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Texas Iron and Metal Supply Houston Offers Prime and Less-Than-Prime© Steel

When it comes to resources and natural materials such as steel, not all products are created equal. There are a variety of different types of steel for different uses, but they pretty much fall within two main categories: Prime and Less-Than-Prime© steel. It is important, when selecting steel for a project, that you choose the type you need to get the results you are looking for. Texas Iron and Metal pride themselves on offering the widest selection of steel supply that is sure to meet anyone's needs.

Prime Steel

Prime steel is the highest quality steel available and it must meet very strict requirements in order to be labeled as such. This means that there must be no defects in the steel, even something as small as a crack or a frayed edge. For steel to be in the prime category of Texas Iron and Metal's trusted metal supply, it must be of the highest quality suited for complex industrial or other projects.

Key Differences between Prime and Non-Prime Steel

The main difference between prime and non-prime steel is the quality. Prime steel, as noted above, must not contain any defects. Sometimes referred to as “seconds”, non-prime steel refers to steel that did not quite meet specifications. This does not mean that it is not high quality steel. Rather, this refers to steel that perhaps was cut to a strange length, has frayed edges or maybe even scratches on it.

Non-prime steel does not tend to be used in commercial or industrial projects except in rare cases. It is better suited for other projects.


Prime steel is going to be the most expensive kind of steel one can buy. Non-prime steel, being “seconds”, is less expensive and therefore is more useful for certain projects like crafting or art. Non-prime steel even works great in non-commercial structures and small storage structures. One does not always need to use the best available steel for the project they are working on and a lot of money can be saved by choosing non-prime steel where applicable.

How do Suppliers End Up with Non-Prime Steel?

Steel that has been downgraded, recycled or been through a process that did not go quite according to plan are just a number of the ways suppliers end up with non-prime steel. There are not international standards that define what non-prime steel is, but the details described above are pretty relevant for steel products worldwide, with, perhaps, a few exceptions.

Most of this steel is not defective in that it cannot serve its purpose. For the most part, non-prime steel is comprised of pieces that were cut to odd lengths, did not pass tensile tests, are too magnetic, or that have surface defects like pocking, scratches or dents.

Knowing the difference between the two types of steel can make choosing what will work best for your next project far easier. Some projects require the best of the best; in this case, prime steel is your best option. Others can take advantage of the cost savings that will be gleaned from using non-prime steel.