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Tests and Standards to Check the Quality of Steel

Testing a material is very crucial as it helps in identifying the characteristics and behavior of a substance. Steel being the world’s foremost construction material has to be of the best quality. Setting a standard and maintaining it is quite crucial in order to gain customer loyalty as well as ensuring safety. The steel industry uses the term “quality” to designate a characteristic of a material which makes it well suited for a particular application. Various tests performed to ensure the quality of the material are as follows:

 1. What is a mill certificate?

It is a quality assurance document that a producer uses in the metal industry to show product compliance with international standards. It certifies both physical as well as chemical properties. This certificate provides assurance to the end users of the raw material that the order they received is as per their requirements. It helps to maintain the traceability of the product from start to end i.e. from raw material to a finished product.

2. What is bending test?

It is an inexpensive quality test that helps to determine the flexibility and soundness of the metal. Through this test you can determine the material’s resistance level. The main aim of this test is to shape the sample material into various shapes. This test shows whether the metal will be able to tolerate the pressure under construction or not. It is necessary to maintain the frequency of the bending test in order to prevent structural issues.

3. What is tension test?

This process helps determine the tensile strength, yield strength, and elasticity of the material. This test shows the reaction of the material towards the force applied to it. In this test, the manufacturer puts a steel bar sample under controlled tension, until the failure stage. It helps in predicting material performance under normal and extreme forces.

4. What is yield strength test?

This test involves taking a steel sample whose cross-section area is determined prior, then pulling it with a controlled gradual increasing force until it changes its shape or breaks. When the yield formula is demonstrated by a metallic material there is a point at which plastic deformation occurs without any increase in force.

5. What is chemical test?

This test is done on steel to know the level of chemical content and find out whether there is a dangerous chemical substance in the sample. A chemical analyst conducts a test to check the chemical contents of a sample and learn the composition, structures, and material properties from the atomic scale up to a molecule scale.

Standards for steel:

India is the 3rd largest producer of steel in the world percentage of standard and certified steel. In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards is engaged in the formulation and implementation of national standards known as Indian Standards. Adoption of Indian Standards or marking products to bear ISI Mark by its very nature is optional unless it is made mandatory under specific Law, Rules & Regulations. Section 14 of the BIS Act 1986 authorizes Union Government to make the use of ISI marks mandatory in the public interest.

Government has been imposing steel quality control order for ensuring the quality of steel for the industry users and public at large. Ministry of Steel has, so far, notified 4 different quality control orders covering thereby 33 steel products and they are Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2012,  Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Second Order, 2012, Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2015, Stainless Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2016. Various standards for steel in India are available here.