Blog - Armour Alloys

Armour Alloys Blog

How It's Made: Slit Coil

   Coil slitting is a process where a large “master coils” are cut into narrower widths or “slit coils” specified by the end user. The slitting process has many different moving parts that are all critical in obtaining a quality coil for the end user. In the stainless steel and aluminum industry it’s essential for your processor to have advanced technology to maintain quality while keeping costs down. Below, we outline the steps and machinery we use to create our high quality slit coil products.


   Master coils are loaded onto the Slitting line to set up the processing sequence. The coil is then unwound and fed into a pinch-roll “leveler” which flattens and guides the stainless steel and aluminum towards the slitter head.


   The Slitter head is the central part of the slitting line that cuts or “slits” the master coil into multiple desired widths. The head is a series of rotary knives and spacers that are setup by the operator to provide the slit widths. When the knives and spacers are built to match the production order, it’s time to feed the coil through the slitting head.


   The first 3-4 feet of the slit coils are test strips from which measurements must be taken to confirm coil widths are within tolerance, gauge thickness, edge condition,  and free of any surface marks, lines, or other blemishes that would be problematic for the end user. Once the quality checks are completed, the material is fed over the looping pit (an optional piece of the slitting process), on towards to the tension stand.




   To understand the utility of a looping pit and tension stand, you must first understand the physical properties of a coil. When coils are produced at the mill, they have what is commonly called a “crown” meaning the outside edges are thinner than the center of the coil. When slitting many different narrow strips (that are side-by-side) from one master coil, the thicker center material naturally builds up a larger outer diameter on the recoiler and causes a variance in tension across all of the strips.


   The larger the diameter, the faster the recoiler pulls through the center strips while the thinner outer strips recoils much slower on the smaller diameter. To overcome the recoiled variance in the coils outer diameters, and the difference in each strips’ “take-up” speed, they are “looped” into a 50’ deep formed pit allowing each slit coil enough slack to compensate for the difference in diameters.


   The Tension-Stand aids in the process by keeping all of the strips under a consistent “controlled tension” eliminating “flutter” i.e. up/down vibration, to produce tight even coils with flush side-walls and perfect diameters. Without the looping pit and tension-stand, line operators must resort to a make-shift solution by placing cardboard or other paper products into the rolls to artificially increase the outer diameters of the thinner strips. Processing coils without a Loop-pit also run the risk of inducing camber into the material at high tensions or tearing light gauge aluminum.


   The material final stage is the recoiling of the slit coils at the end of the line into the specified ID (inner diameter) and OD (outer diameter). Each cut is separated by small round “separator-disks” on an arm that prevents any lateral movement of each slit coil, thus forming a perfect smooth vertical “wall” on the coil. The material is then banded and pushed off the recoiler onto an exit coil car destined for the packaging department.


   Every Slitting line has slightly different components and processes depending on the required end product. Armour Alloys uses modified line technology for enhanced processes such as PVC applicators, laser guides, video monitoring, and entry looping pits… which we will introduce in another blog!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Laser Cutting

In the manufacturing industry, laser cutting is one of the many value added process for stainless steel, aluminum, and mild steel.


Laser Cutting


Laser cutting allows manufacturers to cut intricate shapes with incredibly high accuracy and quality. Laser cutting works by focusing a laser beam on the material, initially piercing through it before continuing the cut in the desired direction.


Throughout the whole process, no machine parts actually touch the material. The material is cut using the intensity of the laser beam to melt through it. Depending on the material and cut, you can use a pulsed laser, which delivers the beam in short bursts, or a continuous beam which is constant. The operator is also able to control the intensity of the beam as well as the length, and heat output depending on what material is being cut.


Why use laser cutting?

  • Minimal risk of damaged material as no machine parts actually touch the material.
  • A much safer operation than traditional cutting methods.
  • Reduction of material waste and quicker process.
  • Intricate design execution due to the accuracy of the laser.
  • Machine parts will not wear down during a job.


At Armour Alloys, we offer material with many different value added processes including laser cutting of stainless steel and aluminum. Call us today with any inquiries regarding your laser cutting requirements.


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

3 Major Benefits of Laser Cutting

Laser Cutting


Countless industries rely on efficiency and craftsmanship that last cutting technology offers. Cutting technology has significantly improved over the last decade; laser machinery can now slice through a variety of different materials with master precision. The proficiency of a laser-cut end-product is unmatched in terms of quality and versatility. Those in architecture, aeronautics/astronautics, construction, and retail industries rely on the meticulous and detailed parts that only a laser cutter can provide. We often get questions regarding the significant differences between laser cutting and other approaches; the following blog will discuss the primary benefits of choosing laser cutting for your business needs:


More Technique Is Used in Laser Cutting Operations:

Laser cutting is the primary method of penetrating & designing various materials. Consistency is a major reason why many industries and verticals only trust laser cutting for their company’s needs. Being able to replicate results, attempt after attempt will prevent re-cuts which can lead to added expenses that many businesses can simply not afford. The reason that laser cutters are so dependable is that they do not physically touch the elements being cut. Many traditional forms of cutting are less reliable than laser cutters since physical contact may cause the cutting apparatus to break down over time, necessitating recalibration.


Most Projects Only Require One Machine

Other common material-cutting devices boast a slower and ineffective lead time which can be extremely frustrating to businesses and companies that require curtailed material goods in a short period of time. Large, major projects are completed in a timely fashion and with the utmost care & consideration for the needs of business owners. With laser cutting technology, major projects will no longer take weeks to complete and should be 100% completed within days. Smaller cutting projects will be cut and delivered quickly upon the placement of an order.


No Risk Of Material Warping or Manipulation

One of the major risks associated with traditional forms of cutting is the possibility of material warping when the material is very thin, delicate and fragile. Intricate and smaller projects look excellent and pristine following a cut in a laser cutter (i.e engraving a photograph, etc.) Regardless of the thickness of the material that you plan to cut, choosing a laser cutting device will deliver an unparalleled end-product in half the time that a traditional cutter could deliver.


Laser cutting will sufficiently improve your business solutions and deliver a beautiful, high-quality end-product. With laser cutting, you no longer need to worry about operational malfunctions, you no longer need to wait extended periods of time for your end-product to be completed, and you do not need to worry about potential material warping or manipulation. For more information, contact Armour Alloys today!


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn



Many skilled trade industries rely on the commodity market to fulfill the duties of the workload. The commodity market is prosperous and influential in the world economy. However, it can be risky and uncertain at times. Skilled tradesmen and independent contractors must work with the understanding that, at times, supply-and-demand and countless other factors may impact their ability to accept jobs or, in unfortunate circumstances, complete jobs. The commodity market has traits that are like the stock market in that some industries will stock up on materials when they’re priced at a fair cost.


Investors and traders need to be mindful of how the commodity pricing market can affect their economics and business operations. A variety of factors can impact the reliability of commodities and therefore, the prices you’ll end up paying for them. Here are a few of the biggest contributing determinants that will impact the price you pay for commodities.


Government Actions

The policies that the federal and provincial governments put in place will affect the cost of commodities. World governments will often have unique importing and exporting rates on certain commodities. If the Canadian government was to place a tariff on aluminum and steel products, the import duties will be reflected in the price of your purchase contract.


Economic Fluctuation

The cost of commodities can be drastically affected by events, whether they be economic or political, in the country where your commodities are being exported from. Countries that export goods depend on a stable economy and political regime to empower the nation’s purchasing power, so when a country’s political or financial situation is uncertain, demand for their commodities will also plummet. Working in a commodity-driven industry requires a lot of research and foresight to make adequate and savvy investments.


Product Storage/Transportation

Globalization has benefitted thousands, if not millions, of businesses worldwide as they can access resources at a price point that makes sense. One component that may influence the commodity market is the storage necessities and means of transportation for commodities. While the cost of storage and transportation may not make a tremendous dent in the purchasing contracts, they are important to keep in mind while figuring out your budget.


Supply and Demand

Supply and demand may be the most influential aspect in terms of commodity pricing. To generalize, the more in-demand a commodity becomes, the more the commodity producer will be able to charge for their goods, especially if their yield is in low supply. Supply and demand prices may change over time due to the time of the year you make purchases as well as other international obstacles.


For more information on stainless steel, nickel and aluminum distribution, contact Armour Alloys today!


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Spools of steel


The aluminum and stainless-steel industry have so many important terms and concepts to know. To make informed decisions regarding aluminum or steel, we feel it is important for clients to have a general understanding of the terms we use to give them a broader appreciation for the products they purchase. It’s a big reason that we’ve compiled several stainless steel and aluminum terms, but it’s important to expand on that list. The following written piece will provide numerous other terms that are frequently used in the aluminum and steel manufacturing industry.


Anodizing: Metal and aluminum experts will improve the corrosion-resistant alloys capabilities. To do so, experts will thicken the natural oxide layer that rests on the surface of the metal or aluminum. The supplementary coating is applied by adjusting the treated alloy.


Continuous Casting: An important step in the production of metals and other alloys. Metals, which can include extrusion billets or rolling slabs, are placed in a die which instantly freezes it.


Cut to Length: Is a process that steel & metal experts use to manufacture flat, smooth and rectangular steel sheets from a consider amount of metal coils.


Extrusion: Describes the process where a billet of metal is heated to a state of plastic, and then it is put through a dye. This process facilitates a fast and financially conscious production of extended steel or alloy that will be used for sophisticated sections of construction. Historically speaking, the first metal that was every extruded was lead, but modern technological advances have made it possible for brass, aluminum and steel to be extruded.


Forging: A major component of our jobs is to take solid metals and alloys and shape them into an end-product that our clients can use. Forging metals is the process of taking a slab or sheet of metal to shape them. The pressure that is applied through hammer blows to shape metal and steel can weigh multiple tons.


HSLA: stands for High strength low alloy. Not every company will require the metallic properties that high strength low alloys boast. Government institutions often utilize HSLA for the construction of pipelines or in other scenarios where they need a reinforced alloy that will not wither to corrosion.


Shredder: Metal and other alloys cannot be ripped apart with generic tools or instruments and therefore require the use of heavy machinery to manipulate large pieces of metal, including the destruction of old vehicles or equipment. Metal manufacturers will take these scraps of metal and repurpose them for several different uses.


Slitting: A procedure in which steel sheets coils are converted into strips after it is run through machinery equipped with rotary knives.


The metal and alloy industry are full of unique terms and colloquialisms that can be confusing to customers and outside observers. We aim to educate all interest customers in the process and manufacturing of metals and other in-demand alloys. For more information, feel free to contact us today!


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

The Benefits of an ISO 9001 Certification

ISO Logo


Hundreds of thousands of companies all over the world rely on skilled steel and alloy manufacturers for high-end products and services. Before companies start to deal with steel manufacturers, one such quality they look for is an ISO 9001 certification. A certification like ISO 9001 conveys that a steel manufacturer works at an international pedigree to ensure all finished products meet industry regulations. There is a multitude of reasons why all steel & alloy producers should procure an ISO 9001 authentication – the following article will go over a few of the benefits it can provide.


Improved Productivity

ISO 9001 certifications assert that manufacturing plants have, in place, a quality management system that oversees all means of production in an organized and efficient manner. Therefore, the implementation of a certificate will ensure that steel & alloy employees remain more productive as they can track & monitor the progress of their working process. It will allow employees to inspect all necessary documents and procedure protocol to ensure they remain on track and provide a high-quality service to their customers.


Significant Waste Reduction

With a quality management system in place, manufacturing companies will have an opportunity to enact waste prevention protocol effectively. Not only is this an ideal function in terms of money saved by a company, but the overall effects of harnessing customer appreciation & trust. Waste is a burden on our planet, and the more waste that is produced, the quicker landfills and other waste disposal plants will fill up. Limiting the number of resources that are needed for a specific service will end up saving manufacturing companies thousands of dollars and an abundance of time, which will ensure that paying customers receive a high-quality product.


Improved Customer Relations

As previously mentioned, the satisfaction that customers feel with a manufacturing company makes all the difference in the world. An ISO 9001 certification helps companies discover and prioritize issues or concerns that customers are experiencing. This system will allow company owners and management teams the opportunity to implement a protocol that will make working conditions safer, more efficient and improve the overall work experience. One thing is guaranteed, when employees feel their working conditions are organized and fun, fewer mistakes will be made, it makes communications easier, it will allow for more accurate estimates for customers and ensures all working standards are upheld with yearly reviews.


At Armour Alloys, we proudly abide by all the regulatory standards laid out in the ISO 9001 certificate. It’s amongst our best interests to improve productivity, reduce waste and boost our customer relations. For more information on steel & alloy production and the methodologies behind Armour Alloys means of production, contact us today!


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Differences Between Steel Finishes

Wheel grinding steel making sparks


Finishes are performed by steel & metal engineers, and it consists of treating the outer layers of steel & metal to improve its durability and sustainability. Metal finishes also make the end-product look more visually appealing. Finishes have also been known to reduce harmful reactions (i.e. corrosion or rust) from foreign chemicals. Armour Alloys is proud to offer all our customers a detailed and personalized order to meet the needs of their patrons. Not all finishes are created equally, so it’s important to discuss the various kinds of finishes and how they can be used to accentuate your production.


Types of Stainless Finish


  • There are a number of  different stainless finishes for steel and metal including
  • 2B- Steel and metal are finished with a subtly reflective sheen. This finish is traditionally used for baking equipment, plumbing apparatus and industrial machinery.
  • No. 4- A durable finish, a very low maintenance coat, commonly applied in highly populated areas for metal handrails, kitchen appliances and public sinks.
  • No. 8 – Incredibly reflective sheen is applied to steel improving its aesthetic and are typically used for mirrors and ornamental trim
  • BA- This finish is typically used for domestic means due to its corrosion resistance and smooth surfaces. It is commonly used domestically for washing machines and dishwashers.


Mill Finish

Mill finishes are popular as the default finish on a good majority of ordered steels and metals. Aluminum sheets that receive a mill finish boast a partly reflective and a partly dull finish. The top side of the mill finished sheet is coated to guard it against scratches, while the other side is susceptible to light scratches.


Mill finishes on stainless steel sheets typically produce a flat grey tone, and even though it’s not that visually pleasing, the front of the sheet is produced with minimal scratches and blemishes. The reverse side of a mill finished stainless steel sheet may have a few small scratches due to the production process. 


Polished Finish

As the name of this process implicates, stainless steel and aluminum will be processed to the point that there is a noticeable reflective sheen, albeit not as reflective as a mirror. To achieve this look, steel and aluminum are run through a machine that works vigorously to remove all blemishes through a sequence of purification treatments. Following this, treated metal and aluminum will receive a buffing procedure to ensure that the sheen is highly reflective. Polished steel is commonly used to create silverware utensils like spoons, forks and knives. 


Pattern Finish

Much like the name implicates, this metallic treatment imprints a design onto steel and aluminum. For example, some of the designs that are highly sought after by steel and aluminum consumers include circles, diamonds, rectangles, brick and customized company logos! 


If you’re looking for steel & aluminum services but are unsure of how to go about it, feel free to contact Armour Alloys today! 


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Hardness Tests Available for Metal and Steel

Man testing steel strength


When metal is produced and shipped off for customer use, it must be able to withstand a certain level of pressure. Hardness tests assess if metal is resistant to long-lasting indentation. These tests utilize indenters, which are minuscule, hard objects that are placed on a sheet of metal or steel for an extended time with a controlled force to see if they leave permanent markings. Hardness tests are typically the final step in the steel and metal manufacturing process – production plants will assess the results of tests and determine whether or not a product is faulty. If the tests prove to be a success, the metal and steel products are shipped away for general use. If the test results are unfavourable, the metal and steel products will not be sent to the customer. Here are a few of the different hardness tests used today:


Vickers Test

The Vickers test imposes a pressure maximum of 110 pounds and can be used on very large or very small quantities of steel or metal. The indenter used during the Vickers test resembles a squared diamond.


Brinell Test

The Brinell Test uses a ball indenter and is used to test the hardness of steel and metal sheets. Regulated force is applied to the metal or steel and upon the completion of the test, there should be a circular indent left behind.


Knoop Test

The Knoop test is the most reliable assessment available to ensure small quantities of steel and metal are adequately treated. Essentially, this test is operated by steel and metal manufacturers that cannot place certain materials under extreme pressure. In the Knoop test, the maximum amount of pressure applied to the metal is just slightly above two pounds. The indenter for this test is usually in the shape of a rhombus. The entire process requires the utmost precision and diligence.


Rockwell Test

The Rockwell test utilizes two different indenters: a diamond cone and steel ball. Depending on the metallic source being tested, metal manufacturers will determine which indenter would work best. The test starts slowly with a minuscule amount of pressure applied to the steel or metal product to establish a point of reference. Eventually, more force is added to the metal. As the test nears completion, a minor load of pressure is applied to the metal or steel, and the indenter is pulled away.


At Armour Alloys, we understand how important it is for us to double-check every customer order for reliability and consistency. The difference between the tests mentioned above are determined by our experienced team of metal manufacturers to ensure that customer needs are met and exceeded. For more information, contact us today!


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

4 Popular Uses Of Aluminum

Large aluminum cylinders


During World War II, aluminum played an important role in the development of aviation technology. Nearly a decade after the war, aluminum was highly procured by construction plants and mechanical engineers. Today, aluminum is among the most popular non-ferrous metals available.

Millions of companies rely on the distribution of aluminum for a variety of purposes and it’s safe to say that it will remain an important resource for decades to come. So what are the most popular uses of aluminum in the world today? Read more to find out!


Travel and Transportation

Aluminum is a durable resource that is also light, making it a rarity in the steel and metal industry. The automobile industry still relies on steel to compose their vehicles, but there is a noticeable shift occurring. Companies that manufacture mass-transportation vehicles like high-speed rail systems and airplanes/jets are now using aluminum to reduce vehicular weight. Decreasing the weight of a vehicle by using aluminum instead of steel improves fuel efficiency, vehicle velocity, and reduces carbon emissions.


Electrical Lines

Copper conducts electricity better than any resource, however, it is very heavy which limits its potential for use on electrical lines. Therefore, electrical engineers use aluminum for power lines and other important electrical components like antennas and satellite receivers. Aluminum is also a much more malleable and pliable material than copper which allows electrical engineers to transform it into a wire more easily. Aluminum boasts corrosion-resistant properties that protect electrical lines from intense rainstorms, snowstorms, and hail.


Doors and Windows

The insulation properties of aluminum make it a valuable commodity for homes, specifically the installation of aluminum windows and doors. These products improve household energy efficiency, and due to their durable qualities, homeowners do not need to perform heavy-duty maintenance on their windows and doors. Once again, since aluminum boasts corrosion-resistant features, it is ideal for homes and businesses in humid and torrential regions.


Cell Phones & Tablets

Today, cell phones and tablets are virtually weightless. Thanks to aluminum, these lightweight, complex devices boast a sleek physical appearance. Aluminum is essentially the ideal resource for electronic manufacturers because it’s more visually appealing and durable than plastic and weighs significantly less than steel.



The aforementioned article describes only a few ways in which aluminum is utilized in modern-day society. The truth is, global industries and corporations are starting to realize the potential for aluminum which is driving its demand skyward. Aluminum provides so much more to the world than aluminum foil and pop cans, it is transforming the way we live and the way we interact with other people. For more information, feel free to contact Armour Alloys. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

4 Most Popular Uses of Stainless Steel

corner of steel


Stainless steel and automobiles share a long history together. Their story dates back to when Henry Ford used it for the Model-T nearly 90 years ago. Unfortunately, due to the cost of stainless steel, it became impractical to design entire automobiles out of the resource. Instead, automobile manufacturers would use stainless steel for car parts like mufflers and radiators. Nowadays, more vehicle makers are using stainless steel to build vehicle frames due to its lightweight properties.



Early in the 20th century, architects and engineers were influenced by an artistic style known as Art Deco. Historic buildings like the Empire State Building were constructed using this style, and engineers used stainless steel due to its elegance and polished aesthetic. Since then, stainless steel has become the primary resource for skyscrapers and other large structures like bridges. Stainless steel is also an environmentally conscientious resource as it can be recycled and repurposed.


Automotive & Transportation of Goods 

Stainless steel and automobiles share a long history together. Their story dates back to when Henry Ford used it for the Model-T nearly 90 years ago. Unfortunately, due to the cost of stainless steel, it became impractical to design entire automobiles out of the resource. Instead, automobile manufacturers would use stainless steel for car parts like mufflers and radiators. Nowadays, more vehicle makers are using stainless steel to build vehicle frames.


Stainless steel is also used for vehicles that are designed to transport liquids and food because it doesn’t corrode as quickly as other alloys and precious metals.


Medical Devices & Supplies

Stainless steel is a versatile resource that can be used to build skyscrapers, vehicles and even medical devices! Stainless steel was first used in the health & medical field for essential devices like scalpels and stethoscopes. Nowadays, the medical industry for a number of different devices due to its corrosion-resistant properties. Stainless steel is also easily sterilized.


Stainless steel is even used for medical operations and surgeries. Dentists will use stainless steel crowns to fix molars that have decayed – stainless steel crowns prevent decaying teeth from causing more complications. General physicians will also use stainless steel plates for patients with broken bones.


Food Industry

It’s as if stainless steel was made specifically for your kitchen! Stainless steel corrosion-resistant qualities make it the perfect material for silverware. Its sterilization qualities allow homeowners to wash their forks and knives with the reassurance that all harmful germs and bacteria will be removed. Additionally, stainless steel is very durable, which will prevent your silverware from breaking or bending.


There you have it – the most popular uses of stainless steel in modern society! For more information, contact Armour Alloys today!


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn