Steel plates, often known as structural steel, are made by compressing multiple layers together. Individual plates can be welded and cut to fit a variety of purposes. Steel plates are corrosion and abrasion resistant and come in various sizes and grades. 

They are a better option for metal sheets because of the thickness disparities. A lot of people use them for house building, major civil construction projects, mining machines, shipbuilding, and military projects. 

The cost of raw materials can have a significant influence on a particular project. Therefore it is crucial to source them carefully. While steel is a flexible raw material, the process of identifying, acquiring, and shipping this alloy may be a little challenging to navigate at times. 

Here are five critical steps that must be followed when purchasing a steel plate to ensure you’re getting the suitable material at the best price:

Step 1: Decide What You Require

While your steel distributor may be well-versed in the various metal grades, you are ultimately responsible for determining the grade, size, and amount required. It is the first step in getting an accurate and detailed estimate from a metal supplier.

Steel plate goods are classified into numerous categories, the most common of which are:

  • Steel for structural purposes
  • Steel that is abrasion resistant
  • Steel has been quenched and tempered.
  • Steel for marine and offshore applications
  • Steel for pressure vessels of high grade known as PVQ (Pressure Vessel Quality)

Step 2: Check Your Timetable

The difference between requiring steel this week and in three months can significantly influence your sourcing and total pricing.

Steel plate suppliers have a limited supply. This inventory might be kept in a single place or dispersed over many sites. If the plate you want is available near you, you will be able to receive it promptly and affordably.

Suppliers may need to custom order the plate directly from a mill if your requirements are unique (such as demanding uncommon sizes, rare grades, or a certain region of origin). This procedure might take many months.

When assessing your steel plate supplier, it is critical to inquire whether the product you want is in stock and, if so, where that inventory is located in proximity to the delivery location.

Step 3: Examine Your Shipping Options

The cost and availability of steel plates are heavily influenced by shipping. Of course, the longer and more expensive the journey, the higher the cost and duration. As a result, one of the first shipping inquiries you should make with your supplier is the location of the warehouse or mill where your materials will be sourced.

Vendors with inventory close to your final location may be able to complete your order there, saving you time and money on transportation. Of course, having a physical inventory location does not always imply that the supplier will fulfill the order from that location. Supplies will also be sourced out from other locations if the stocks are not enough, adding to shipping costs.

Step 4: Analyze Your Buying Options

Steel plates may now be purchased over the phone, email, or website, which is a significant improvement over previous years. However, not all metal suppliers provide all of these alternatives. Therefore it is critical to understand which purchasing methods potential suppliers provide.

As soon as you have determined the purchasing methods a supplier provides, you must choose which of these is the most appropriate for your requirements. Buying common steel plate grades like A572 or AR500 might be easier and faster if you order them online. 

Those that want more customized plates may choose to engage with a competent salesperson to guarantee their demands are satisfied.

Step 5: Partner with a Trustworthy Steel Supplier

Longevity, reputation, and trust are essential factors in the metal supply business. You need to partner with a reputable supplier to avoid compromising your project. Here are some solid signs of trust to look for when assessing metal suppliers:

1. Is the Supplier ISO 9001 Certified for Quality Management?

Companies with this accreditation have an established internal quality management system, guaranteeing that you receive the product you want when you require it and at the quality you expect.

2. How Long Has the Provider Been in Operation?

Suppliers who have solid connections with mills are the best. These collaborations take time, but they provide favored suppliers with better pricing and access to items.

3. What Is the Supplier’s Client Base?

If you find a supplier with a low client base, it could mean they specialize in a certain industry. However, it could also mean a reputation issue or that they are new to the business. If a supplier’s client base is small, request customer references right away. 

4. Where Can I Find the Supplier? 

How many and where are the supplier’s additional locations? Locations influence not just inventory amount and delivery speed but also company lifespan. Suppliers who operate on the fly are unlikely to have several sites.

Conclusion

It’s vital to choose the right flat steel for your projects. For instance, marine-grade plates, unlike low-carbon structural plates, resist rust and corrosion. As a result, employing any type of plate other than ballistic or armor plate is a terrible idea.

It’s better to hire professionals who could guide you in determining the right material for your needs and the best manufacturers to provide your demand.

KGS Steel Nashville is a full line structural steel and carbon steel service center warehouse servicing the southeastern United States since 1985. With over 100 years of combined sales experience, we offer the quality, commitment, and services demanded by today’s industrial sector. KGS Steel Nashville continues to maintain those values that have helped us grow into the company we are today. Contact us today.