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Best steel for machining-A Guide by Prototek

Machining stands as a crucial aspect of the manufacturing industry, and the selection of the right steel is paramount for ensuring the success of the manufacturing process. In this comprehensive guide by Prototek, we delve into the key factors involved in selecting the most suitable steel for machining applications.

Basic properties of steel

Strength and hardness: one of the most fundamental properties of steel is its strength and hardness. Strength indicates the ability of a material to resist deformation and destruction, while hardness reflects the ability of a material to resist external pressure. In machining, the selection of appropriate strength and hardness of steel is the key to ensure the durability and performance stability of parts.

Toughness and plasticity: toughness refers to the ability of steel to resist cracking under impact or vibration, while plasticity refers to the ability of a material to deform without breaking during processing. For parts that need to withstand impact loads or require complex shapes, steel with good toughness and plasticity is essential.

Corrosion Resistance: the corrosion resistance of steel determines its performance in harsh environments. Especially in wet or chemically corrosive environments, corrosion-resistant steel can extend the service life of parts and reduce maintenance costs.

Steel classification

Carbon Steel:

High Carbon Steel: high carbon content, high hardness, suitable for cutting tools and high strength parts.

Medium Carbon Steel: medium carbon content, with good strength and plasticity, widely used in machine parts manufacturing.

Low carbon steel: relatively low carbon content, easy to process, used for welding and manufacturing parts requiring plasticity.

Alloy Steel:

Chromium alloy steel: containing chromium to improve hardness and corrosion resistance, suitable for manufacturing cutting tools and bearings.

Tungsten Alloy Steel: contains tungsten, which increases cutting performance and wear resistance, and is used in high-speed cutting tools.

Nickel alloy steel: nickel containing, excellent corrosion resistance and high temperature stability, suitable for chemical and aviation fields.

Other categories:

Stainless steel: excellent corrosion resistance for applications requiring appearance and durability.

Tool Steel: designed to make tools with high hardness and abrasion resistance.

Spring Steel: has good elasticity and fatigue strength, for the manufacture of springs and elastic components.

Key elements of machining

Cutting performance: in the machining process, cutting performance is one of the key factors. This involves the reaction of steel under cutting with a tool, including friction and heat generation between the tool and the workpiece. The selection of steel with good cutting performance can improve machining efficiency, reduce tool wear and ensure the stability of the machining process.

Heat Treatment Adaptability: the Heat Treatment Adaptability of steel refers to its performance changes after high temperature treatment. In machining, some parts need to undergo heat treatment to improve their hardness, strength and other properties. Therefore, the selection of steel with good adaptability to heat treatment is the key to ensure the final product quality.

Machining stability: the machining stability of steel is related to the stability and controllability in the machining process. Some steels may cause dimensional inconsistency or shape distortion due to deformation or instability during processing. Therefore, it is very important to select the steel with good machining stability to ensure the machining of high precision parts.

The most suitable steel for machining

Drilling: recommended steel: high-speed steel with good machinability and wear resistance, such as M2 high-speed steel.

Milling: recommended steel: alloy steel suitable for milling, such as AISI 4140 alloy steel, with good machinability and strength.

Turning: recommended steel: easy to process low carbon steel, such as AISI 1018 low carbon steel, suitable for turning and surface processing.

High-speed cutting: recommended steel: Tungsten alloy steel with high hardness and machinability, such as Tungsten Carbide.

Welding: recommended steels: easy-to-weld low-carbon structural steels, such as AISI 1020, for welded structural components.

Corrosion resistance requirements: recommended steel: stainless steel, such as AISI 316, with good corrosion resistance, suitable for chemical and marine environment.

Practical applications and case studies

High-strength components in aerospace:

Application: manufacturing aircraft engine parts, such as turbine blades.

Steel selection: use nickel base alloy steel, such as Inconel series, to ensure that the parts at high temperature, high pressure environment with good strength and corrosion resistance.

Engine parts in automobile manufacture:

Application: manufacturing the crankshaft of an automobile engine.

Steel selection: select high carbon alloy steel, such as AISI 4340, to obtain excellent strength and wear resistance, to ensure that the crankshaft at high load conditions with excellent performance.

Tool manufacturing:

Application: production of high-speed cutting tools, such as milling cutters.

Steel selection: use high-speed steel, such as M2, to ensure that the tool has good cutting performance and wear resistance, suitable for high-speed cutting applications.

Corrosion resistant components in chemical equipment:

Application: manufacturing corrosion resistant linings in chemical reactors.

Steel selection: stainless steel, such as AISI 316L, to ensure that parts in corrosive chemical environment with good corrosion resistance.

Machine tool structural parts:

Application: manufacturing machine tool bed.

Steel selection: use structural alloy steel, such as AISI 4140, to obtain good strength and cutting performance, to ensure the stability and durability of machine tool structure.

Surface treatment of parts:

Application: the production of high surface quality parts, such as motorcycle crankshaft surface.

Steel selection: choose easy to process low carbon steel, such as AISI 1045, to ensure the stability and accuracy of surface processing.

To select suitable steel for machining needs to consider the properties, classification of steel and the factors of machining process. Through in-depth understanding and practical application verification, manufacturers can improve production efficiency, reduce costs, and produce high-quality products. Future development will focus on the development of new materials and the application of more intelligent machining technology to promote the progress of manufacturing.

If you have any needs, contact us via email: Lynnyao@prototekparts.com or phone: +86-0792-86372550

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Main Process: Casting+CNC

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Main Process: CNC 

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