Steel Mills

SMU Steel 101 Workshop Tours Nucor Arkansas Mill

Written by John Packard

You don’t usually think of fruit when visiting a domestic steel mill. However, our gracious hosts at Nucor Arkansas (Hickman) let us in on the secret of Strawberries – and that’s all I have to say about that. For more details talk to anyone associated with Nucor Arkansas and they will most likely let you in on the secret.

Sam Commella, Vice President and General Manager for Nucor Arkansas (Hickman), along with Doug Rife and Jeremy Cooper arranged for our large Steel 101 group to tour both the hot and cold ends of the Hickman facility.

The tour was conducted after a half day of classroom instruction focused on the steelmaking and rolling process. The Nucor Hickman mill tour allowed SMU Steel 101 participants to get firsthand knowledge and exposure to Nucor’s electric arc furnace (EAF) and flat rolled operation.  From the electric arc furnace to the end of the galvanizing line, SMU participants were broken into small groups and then guided by Nucor’s hospitable and professional staff.  

The Hickman facility is capable of producing a variety of hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized products as well as floor plate.  Coil specifications can accommodate a range of thicknesses and widths.  Steel 101 participants toured the hot mill where Nucor produces Hot Rolled, HR temper passed, HRP&O (pickled and oiled), and HRP&O temper passed.  Nucor Hickman’s HR gauges range from .052 – .625 with widths of 36” – 64”.  The Hickman facility produces a variety of HR grades as well.

Although we didn’t see any being rolled during our tour, Hickman does produce floor plate.   Specs for floor plate include thickness ranges of .060 min. – .500 min. in widths of 48” and 60” (can produce special widths on an inquire basis).   

Our tour proceeded into the cold mill, where participants witnessed the reducing and surface treatment capabilities of Hickman’s cold mill. The Hickman plant uses a reversing mill which produces cold rolled products ranging from .012” min. – .130” min. with widths of 35.5” – 62.5”.  

The last stop on our tour was at the mill’s single hot dipped galvanizing line.  The Hickman galvanizing line can produce coils between .012” min. – .100” min.  with widths of 35.5” – 62.5” and coating weights of G30 through G235.

Steel Market Update as well as our Steel 101 participants was thoroughly impressed with Nucor’s world class facility and top notch staff.  This was very evident as the mill explained to our group that their on-time delivery of customer orders averages 98 percent or better.  

For a full list of capabilities and grades for the Nucor Hickman facility, visit their website at:

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