for XLERPLATE® steel, ho- rolled coil and welded beams and columns. Use of BlueScope steel flat products can help projects to earn Green Star rating tools points.
Uncoated steel products can be created from a variety of steel chemistries and processed in many ways. They do not have a metallic coating or paint coating applied by the manufacturer.
Plate steel manufactured to customer-specified steel grade and dimensions. It is a heavy product (5–15 mm thick) and typical applications include bridge girders, water reservoir construction, wind towers, mining equipment and pressure vessels. XLERPLATE is also used in stairwells, trailer trays and various other flooring applications and is sometimes referred to as ‘pattern plate’, ‘chequer plate’ or ‘tread plate’ for the floor plates manufactured with these distinctive raised patterns.
Plate steel manufactured to customer-specified steel grade and dimensions, between 1.6 mm and 12 mm thick. Typical applications include structural sections, shelving, tanks, racking, guard rails, automotive components and pressure vessels.
Coil plate steel manufactured to customer-specified steel grade and dimensions (3 mm-16 mm thick). Typical applications include structural sections, light poles, trailer and automotive components, general fabrication applications and floor plates with raised patterns.
Cold-rolled coil steel is processed through a cold rolling mill to reduce steel thickness and impact certain properties (e.g. strength and hardness). It is manufactured to customer-specified steel grade and dimensions and its benefits include better surface quality, better shape and availability in thinner sections (0.5–3.2 mm). Typical applications include automotive and appliance parts, guard rails, structural sections and tubing.
Weathering steels are widely recognised for their distinctive ‘patina’ that results from protective surface oxidation and develops during exposure to the atmosphere. BlueScope produces REDCOR® weathering steel using a particular chemistry in the steelmaking process to obtain this property. The steel is then processed into hot and cold rolled coil and TRU-SPEC® steel for applications such as facades, landscaping and sculptures. XLERPLATE® steel is often used for bridges.
Flat bar manufactured to customer specified grade and dimensions, EMBAR® steel is plate or hot rolled coil that is cut into narrower sections. Some EMBAR® steel can be machined edged, providing straight smooth edges. Typical applications include lintels, cleats, stiffeners and base plates.
These are made from plate and flat bar. Three sections of plate are welded together to make a steel beam or column. They are used in large commercial constructions, bridges, mine construction and recreational infrastructure such as stadia.
COLORBOND® is the most well known of all prepainted steel products in Australia. Though most widely used in roofing, there are a variety of other applications such as fencing, walling, gutters, water tanks, garage doors, garden sheds and packaging drums.
The first coating applied to the steel base is one that enhances the protective coating of the steel substrate, then a thin pretreatment layer is added to optimise adhesion of further coatings. Next, a corrosion inhibitive primer is baked onto the surface and then a topcoat of specially developed exterior grade paint is baked on to provide resistance to chipping, flaking and blistering.
COLORBOND® comes in a large variety of colours and has been tested in some of Australia’s harshest climates to assess colour and gloss durability as well as corrosion resistance.
Metallic coated steel is the combination of cold-rolled steel coil, sheet or strip with a metallic coating designed to work together to provide a product that is best suited to particular applications. Production is via continuous hot dip metallic coating lines. The two main categories of metallic coated steel grades are structural grades and formable grades as defined by Australian Standard AS 1397:2011.
Structural performance of the product is derived from the strength and thickness of the base steel while the type and thickness of the metallic coating determines surface properties of the product – e.g. corrosion resistance, weldability and aesthetics. A range of different metal alloys and zinc provide different finishes to suit different applications.
Well-known tradenames associated with metallic coated products are ZINCALUME® (roofing and walling products, garage doors, structural sections, etc.), TRUECORE® (residential steel framing), GALVASPAN® (high-strength structural steel for structural profiles such as purlins) and DECKFORM® (structural steel decking – permanent structural formwork used in construction of suspended concrete slabs).
All images courtesy BlueScope Steel.