Forging carbon steel is an important part of Anderson Shumaker’s production. Our skilled team knows their metals inside and out. But, not everyone is familiar with the many materials we forge. Each metal has its own unique properties and attributes. Therefore, not all metals are appropriate for all products. A few weeks back we discussed alloys. Today we’ll take a look at carbon steel, a popular open-die forging choice for oil & gas, power generation, and special machinery.
What is Carbon Steel?
Carbon steel often describes non-stainless steel. This steel contains a carbon content up to 2.1% by weight. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), carbon steel is broken down into 4 classes: low-carbon steel (0.05-0.3%); medium-carbon steel (0.3-0.6%); high-carbon steel (0.6-1.00%), and ultrahigh-carbon steel (1.25-2.0%). In other words, knowing a material’s carbon content is important to correctly class it.
Due to its attributes, carbon steel is ideal for applications involving high temperature and pressure. For example, carbon steel is idea for gears, aircraft landing gear axles, and shafts for power transmissions. Forging increases carbon steel’s strength by eliminating imperfections such as air bubbles, which are associated with methods like casting. In addition to being mechanically stronger, forging increases carbon steel’s wear and impact resistance. As a result, the material achieves a very tight grain structure. As the carbon content increases, the metal becomes even stronger and harder through heat treatment. However, heat treatment can make the material less ductile. Higher carbon content lowers a metal’s melting point and reduces weldability.
Anderson Shumaker can process carbon steel orders quickly due to our extensive in-stock inventory. Combined with our in-house heat treating, this gives us the flexibility to produce the following grades to virtually any specification:
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