Hot-rolled steel bars and other hot-rolled steel shapes are produced from ingots, blooms, or billets converted from ingots or from strand cast blooms or billets and comprise a variety of sizes and cross sections. Most carbon steel and alloy steel hot-rolled bars and shapes contain surface imperfections with varying degrees of severity. Seams, laps, and slivers are probably the most common defects in hot-rolled bars and shapes. Another condition that could be considered a surface defect is decarburization. Hot-rolled steel bars and shapes can be produced to chemical composition ranges or limits, mechanical property requirements, or both. Hot-rolled carbon steel bars are produced to two primary quality levels: merchant quality and special quality. Merchant quality is the least restrictive descriptor for hot-rolled carbon steel bars. Special quality bars are employed when end use, method of fabrication, or subsequent processing treatment requires characteristics not available in merchant quality bars.