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European steel standards

The frst European steel standards were published

as EURONORM-standards by the European Coal
and Steel Community in 1951.
Since 1986 the European Committee for Iron and
Steel Standardization (ECISS), an associate or-
ganization of the European Committee for
Standardization (CEN), has been responsible for
the generation of steel standards.
What is a standard?
A standard can be defned as a document, estab-
lished by consensus and approved by a recognized
body, that provides, for common and repeated use,
rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities
or their results, aimed at the achievement of the op-
timum degree of order in a given context.
Advantages of standardization
Clear and unambiguous information, that can be widely understood, can ultimately lead to cost savings;
Standards can enable organizations to use many suppliers rather than being dependent on one;
The reliability and quality of a supplier can be more easily controlled, if standards are use
Standardization supports the cooperation of companies as well as increasing competition;
The risks of Research & Development decrease, when standards are used.
A standard is often a technical term of delivery. It is common to refer to European standards in enquiries, offers
and delivery agreements between a supplier and a purchaser. EU Directives, laws or regulations often refer
to standards, for instance concerning pressure equipment, construction products or safety of machinery. Al-
though the use of standards is voluntary, compliance with a harmonized standard is often the most practical
way to declare conformity with the essential requirements contained in relevant EU Directives.
How to use steel standards
Different types of standards
The most essential standards for steel are material standards. Material standards can be understood as
containing the technical requirements for products, such as chemical composition, mechanical properties,
testing, etc. Material standards are grouped according to steel type, for instance to hot-rolled structural
steels, stainless steels, steels for quenching and tempering.
Standards often include references to other standards, for example, if hardness requirements are given in
HV units, the standard may stipulate that hardness measurements shall be made in accordance with
EN ISO 6507-1 (Vickers hardness test). Figure 1 gives some examples of different types of standards.
Structure and content of a material standard
The structure and content of material standards are often quite similar. In the case of where there is a lot of
information on a particular area, the standard is divided into several parts.
Common requirements for all steel grades are presented in Part 1 of the standard. Specifc requirements
for different grade groups in the following parts, for example, EN 10025 Hot rolled products of structural
Part 1: General technical delivery conditions
Part 2: Technical delivery conditions for non-alloy structural steels
Part 3: Technical delivery conditions for normalized/normalized rolled fne grain structural steels
Part 4: Technical delivery conditions for thermomechanical rolled weldable fne grain structural steels
Part 5: Technical delivery conditions for structural steels with improved atmospheric corrosion resistance
Part 6: Technical delivery conditions for fat products of high yield strength structural steels in the
quenched and tempered condition
Standards on
shape, dimension
and tolerance
Defnitions EN 10025 Parts 1 to 6 EN 10162 Cold rolled Mechanical testing
EN 10079 Defnitions Hot rolled products of steel sections - EN ISO 6507-1
of steel products structural steels Technical delivery Vickers hardness test
Vocabularies conditions - EN 10308 Ultrasonic
EN 10052 Vocabulary Dimensional and testing of steel bars
of heat treatment cross-sectional Chemical analysis
terms tolerances Determination of total
carbon content
When using a standard with multiple parts, the requirements of Part 1 and those of other parts must always
be taken into account concurrently.
The foreword which is written in a formal manner gives details of which technical committee has prepared
the standard and which national standards organization is holding the secretariat. The foreword includes the
member countries of CEN, which will be implementing the standard as a national standard, for example, DIN
EN (Germany), SFS-EN (Finland), BS EN (UK), etc.
The scope defnes the parameters of the standard; what products are covered and often what products it
does not cover. The next example is the scope of EN 10025-1 Hot rolled products of structural steels. Part 1:
General technical delivery conditions:
This document specifes requirements for fat and long products (see Clause 3) of hot rolled structural
steels excluding structural hollow sections and tubes. Part 1 of this document specifes the general deliv-
ery conditions. The steels specifed in this document are intended for use in welded, bolted and riveted
structures. This document does not apply to coated products or to steel products for general structural
Normative references
This clause contains standards and/or documents that are
indispensable for the application of the current standard.
The requirements of a material standard are often con-
nected to mechanical properties, chemical composition,
surface condition of the product, internal soundness,
degree of cleanliness, hardenability, etc. and a standard
can make reference to other standards which contain
requirements or tests regarding these properties. If the
reference is undated, the latest edition shall be applied
(including possible amendments).
Terms and defnitions
This clause refers to the vocabulary of the standard and
normally includes specialized terms necessary to under-
stand the standard. In reference to steel standards, this
item refers usually to EN 10020 Defnition and classi-
fcation of grades of steel, EN 10052 Vocabulary of heat
treatment terms and EN 10079 Defnitions of steel products.
Additionally specifc defnitions and defnitions differing
from the defnitions given in the aforementioned
standards can be presented.
Classifcation and designation
The classifcation and designation of steels is based on
EN 10020 Defnition and classifcation of grades of steel,
EN 10027 Designation systems of steels - Part 1: Steel
names and Part 2: Numerical system.
Information to be supplied by the purchaser
In order for the transaction of steel products to take place as easily as possible and without misunder-
standing, it is important that contract parties follow the requirements and advices of this item. In the
latest standards the items, which shall be agreed at the time of enquiry and order are usually marked with
one point (), and those which can be agreed are usually marked with two points ().
Mandatory information
In order for the steel supplier to be able to deliver the product without further enquiries, the following basic
information must be given at the time of enquiry and order:
- quantity to be delivered;
- product (e.g. round bar, rod, sheet or forging);
- dimensions and tolerances with a reference to a
relevant European standard;
- number of the actual European standard;
- designation or number of the steel grade;
- delivery condition;
- type of inspection document.
Options are supplementary requirements, which can be agreed between the purchaser and the supplier at
the time of enquiry and order. Usually options deal with inspection and testing. If no options have been
specifed, the steel product will be delivered according to basic requirements, see previous item.
As an example, listed here are the options of EN 10273 Hot rolled weldable steel bars for pressure
purposes with specifed elevated temperature properties:
1) Specifcation of the steel making process
2) Deviating delivery condition
3) Specifcation of a higher minimum chromium content
4) Specifcation of lower maximum copper content and a maximum tin content
5) Specifcation of maximum carbon equivalent value
6) Mechanical properties for diameter or thickness > 150 mm
7) Elevated temperature values for diameter or thickness > 100 mm, steel grade P460NH
8) Special surface condition
9) Requirements for and verifcation of internal soundness
10) Delivery of data on suitable welding conditions
11) Product analysis
12) Verifcation of proof strength R
at an agreed elevated temperature
13) Verifcation of impact energy at a temperature other than +20 C
14) Special marking requirements
In certain instances, the purchaser and the supplier may be given permission to agree upon other require-
ments than those presented in the actual standard, for instance tighter tolerances for chemical composition.
The requirements concern usually chemical composition, mechanical properties in delivery condition, harde-
nability, cleanliness, weldability, surface condition and internal soundness. The requirements are
commonly presented in tables.
Inspection and testing
A principle of the requirements presented in steel standards is, that they can be verifed by inspection
and testing with a standardized method. It is very important that sampling, preparation of test pieces
and tests are carried out everywhere in the same way.
For inspection and testing, international standards are used, primarily EN ISO. The forms, grades and
uses of steel products are various, therefore material standards present requirements for the frequency
of testing and for the positioning of the test pieces in a steel product.
The Table of EN 10273 gives an example of inspection and testing:
Type of inspection and test Test frequency
Mandatory tests
Cast analysis 1 per cast
Tensile test at room temperature 1 per sample
Impact tests 3 per sample
Dimensional and visual inspection Each product
Optional tests
Product analysis 1 per cast
Tensile test at elevated temperature 1 per cast
Verifcation of internal soundness
To be agreed at the time of
enquiry and order
Table 1 - Example of inspection and testing - EN 10273
The steel producer records all results of inspections and tests and decides on delivery on the basis of these.
An inspection document will be composed from the results. The inspection documents are presented in
EN 10204. The inspection document will be supplied to the purchaser usually together with the invoice.
The data content of an inspection document is presented in material standards or can be agreed between
the purchaser and supplier, see Options.
The marking of a steel product is one of the last stages of the production chain. Methods of marking can
be stamping, using stickers, tags or a combination of these. The durability of the marking during transport
and stocking is an important consideration. The marking should include the name of the producer or supplier,
steel designation or steel number and the identifcation code, which gives the connection to the inspection
document and to the cast number.
Additionally, if agreed, dimensions, the order number of the purchaser, etc., can be applied in the marking.
It must be noted, that tags and stampings can have restricted space to show information.
There are often annexes in steel standards, which can be normative
or informative. Heat treating or testing instructions as well as
information on properties of use in various conditions can be given in
annexes. Harmonized standards contain an Annex
Z, where the correspondence between the essential
requirements of the EU Directive(s) and the standard are shown.