Ferrous Scrap Metal Descriptions

These specifications derive from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and are internationally accepted and used throughout the world to trade commodities.

Auto Cast

Clean auto cast blocks; free of all steel parts except for camshafts, valves, valve springs, and studs.  Free of non-ferrous, and non-metallic parts.


Clean steel scrap, maximum 2 foot x 5 foot including new factory sheet clippings, stampings, etc.  May NOT include old auto body and fender stock.  Free of metal coated, limed, vitreous enameled, and electrical sheet containing over 0.5 percent silicon.

Cast Iron

Cast iron scrap, such as colums, pipes, plates, and/or castings of miscellaneous nature, but free from stove plates, brake shoes, and burnt scrap.  Must be cupola size, not over 24 x 30 inches in dimension and no piece to weight over 150 pounds. Must be free from foreign material.

Cast Iron Borings

Clean cast iron or malleable iron borings and drillings, free of steel turnings, scale, lumps, or excessive oil.

Flashings and Forgings

Scrap metal by-product of a forging operation. Flashings and forgings are produced in various sizes.

Foundry Grades

Punchings or stampings, plate scrap, and bar crops containing less than 0.05 percent phosphorus or sulphur and less than 0.05 percent silicon, free from alloys.  All materials cut 12 inches and under, and with the exception of punchings or stampings, at least 1/8 inch in thickness.  Punchings or stampings under 6 inches in diameter may be any gauge.

Heavy Melt

Wrought iron and/or steel scrap less than or equal to 5 feet x 2 feet and 1/4 inch and greater in thickness.  Individual pieces not over 60 x 24 inches prepared in a manner to insure compact charging.


End of life machinery, typically made of steel, cast, and mixed metals.

Mixed Load

Two or more scrap grades mixed together.

OTM (Other Track Material)

Other track material, also known as OTM, refers to all spikes, track bolts and nuts, lock washers, rail anchors, tie plates, rail joints, angles, and/or splice bars and all steel coil springs.


Punchings are comprised of foundry grade material that is derived from the punching process. See Foundry Grades’ description.


Railroad rails of various lengths, weights and configurations. Rails can include all chemistry grades (carbon or alloy), and may have joint bars, bolts and rail anchors attached. Free from concrete, dirt, and foreign material of any kind.


End of life steel rod, typically pulled out of concrete infrastructure.  Material must be free of concrete and other contaminants.

Sheet Iron

Post consumer steel material that is clean, painted, galvanized, or coated and less than 1/4 inch thick.  Must be free of insulation, plastic, rubber, or other contaminants.

Shredded Scrap

Homogeneous iron and steel scrap, magnetically separated.  Shredded scrap from lawn mowers, appliances, bikes, etc.


Chopped end cuts from steel slitting process.

Steel Clips

New production black steel sheet scrap, loose clippings or skeleton scrap. May includes stanley balls, mandrel bundles, pup coils, scarfing, heads and tails. Material thickness less than 1/4 inch. Free of metal coated, limed, vitreous enameled, and electrical sheet containing over 0.5 percent silicon.

Steel Coil

A coil with a width greater than or equal to 18″ and a gauge thickness less than 1/4″.

Coiled Plate

Coiled Plate has a gauge thickness greater than or equal to 1/4″.

Pup Coil

A small coil with OD less than 36″, ID 16 – 30″, gauge less than 1/4″ and width less than 18″.
Steel Coil

Steel Dies

Also known as a cutting die, is essentially a giant cookie cutter made specifically for a product. Steel dies come in various sizes.

Steel Plate

Cut structural and plate scrap. Clean open hearth steel plates, structural shapes, crop ends, shearings, or broken steel tires. Material thickness equal to or greater than 1/4 inch.   Phosphorus or sulphur not over 0.005 percent.  Prepared plate is equal to or less than 5 feet x 2 feet and 1/4 inch and greater in thickness.

Steel Turnings

Clean steel or wrought iron turnings, free of iron borings, non-ferrous metals in a free state, scale, or excessive oil.  May NOT include badly rusted or corroded stock.

Steel Wire

Wire that can be produced in many shapes and sizes.  Typically used for the production of mesh, tire bead, welding wire, wire rope, fasteners, nails, hangers, fencing, floor grating, shopping carts, shelving units, bed springs and many other applications.

Structural Steel

See Steel Plate description.

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