Steel Fabrication Can Be Complicated

Steel fabrications can be a success or a disaster depending upon the type of steel that you are using. There are several types of steel alloys available in the market and each of them has different composition and features that can affect the outcome of a fabrication. Basically, there are certain factors that you need to check out before deciding over the type of steel alloy that will need for the fabrication. Understanding the types in this light will be useful to understand the complexities involved with steel fabrication.

One of the initial issues that one has to consider is the work hardening. Basically, this determines how hard a fabrication will be after it is cold worked. Different alloys have different cold hardening rate. For example, the Ferritic steel generally has a lower hardening rate. On the other hand the austenitic steel has a far higher hardening rate. There are different methods of hardening. For example, the austenitic steel can be hardened only through cold work, whereas martensitic stainless steel can be treated with other methods as well.

Now, this hardening rate also determines the magnetic permeability, another important factor in fabrication. Generally, the alloy that has highest work hardening rate will have the highest magnetic permeability. In fabrication, the forming speed of an alloy is also a very important factor to consider. The longer the time needed to get back to the original form, the greater is the chance of deformation for the alloy.

The next important thing is the difficulty of machining the alloy. Generally, the austenitic stainless steel is a problem for most of the operators. In fact, the difficulty of using machine on this type has given birth to the grade 303 which is a free machine version. Well, there are plenty of similar options for the martensitic and Ferritic steels as well. In most of the cases, these machine free versions include manganese sulphide. They act as the chip breakers and thereby improve the result of using machines on them.

However, one must note here that the free machine grades have low corrosion resistance when compared to the other versions. This is because these versions include non metallic elements in them and therefore, these alloys should never be used in corrosive environment like marine exposure. Also, the free machine grades have high level of sulphur that reduces the ductility of the alloy. So, you can’t bend them around a tight radius. They also become very difficult to weld. So, they should not be chosen for welded fabrication as well.

The author of this article has expertise in steel fabrications. The articles on steel fabrications reveals the author’s knowledge on the same. The author has written many articles on steel fabrications as well.

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