How to read a steel mill test report

How do you ensure the steel you receive meets your specifications and quality standards? A steel mill test report is a good place to start.

A steel mill test report, which comes directly from the producing steel mill, contains important information about the properties and characteristics of the steel you purchase.


This becomes important in industries in which the performance of the steel is critical, including aerospace and energy, as well as in instances where you may need to confirm the country of origin for the steel you are purchasing to avoid potential duties or tariffs on the material. 


This blog provides a beginner's guide to reading steel mill test reports, helping you understand the information.


What is a Steel Mill Test Report?


A steel mill test report is a document that provides detailed information about the steel that has been manufactured and delivered to you. Generated by the mill that produces the steel, this report typically includes information about the chemical composition, mechanical properties, heat treatment, and other characteristics of the steel.


Did you know that by opening a you will have access to the available mill test reports of material purchased from Ryerson? Sign-up for an account today.


How to Read a Steel Mill Test Report


Here are the five components of a steel mill test report and what they will tell you about the steel you are purchasing:

1.           Chemical Composition

Alloying elements such as carbon, manganese, and silicon make up the chemical composition of steel. Knowing which alloys are present and at what percentage helps determine the properties and performance of your steel.
Chemical composition will be listed in the steel mill test report in table and/or graph format, which should include both maximum and minimum allowable values.

2.           Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of the steel help you determine how the material will hold up under various stresses and strains. Information about the steel's tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, and reduction of area will be included in the mechanical properties.

3.           Heat Treatment

The steel mill test report will also tell you whether the steel has been heat treated, and if so what type of treatment was used. This is important because the heat treatment process can alter steel's physical and mechanical properties. 

4.           Testing Results

The steel mill test report will reveal whether any tests, such as chemical analysis, mechanical testing, and non-destructive testing, have been performed on the steel.

5.           Traceability

In some instances, it is important to be able to trace steel back to its source. For instance, Starting on March 10, the U.S. government began imposing a 200% tariff on aluminum imports from Russia. Read more about what it means for you here.


The steel mill test report will provide information on the producing steel mill, such as location, batch, or lot number of the steel. This information is also important should there ever be a quality issue with the steel, and a recall is necessary.


Ensuring Accuracy

A steel mill test report provides valuable information that could help you ensure quality material. Of course, be sure to consult with a qualified metallurgist regarding any questions related to the information on your steel test reports.


Ryerson: The Metal Supplier of Choice

Ryerson is a leading North American metal supplier that provides more than just metal. We respond to the ever-changing needs of manufacturing today.

With a vast inventory of steelstainlessaluminumalloy, and more, we are committed to providing our customers with the metal and services they need to succeed. We stock a range of shapes and sizes, or we can provide processing and fabrication for every product we sell

Order online at for comprehensive pricing and fast delivery, or contact us today to learn more about how we can meet your metal needs