Once the hot-band coil leaves the hot mill it goes through a series of value-added processing steps. The first of which is pickling which involves unwinding the steel and running it through a series of hydrochloric acid tanks and rinse tanks.
The pickling process removes iron oxide from the hot mill and leaves a clean surface on the steel. Once the steel is free of scale it is coated with a rust preventative oil and coiled.
Pickled steel can be sold directly into the market or sent to the cold mill for further processing.
End use applications for pickled and oiled steel include: automotive frames; electrical cabinets; stampings, and painted unexposed structural parts.