Steel can be purchased as either prime or less-than-prime, and the version that you pick will have a big impact on the price that you pay. Although prime steel is the preferred version for many projects, it is also perfectly acceptable to cut financial corners for some projects by using less-than-prime steel. However, before you can make the proper decision with your Steel Dealers, you need to have a firm understanding of the differences between each steel type.
What is Prime Steel?
When you select prime steel, you will receive a product from your Steel Dealers that does not have any inconsistencies or imperfections. This is the preferred option for steel that will be easily seen by the individual or company who will be using the product that steel is being used to produce. Conversely, if the steel that is used is not visible, it does not matter if it has visible imperfections.
What is Less-Than-Prime Steel?
Less-than-prime steel, also known as LTP, is a designation that is given to steel that has visible imperfections that prevent it from being sold under the label of prime steel. LTP can also be oddly sized, rusty, miscut, rejected, pitted, slightly damaged or simply overstock. These pieces can provide your company with a great price as they have to be discounted in order to motivate buyers. If you are making something that does not require an aesthetically pleasing exterior, it is always a good idea to consider buying LTP steel to save money.
Will My Customers Know the Difference?
Although most individual and commercial consumers will never know the difference unless they can see the imperfections, it is still a good idea to disclose the fact that you are planning to use LTP steel. After all, if the buyer believes that they got prime steel, they might be able to cause you legal complications later on if they find out that you actually used LTP steel. Keep in mind that most consumers want to get the best deal possible, so proposing LTP steel for certain projects will make you look like a forward thinking company that is looking out for the best interests of everyone involved in the sale.
Will Less-Than-Prime Steel Hold Up?
In the vast majority of cases, LTP steel simply has visual imperfections or was cut to an awkward size. These LTP steel pieces are just as strong as prime steel, and you can use them with confidence. If there are any integrity issues with the strength of the steel, the company that sells it to you should disclose this information. In other words, you should be able to use LTP steel for a wide variety of projects, and it is the perfect way to reduce your expenses.
Buying LTP Steel
When you are ready to make a steel purchase, you should inquire if LTP steel is available. If it is, you can ask questions to help you determine if the available LTP steel is suitable for your specific needs. Even if you do not use it on your current project, it is a good idea to ask about the availability of this discounted steel before you begin any major projects.