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A high-quality product starts with high-quality steel, which are made from semi-finished casting items. As a rule, these semi-finished casting items are divided into four main types:

  • Ingot: This is a very large casting product. It generally has a rectangular, square, and polygonal cross-section in various sizes as per end use. It has a hot top which helps in improved quality of the end product and is discarded after production as it has all the impurities but is a very important part for good ingot quality. Sound ingot with the solidification characteristics give a good quality of the material in alloy steel.
  • Blooms: These have rectangular or square cross-sections that are greater than 36 square inches, or 230 square centimeters in length . Blooms can be used as rolling material when manufacturing products such as seamless pipes, rails, and many more.
  • Billets: These are usually made with the help of a continuous casting machine, or CCM, have cross-sections that are the same throughout the length and start from 100mm onwards depending on the size of the billet caster.
  • Slab: The cross-section of a slab is less thicker and much wider than that of a bloom.

When ingots, blooms, billets, and slabs are compared based on their weight, this is what we find:

  • Ingots are heavier than blooms.
  • Blooms are heavier than billets.
  • Billets are heavier than slabs.

In short, both billets and ingots are semi-finished steel. When you take an ingot and apply uniform pressure to the surface, the process results in a much denser alloy, in part because it can remove tiny imperfections due to the nature of casting.