The quality of steel plate varies dramatically. Much of this has to do with the additives that are placed into the steel during production, such as carbon or manganese. Depending on the makeup, it will impact the workability. If the steel plate is too hard to cut, weld, or work with, it is going to cause you more frustrations than anything else. Find out what the quality is before you make a purchase.
A steel plate is often treated in one way or another. It is what will make it more versatile. You want durability when using a hot rolled steel plate, regardless of whether it’s being used as a liner, a road plate, or in general construction. Find out if it has been weatherproofed or is capable of withstanding chemicals. If it’s not, find out if the supplier will be able to apply a treatment to the steel before you purchase it.
A steel plate is measured as thickness x width x length. The only one who can determine the size that you need is you. However, there are suppliers who will help you by recommending one size over another based on the type of project you are using it for.
There are a variety of stock sizes, allowing you to get what you need right away. Custom shapes and sizes are often available, too. This would mean finding a supplier who is able to take custom orders. By getting custom cuts, it saves time at the work site.
The cost is another aspect that to be aware of with a steel plate. With it being a metal, the cost can go up or down based on supply and demand. What you get your steel plate priced at this year might be different than what you get it for next year. If you can get a supplier to lock you into a set price for a multi-year contract, it could be to your benefit.
The more you buy, the easier it is to get custom pricing. You will want to negotiate the pricing with the supplier based on what you need, how frequently you plan to order, and what other kinds of business you might be able to bring them.
By taking the time to know more about your project, what the steel plate will be exposed to, and how often you will need the plate in your various projects, it will be easier to obtain what you need at a competitive price. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the quality and treatments of the steel. You have the right to know exactly what you’re getting so you don’t run into issues in the middle of a construction or installation project.