Ameristeel (Tampa)

Ameristeel is a brand that, after being acquired by a parent company, is now a part of Gerdau S.A. The brand is currently the fourth biggest producer of steel in the United States and Canada. It is also the second biggest “mini mill” producer in North America. The company is owned by majority share by the Gerdau Group. Today, the company’s main headquarters are located in Toronoto, Canada. The US headquarters are found in Tampa, Florida.

Ameristeel produces a total of 12 million tons of steel every year. Various mini mills, recycling programs, and other elements of the steel industry located further down the supply chain are also owned by the brand. This includes concrete production, railroad track spike production, and a grinding ball plant. Nineteen electric steel mill companies are under its control.

Some of the products that the company is most well known for are welded wire mesh, merchant bars, reinforcing steel, nails, wire rod, pilings, and various structural parts. The business manufactures products for steel service companies as well as providing steel directly to manufacturers of certain parts. Industries that they work directly with include civil engineering, electrical part producers, construction, mining, and vehicle production.

Ameristeel was first known as Florida Steel Products, based out of Tampa, Florida. The business was founded in 1937. At the time, the company was centered on construction. By 1956, it combined with the Florida Steel Corporation, and in 1960 it started expanding into the other industries. By 1996, the broad success of the company led to the change in name. In 1999, it was then acquired by Brockner Rebar, then by Gerdau.

Asbestos was commonly used in mills, factories, power plants, and general work sites in all 50 states during the 20th century, and Ameristeel was no exception. The fibrous mineral was used as both an electrical and a heat insulator. Because it could insulate against heat and was completely resistant to flame, its use became widespread.  Today the fact that asbestos is a health hazard is well known, but for a long time knowledge of the threat was hidden as some employers chose not to protect their workers.