Metals are the beating heart of our industry. The skilled team at Anderson Shumaker knows their metals inside and out. But, not everyone is familiar with the many metals we forge. Each metal has its own unique properties and attributes, and not all metals are appropriate for all products. Last week we discussed tool steel. Today we’ll take a look at alloy steel, a fantastic material that is the most common forging metal used.
What’s in an Alloy?
An alloy is a combination of metals defined by a bonding character. Alloy steel is considered to be an iron-based alloy that has been mixed with a variety of elements in the range of 1.00% – up to 50.0% to enhance its physical property. The combination of alloys and elements forged together is what determines the physical strength and properties of the material. Common alloys added are: chromium, molybdenum, manganese, nickel, vanadium boron, and silicon. Alloy steel forging is typically done by heat treatment. This achieves the materials increased strength, resistance, and toughness.
Alloy steels are used in a wide variety of applications. Anderson Shumaker forges alloy steel in a variety of shapes including rolled rings, discs, flat and round bars, and custom shapes.
Why Use Alloys?
When properly forged, alloy metals can provide greater wear, toughness, and fatigue strength. In some cases, combining metals reduces material costs while still preserving important metallurgic properties. Anderson Shumaker’s most popular alloy steels include: 4130, 4140, 4330, 4340, 8620, 8630, 9310, Nitralloy 135, F11, F22, and F91. Forged alloy steel is used in many applications such as aerospace and special machinery.
These are some basic alloying descriptions:
- Adding manganese, silicon, nickel and copper results in an increase in strength by forming solid solutions in ferrite which is ideal for extreme heat exposure
- Chromium, vanadium, molybdenum and tungsten: increases strength by forming second phase carbides
- Nickel and copper: improves corrosion resistance
- Molybdenum: helps to resist embrittlement
Don’t see the alloy you need, or not sure which to choose? You can always call us (800) 932-0357 or request a quote to talk a member of our sales team. We often work in many metals and grades not listed on our website or current Stock List.
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