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The Language of Strength: Understanding the Mechanical Properties of Steel

When it comes to steel, the mechanical properties of the grade of steel can often mean the difference between a long, efficient life in the most abrasive and wear-intensive applications, and frequent or even catastrophic failure. Understanding these properties is absolutely essential when selecting the best grade of abrasive-resistant steel for your application. Unfortunately, these mechanical properties are very specific, and their exact metallurgical definitions are not widely known outside of metallurgy. (more…)

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ENDURA, the only Patented Wear Resistant Steel

Wear Resistant Steels were developed to retard or slow down the destruction of mild steels, providing longer life, less downtime and maintenance of equipment that experiences wear from impact and/or sliding abrasion. For the most part, this was and still is accomplished by making the steels harder. But the harder the steel, the more brittle it becomes and it is less easy to machine or form into parts, shoots, conveyors, buckets, screens etc. (more…)

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Manganese Alloy: Steel That Stands Where Other Alloy Steels Fail

Of all the steel alloys out there, Manganese is perhaps one of the most unique—and interesting—options on the market. It’s non-magnetic despite its high iron-content, and it actually hardens under conditions whereas other alloys would shear or wear. In this article, we’ll give you a little insight into what Manganese Steel Alloy is, where it comes from, and why it’s so incredible. (more…)

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Understanding Ontario Steel Companies’ Supply Chain: The Steel Mill

If you ask someone about their occupation and they respond by telling you that they’re “in the steel business”, they aren’t telling you very much. In fact, it’s almost like asking someone’s address and getting the answer, “Ontario.” There are many different types of Ontario steel companies making and selling a wide variety of steel products and services, and all are part of a vast and complicated supply chain. To help you to understand how complex the steel industry is, let’s break down the most basic rung of the supply chain: (more…)

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Understanding Abrasion and Wear-Resistant Steel (AR Steel)

Not all steels are the same. In fact, there are over 3,500 different grades of steel, each encompassing unique physical, chemical, and mechanical properties to make them ‘custom-tailored’ to suit specific applications. Even within certain groups of steel like Abrasion and Wear-Resistant steels (AR steel) there are many different grades, each with different chemistry and mechanical properties that yield different performance. (more…)

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History of US Tariffs

Today, the United States seems to be going back to a protectionist policy that was in place for 250 years from 1789, through to the end of World War II. The average tariff during that period on goods entering the US was 38%. However, the US didn’t do this to punish countries or control the influx of products. The main reason the US charged tariffs is because they did not introduce income tax until 1917, and relied on Tariffs to finance its activities including war. At the end of WW II, most of America’s competitors’ (England, Europe, Japan, Korea, China) industrial base had been wiped out by the war. America believed it had a significant competitive advantage and wanted to export goods and services to rebuild these economies on a “tariff free basis”. The US did not fear competitive imports from these war-ravaged countries and signed on to GATT in 1947. (more…)

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A History of the World Trade Organizations

After World War II in 1945, “The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade” (GATT), was established along with other institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. GATT was the governing body for trade around the world until 1995 when the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established replacing GATT.

The WTO is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade. In 1995, 124 nations signed the agreement. It is the largest international economic organization in the world. The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and most important, providing a “dispute resolution process” aimed at enforcing members’ adherence to WTO agreements.

Each country, through a series of WTO negotiations, sets their individual tariffs on various goods and services using a common HS code (Harmonized Item Description and Coding System). Through WTO negotiations, country tariffs are continuing to be reduced and eliminated. For example, the average Tariff for goods entering the US is 2.5%.

In addition to participating in WTO negotiations, each country may also negotiate and sign separate trade agreements under the general guidelines of the WTO. For example, Canada, the US and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1997. In 2017, Europe and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). These agreements are designed to reduce and then eliminate all Tariffs between the participating countries. However, they use the WTO guidelines as a basis for their agreement, including dispute settlement mechanisms which are usually referred back to the WTO dispute system. WHO’s decision is final on participating WTO members but may also be appealed which can take many years to render a final decision.

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